Ron Elving writes:
‘In an emotional return to the Senate floor on Tuesday afternoon, Sen. John McCain admonished the leaders of his party for how they managed the health care bill and called instead for “regular order.”…
That rather vague-sounding phrase — “regular order” — actually has a more concrete meaning, and it is highly relevant to the situation the Senate finds itself in right now…
“Regular order” refers to the procedures and processes that have governed the Senate for generations. It consists of rules and precedents that have been followed with few exceptions for legislation both big and small.
But regular order is not only a process, it is also a state of mind. It implies not only procedures but also a presumption of at least some degree of bipartisanship.
The supermajorities that are required in the Senate — notably the 60-vote minimum to end a filibuster and close debate — have meant leaders of both parties had to look for support across the aisle and to make accommodations.
That is the tradition that has been lost in recent years, as whichever party has the majority gets frustrated by the minority party’s power to jam the works. Pressured by presidents and the media, the majority leadership has done what it could to circumvent regular order…’
However, as I wrote in my post below about ungovernability, meganations and devolution, McCain may have it backwards. We have crossed a tipping point, arguably, where the current gridlock is the regular order and there may be no going back. To wish for otherwise in the current United States may be Pie in the Sky.