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