Ex-parliamentarian’s advice: Cool it

By ROGER SIMON
Politico.com
10/9/09

Bob Dove worked in the U.S. Senate for 35 years, has both a Ph.D. and a law degree, and now lectures on the world’s greatest deliberative body both at The George Washington University and on the occasional cruise ship.

When I asked him the main function the Senate serves, his answer was quick, firm and surprising.

“The U.S. Senate is designed to keep bad laws from passing,” Dove said.

Isn’t that a pretty negative role? I asked.

“Good laws are also passed, but the Senate is there to keep bad bills from becoming law,” Dove said. “It is a check on the House, on the president, on the public. It is difficult to get a bill passed into law, and it is supposed to be.”

Dove served as parliamentarian of the Senate for 13 years…

…Article II, Section 2, Paragraph 2 of the Constitution, states that presidents shall “by and with the advice and consent of the Senate” exercise certain of their powers.

“It really argues for the Senate to be a powerful force to check a president,” Dove said, “which is clearly something the House does not do.”

Roger Simon’s article continues at Politico.com.

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