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Thu Aug 2, 2012, 11:30 AM

The Senate Doesn't Work Anymore

In 2010, if the Tea Party had not prevailed in Republican primaries for senate in Alaska, Nevada, Colorado, and Delaware, the GOP might already be in control of the upper chamber of Congress. This year, the Tea Party is going for a repeat in states like Wisconsin, Nebraska, Arizona, Texas, and Indiana. They think they will have more success this time around, but my guess is that they will lose at least one seat that they would have otherwise won. Whether they win some of these elections or all of them, the result will be an even more dysfunctional Senate. The Founding Fathers designed the Senate to be removed from the day-to-day passions of the electorate. They gave them six-year terms and had them selected not directly by the voters, but indirectly by the state legislatures. We changed that in the early 20th-Century because we were tired of the corruption involved in buying off state legislators, but we should probably reconsider the assumption that we'd have a better Senate if they were more accountable to the people. The Senate was supposed to be immune to the political pathologies of the moment, but they have proven to be no different from the House of Representatives in that regard.

It is, of course, totally unrealistic to think that we'd go back to the old way of electing senators, but maybe we should consider more attainable reforms. For example, maybe senate races should be non-partisan. Candidates could not run as members of a political party. Committee slots could be determined by lottery.

Or the Senate could simply be abolished, since it has become redundant. It will soon be necessary to kill the filibuster, so there will no longer remain any significant difference between the House and Senate except for the Senate's undemocratic composition that awards Rhode Island as many votes as Texas.

In any case, the Senate doesn't work any more. Adding more Tea Party members will just make that more clear to everyone.

http://www.boomantribune.com/story/2012/8/2/10512/66109

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Reply The Senate Doesn't Work Anymore (Original post)
phantom power Aug 2012 OP
Spider Jerusalem Aug 2012 #1
Amak8 Aug 2012 #2

Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:55 PM

1. never has, isn't supposed to

the American system of government is irretrievably broken, and was flawed from the outset, honestly. The Senate is profoundly undemocratic and overly powerful, the president has become an elected king, more or less...the argument was supposed to be that limiting the power of larger and more populous states kept democracy from becoming "tyranny of the majority". Tyranny of the minority is not really a preferable alternative. There is a good reason why no other country has adopted the American form of government despite ample opportunity for doing so.

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Response to phantom power (Original post)

Thu Aug 2, 2012, 12:57 PM

2. Blame timid Democrats.

When they had 60 in 2009, they should've abolished the filibuster when making Senate rules. It appears nowhere in the Constitution and simply gives Republicans undue power of obstruction.

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