My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Quick Thought on "Protecting the Minority"

One of the arguments that has been thrown about in recent weeks in support of the filibuster as a Senatorial tactic is that the Framers intended for the Senate to "protect the rights of the minority", and that the filibuster is one means of protecting the minority.

But as anyone who has read even a little of the history of the Constitutional Convention knows, the means the framers employed to protect the minority was to give each state an equal number of votes in the Senate. In point of fact, this was an issue of some great debate, as the Convention was concerned that an organized group of Senators who represent only a minority of the VOTERS could force their will upon the majority opinion of the Union by maintaining a majority in the Senate. The Framers never once spoke of a filibuster; indeed, I suspect that the idea of protecting a minority of SENATORS would have been laughable and absurd to them.

When someone makes the argument that the filibuster preserves the rights of the minority, what they are revealing is the unbelievable arrogance of the Senate. The idea that Constitutional questions should settled by protecting the rights of 49 or fewer people when the people of the country have already expressed their will in that regard by relegating those 49 to the minority is an idea that needs to be held up to the light and roundly criticized.

If the Republicans in the Senate cannot manage to break the filibuster this year, they will deserve to fall back to minority status--what good is a ten-vote majority if you can't accomplish anything?

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