More Red State fail:
President Obama and Senate Democrats have recently floated the idea that it’s time to get rid of the filibuster. So the argument goes, the filibuster is an anti-democratic obstacle that prevents good government and rule by the will of the people.
It’s a valid point.
Come to think of it, the Senate is chock-full of anti-democratic anachronisms. First off, two senators represent each state, regardless of population. What happened to one person, one vote?
And six-year, staggered terms: what’s up with that? It’s another feature that seems designed to make the Senate independent of the will of the people.
So, what do you have if you take the Senate and strip away its anachronistic anti-democratic features? The filibuster, staggered six-year terms, and disproportionate representation?
You have the House of Representatives.
The voters have spoken. Republicans will control the next House by 242-193.
If that proportion translated to the Senate, Republicans would have an advantage of 56-44.
Democrats owe their current majority in the Senate to those anachronistic features that put some difference between the body and the will of the people.
The bottom line is this: the Senate was never intended to be a democratic body, a reflection of one man, one vote. It is a deliberative body, and a consensus-building body. The filibuster has an important role to play in making that possible.
Shorter Red State- “We don’t know the difference between things spelled out in the Constitution and Amendments and rules the Senate makes to run their body.”
This isn’t rocket surgery- Article 1, Section III (modified with the 17th amendment), lays out that there will be two Senators from each state, broken into different classes to stagger the terms. Article 1, Section V, discusses the ability for each chamber to create and maintain Rules of Proceedings. It gets trickier from there (I’m still shocked how few people read Congress Matters, which really is one DKOS’s greatest contributions, IMHO), with extant Senate rules determining how rules change from term to term, but the basics are clear. The Constitution specifically states who is to make up the Senate and how their terms are supposed to run, and it also specifically states that the Senate gets to make up their own rules, which could include the filibuster, or, you know, if they choose, not include the filibuster.