Fictional president Andrew Shepherd said in his famous speech at the end of the movie The American President: “I was so busy keeping my job I forgot to do my job.”
Senate Democrats are so busy worrying about what will happen if they lose the majority that they are refusing to rule like a majority.
You will lose the majority when you fail to meet the needs of your constituents. And right now you are doing that. Take the recent example of student loans, filibustered into oblivion early this week because it “only” had 51 votes. Does passing it in the senate guarantee that it will pass the House and be signed by the president and become law? Of course not. But if you don’t force the Republican House to vote on bills that the American people support you give the GOP a huge gift. Make them own their votes and then make them run on those votes in 2014.
The senate filibuster is not enshrined in the constitution. In fact, it is a perversion of the constitution which says a super-majority is only needed to ratify a treaty or to override a presidential veto. There is no “60 vote minority rights” clause in the constitution.
Jimmy Stewart’s famous filibuster scene is entitled “Lost Causes”. I would like to think that this cause is not lost … we really must fix the Senate if we are to have any hope of a functioning government.
We wasted the first 2 years of President Obama’s first term because we not only had to compromise with Republicans but with LIEberdems and Blue Dogs. 50 plus 1 would have given us the chance to pass some of the over 400 bills that were sent from the House to the Senate to die during the 111th Congress.
We wasted the next two years with regulatory agencies being understaffed and extreme backlogs in the courts threatening our judicial system.
Remember … the Republicans want government to fail. Period. They will become a permanent minority if we can show the American people that government works.
We don’t need heroes to fix this. We just need 50 plus 1 Democratic senators willing to do their jobs.
(Crossposted from Views from North Central Blogistan)