December 26, 2009

Day After Christmas: Lets Filibuster!

'Twas the day after Christmas and all through the House, people were thinking "the Senate is a barrier to democracy!"

I'm not going to try to rhyme here in saying that the US Senate was set up by our dear founding fathers as a barrier between the unwashed masses and the wealthy establishment elite (AKA our founding fathers).

Yes, as the US Constitution was written in 1789, US Senators were elected by state legislatures, not by the unwashed masses (AKA The People). Then in 1913 the 17th Amendment was ratified to replace the phrase "chosen by the Legislature thereof" with "elected by the people thereof." My grandmother was alive when this little bit of democracy was gained by the unwashed masses.

Today it is becoming painfully apparent that the Senate rule allowing for a minority filibuster now functions as a requirement for a 60-vote super-majority on all legislation. This state of affairs, in a Senate captured by corporate power, is undemocratic and threatens to undermine popular support for Congress. This, in turn, undermines democracy.

It's true that we need checks on excessive power, or "tyranny," of the majority; however, today nearly unsurmountable power, or "tyranny," is being wielded by a corporate-sponsored minority. The situation is a corruption of American ideals and demands attention.




libhom said...

The Senate should be elected by proprtional representation.

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libhom said...

I forgot to mention that healthcare reform could have been passed via budget reconciliation, which only needs a simple majority. Instead, we got a wealthcare bill. Yuck.