Thursday, November 12, 2009

Destroy the Filibuster

Anybody besides me disgusted and discouraged with the healthcare debate?

Don't get me started.... Let's just limit the topic for the moment to the entire idea that 41 senators can essentially destroy legislation a majority of Americans AND a majority of Congress want. This is egregiously anti-democratic. Harold Meyerson in his "The Do Nothing Senate" column in the Nov. 11 Washington Post describes the problem well:

"A catastrophic change has overtaken the Senate in recent years. Initially conceived as the body that would cool the passions of the House and consider legislation with a more Olympian perspective, the Senate has become a body that shuns debate, avoids legislative give-and-take, proceeds glacially and produces next to nothing. ... With each passing day, the Senate becomes more of a mockery of the principle of majority rule -- democracy's most fundamental precept."

So it's time to destroy the filibuster. (See, e.g., Chris Bowers' "Open Left" blog of November 10.) It used to be that the filibuster was used only rarely; now it is used on virtually any legislation - and this outrageously undemocratic practice is standing in the way of Progress.