BlueGreen Alliance Forgets their Aristophanes

by Marlo Lewis on August 16, 2010

in Blog

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) mothballed cap-and-trade legislation when it became apparent that he could not muster the three-fifths super-majority required to end a Republican filibuster. Because coal-state Democrats don’t like cap-and-trade either, assembling the requisite 60 votes to stop a filibuster was never easy. It became more difficult after Democrats lost their 60-seat majority with the election of Republican Senator Scott Brown of Massachusetts.

Unsurprisingly, sore losers are now calling for a change in Senate rules to abolish the filibuster or lower the number of votes required for cloture.

Congressional Quarterly Online reports that the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of labor unions and environmental organizations hawking cap-and-trade as a font of ”green jobs,” and a group of freshmen Democratic Senators led by Tom Udall of New Mexico, are calling for a change in Senate rules.

There’s just one small problem. It takes a two-thirds (67-vote) supermajority to change Senate rules. To belabor the obvious, two-thirds is more than three-fifths. If cap-and-traders were strong enough to change the rules, they wouldn’t need to change them — they could already easily overcome GOP filibusters.

If BlueGreenies can’t see what a pickle they’re in, they should try reading Aristophanes, the master of Greek comic poetry. 

Aristophanes’ play Ecclesiazusae, “Assemblywomen” or “Congresswomen,” is a ribald satire on egalitarian excess. Although written millennia ago, it is spot-on relevant in the Age of Reid, Pelosi, and Obama. 

As the play opens, a cabal of women led by Praxagora don fake beards, sneak into the Athenian Assembly, and agitate for a law to establish the rule of women. They gain the support of enough men to pull it off, because Athenians crave change and the rule of women is the only thing they have not yet tried.

Praxagora and her cohorts claim their agenda is to end all injustice, i.e., inequality. They set up cradle-to-grave welfare and institute a regime of free love in which every man may sleep with every woman.

To ensure that not even the natural assets of youth will be allowed to create inequality, Praxagora decrees that before a young man may sleep with a beautiful young woman, he must first sleep with an ugly old hag. Conversely, before a young woman may sleep with a stud, she must gratify a geezer. 

But, as Orwell was to observe centuries later, under socialism, some are more equal than others. Praxagora, you see, is married to a flatulent dotard named Blepyrus, so she has already done her duty to the elderly. She is now free to consort with as many young bucks as she pleases. It’s kinda like cap-and-trade, in which energy-rationing profiteers reap windfalls (regulatory rents) at public expense in the name of saving the planet.

To pass the Kerry-Lieberman bill, BlueGreenies would have to sneak into the Senate, don Republican disguises, and give Tom Udall and his pals a 67 vote super-majority.

Obviously, that’s not gonna happen, not this Congress or next, because fake beards only work in comedy.

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