Tim McMullen's Missives and Tomes

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Clean House in the Senate: Fix the Filibuster!

Here is the latest letter that I e-mailed to my Senators:

"The Greatest Threat to Democracy is Hypocrisy!
  Seek Truth! Speak Truth!" Tim McMullen

The tyranny of the majority is a real threat, especially in this age when infotainment and partisan polemical "gotcha' gossip" has replaced news reporting; when public service and "equal time" has been eliminated from the "public airwaves"; when out of context snippets and sound bites get deliberately distorted to become never-ending falsehoods used to smear opponents. Clearly, the framers of the constitution were very wise to create checks and balances to protect the helpless minority from the ruthless majority.

In politics, however, an even greater threat has emerged, the tyranny of the minority. In California, since Prop. 13, where a simple majority vote imposed a supermajority threshold to pass budgets and raise taxes, gridlock and petty political pandering has created crisis after crisis in this once great and solvent state.

More importantly, in the Senate of the United States of America, since the election of President Barack Obama, the Republican minority has converted the quaint and sparingly used "filibuster" coupled with the practice of "secret holds" to absolutely subvert the process of governing.

As both a constituent and supporter, I am urging you, as vehemently as I can, to help get Congress working again for the American people. Reduce the hypocritical tyranny of the minority by bringing common sense to the filibuster.

I know that some are calling for the complete elimination of the filibuster, but I do not. I value the moral imperative romanticized in "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington" or actualized in Senator Bernie Sander's gallant filibuster against the ill-advised and unproductive "tax deal" extracted from the President by Republican extortion.

Therefore, I call on you to vote to alter the implementation of the filibuster when the new Congress convenes in January. Eliminate the ability of the minority to prevent necessary legislation and nominations from even being discussed in the Senate.

Governance and legislation should be the result of principled debate and compromise not petty, partisan, procedural ploys.

We need to restore the concept of the "loyal opposition" by reducing the ability of a politically motivated few to thwart the needs of the many. Fix the filibuster NOW! Then, work to eliminate the abuse of the secret hold.

As always, thank you for supporting people over profits, integrity over iniquity, honesty over hypocrisy.

Tim McMullen

P.S.: I did not send along the picture of "Bijou, the Dog of Democracy," but perhaps I should have.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Note to the President: Resurrect Reagan's Response

"The Greatest Threat to Democracy is Hypocrisy! Seek Truth! Speak Truth!" Tim McMullen

Political hostage-taking and economic terrorism by the Republican minority who seek to ravage social programs while increasing corporate and military giveaways under an "austerity" regime have been wrong for twelve years as they have devastated our economy. Addressing the bank-created foreclosure fiasco, health costs, unemployment, crumbling infrastructure, alternative energy, education, worker's protections can, on the other hand, spur the economy and reduce unemployment.

There are many areas in which compromise can produce positive results, and if the Republicans come to the table willing to work for the common good, then immediate progress can be made. If, on the other hand, they continue to kowtow to the Tea Party obsessions with decimating the public sector and destroying government while transferring all economic wealth and political power to the corporatocracy and decimating the rights and fortunes of the working class, they should be opposed and thwarted absolutely.

We have seen where four years of capitulating to their obstinance got us. Now we need to put forth solid, reasonable proposals, including cuts and increased revenue, that will get us moving after eight years of foolish, ideological economic failure followed by four years of politically-imposed and politically-motivated stagnation. Cutting or privatizing programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, programs that have worked for many decades, could not be more ill-advised.

The American people said it across this country in the recent election. Join us, Mr. President. When they come with their threats to drive us off the cliff if we don't give them everything on their wish list, answer them with the immortal words of their idol, Ronald Reagan. "Just say, 'NO!'"