Harry Reid let down, not only Democrats this week, but the whole of the American people in his failure to usher in filibuster reform, and everyone should be thinking of how we get him out of the Senate so that real legislative progress can begin. He is as much a part of the problem as the obstructionist GOP, and America deserves better.

Reid characterized his desire to maintain the filibuster at 60 votes by claiming that the Senate must not stoop to be like the boisterous House, and that the Senate always works for a consensus. Yet this betrays the very basis of these two chambers where the primary difference is in the weight each state is given in a decision. The majority still rules, or should rule, while the minority is protected, and that does not require a 60 vote super majority to pass every item of legislation including approving Presidential appointments. Reid’s failure to enact meaningful filibuster change, demonstrates that he is not interested in truly legislating, but in playing political games and the time for this is long, long, long, past.

Some Democrats (including Reid?) fear loss of the filibuster, because whenever the tables are turned and the Republicans are in power, the Democrats will want to use the filibuster to obstruct. This is the political game and strategy that continues to harm the American People and our society. This is the same thinking that keeps pushing the hard decisions further and further down the way, rather than addressing them in meaningful ways such that our “tomorrow” is better than “today.”

I am in no way opposed to the Democrats controlling our government. I am a progressive through and through, but I believe the way to actually maintain that control is by actually leading through meaningful legislation, rather than try and protect an obstructionist tool you might need at some point down the road.

Reid’s action supports the fractious two parties and take control away from the American people and their ability to control government through their right to vote. I would go so far as to say that Reid’s efforts are just as dangerous to individual voting rights as the GOP’s efforts to inhibit access to the polls.

How does his efforts hurt the American people and their voting power? In a real democracy- a government for the people and by the people- our elected official serve because the American people believe they are better suited to accomplish that task than their competitor in the other party. If however, Reid and others spend more time protecting power than legislating, those who seek real progressive change have no real voice. Thy can not vote out a Democrat for fear of losing the Democrat’s control, or they must vote for the other party. This is one reason why more gay and lesbian support for the GOP- because many do not believe the Democrats are doing enough for LGBT Rights, and they have no other choice but to support the opponents even when the opponents seem to offer no better options .

The GOP wins of 2010 were so large partly as a conservative backlash to the Democrat victories of 2008. This is somewhat normal. But the size of the GOP wins were unprecedented. This was partly due to the failure of Democrats to seek real Health Care change via a public option. Democrats as well as Republicans were outraged at the failure of Congress, and there was no recluse except to try and unseat as many of them as possible. Democrats can avoid this by actually legislating rather trying to protect the Party’s interests over those of the American People.

Government is a process of compromise and listening to the other side so that a true majority are benefitted. But when there is a failure to meet compromise so that the status quo continues and nothing but a super majority can move legislation forward, the American People, and Democracy itself are harmed.

Reid must go, and the democratic voting power of the American People returned as the means by which our government is made and controlled.

 

 

Image: By DonkeyHotey

One Comment

  1. Ried is a crybaby with a dirty diaper

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