As much as I rail on Leftists here and elsewhere, I still consider myself a fair man. I will give credit where and when it’s due, much to the chagrin of people rooting for one party or the other. As much as it pains me to say, sometimes Leftists come up with good ideas.
Of course, what I’m about to write about isn’t one of them.
Since President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better bill is DOA in the Senate (that is Debunked On Arrival) thanks to 50 Senators and West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin, Leftists have been fuming. How could one man hold up such important legislation, all the while ignoring the other fifty fucking Senators? In fact, some, including Vox senior correspondent Ian Millhiser have gone so far as to suggest the Senate needs to be reformed, if not done away with completely.
So, let’s take a trip to Washington, DC, and figure out what all the yelling’s about, shall we?
What the Left thinks it means – a body of government with archaic rules and practices that doesn’t represent America and is full of corrupt politicians
What it really means – a body of government that political focuses on theater rather than actual progress
I’m not going to go into a deep history of the Senate because a) you probably already know it, and b) I don’t want you to fall asleep. The Reader’s Digest Condensed Version is the Founding Fathers wanted to create two bodies in the Legislative Branch to address citizens’ concerns, one designed to capture most of the concerns and draft legislation, and one designed to debate the merits (or lack thereof) of the legislation the House sends its way.
So, how’s that working out in 2021? Not so well. Due to the precarious balance of power we’ve seen in the past couple of decades, neither Democrats nor Republicans have been able to establish a secure foothold over control of the Senate for more than a few years. Thus, gridlock has become the norm. And, instead of working across the aisle to find common ground, the Senate has become a rowdy elementary school playground with expense accounts.
And it’s not much nicer outside the Beltway. Just look at Joe Manchin’s Twitter mentions. Without the confines of cordiality Senators try to maintain since the Senators might need to, you know, work together, anything goes, especially online. (On a side note, is it possible to include any more commas in one sentence?) People are emboldened to Tweet first, ask questions never, which makes them look brave to the people who agree with them and assholish to the people who disagree with them. And some of that same attitude has found its way into the Senate where you’re more likely to find civility at an ANTIFA rally than within those hallowed halls.
But just like the relative that gets drunk at the family Christmas and pukes in the flower pot, the Senate is a mess, but it’s our mess so we cut it some slack. One of the ways the Left wants to fix the mess is to add more states and, thus, add more Senators. More specifically, Leftist Senators. It’s a similar approach the Left wants to apply to the US Supreme Court as a means to increase their power base. And they both have the same flaw: the next time a Republican wins, it allows him or her to reciprocate, thus undercutting the Left’s power. Of course, Leftists are the smartest people in the room, provided the room is empty and there are no single-celled organisms present, so they haven’t figured this part out yet. I remain hopeful, though, that they’ll figure it out before the turn of the millennium or before they cause real damage to the country.
Needless to say, I’m not holding my breath waiting on the latter.
To be fair, I do agree the Senate rules need some tweaking, namely with the filibuster. In the old days, Senators actually had to stand in the well of the Senate and talk the entire time, not just threaten it to get what they wanted. Think Wendy “Abortion Barbie” Davis, but without cute shoes the Left fawn over. On the down side, it would require some Senators to talk endlessly (which they do anyway), but on the plus side it would cut down on anything actually getting done. So, six of one…
Overall, though, I feel the Senate as an institution is pretty good. It’s just the people who are currently in it that’s the problem. Adding more Senators won’t fix it and will only exacerbate it. (Of course, that’s what the Left usually wants, so it’s nothing new.) What will fix it is us being a little pickier when it comes to Senate candidates. Party politics be damned. What good is a Senator who votes the party line and yet is a blithering idiot? That’s how we got in this fucking mess in the first place! Since the Senate is supposed to be the more deliberative body, we need to be electing smarter Senators.
And, yes, that requires us to be smarter, too, so we can weed out the bullshit artists and find the deep thinkers. You may disagree or even dislike them, but we could use a few more Rand Pauls and Ted Cruzes and a lot fewer Marco Rubios and Dick Durbins because the former have the brains to think through the implications of legislation while the latter are too busy doing what their respective parties say without question. While my suggestion is the harder route, it will bring the Senate back to at least some respectability and ultimately produce better results.
If you need further encouragement, let me say one thing: Senator Alexandria Ocasio Cortez. With the way things are now, it’s a realistic possibility in our lifetimes if we’re not careful.
As for the Leftists complaining about how unfair the Senate is because California and Wyoming have the same number of Senators, we already have a body that is based on population. It’s called the House of Representatives, and given the idiots that comprise it right now, we don’t need to make another one. One is bad enough, no matter what Dick Van Patten says.