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Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander has no official statement on the issue of the Senate rule change.  The people of Tennesee need to express their concerns to him quickly and appropriately.

His web-site email page is http://alexander.senate.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=Contact.Home

Tell him where you stand and why.  My letter to him is as follows:

To my esteemed Senator, Lamar Alexander,

 I am a small business owner, married with no children, living in the city of Cookeville in the great state of Tennessee. I am 32 years old and have therefore no remembrance of my home state that does not involve you and your leadership. The people of Tennessee have always supported you because as a leader and statesman, you have kept the interest of your state and its people always at the fore. It is to our credit, as a state and as Americans that we have chosen a representative of the highest order to participate in the government of all this nations people. It is because I know that you are a man of principle and intelligence that I write to encourage you not to vote for
changing the rules of the Senate in order to by-pass the filibuster as regards judicial nomination. I understand that you are most likely under a great deal of pressure from your side of the aisle to participate in the rule change. One of the reasons I am writing is the hope that I might somehow help to offset that pressure at least a little.

 Just a few notes about what is going on now as I see it:

1. Republicans hold 55 of the seats in the chamber, and until now they have needed 60 votes to end debate and force a vote. But Republicans believe they have figured out how to use the chamber's rules so that only a simple majority -- 51 votes -- is required to force an up-or-down vote.*

60 votes to end debate is what has always been required. The logic of that is plain: Debate is healthy for a democracy. The current system requires that representatives MUST find common ground. This enforced cooperation made Senator Henry Clay famous in our textbooks. Is his willingness to see compromise as the fundamental aspect of our government no longer to be held as example to our citizens?

 2. Republicans will have to evade a requirement that they have a two- thirds vote -- 67 of 100 senators -- to change the chamber's rules. Republicans will argue that they are attempting to set a precedent, not change the Senate rules, to disallow the use of filibusters as a delaying tactic on judicial nominations.

 *Why are some Senators trying to give their own individual voice less power and impact? The continuing responsibility of those who serve in this great system of our is to be stewards of this great nation and to the principles and laws that govern it. What this rule change does, Senator, is lessen the power of the office of Senator of the Great State of Tennessee. The extent to which our voice is represented, through you, by this office, was set down by our founding fathers as a reaction to having had no voice as a people or peoples with their own previous
government. Please fight any act that seeks to weaken or restrain the power of that office.

 3. A report last month by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service asserted that "the point of a 'nuclear' or 'constitutional' option is to achieve changes in Senate procedure by using means that lie outside the Senate's normal rules of procedure." *

 *If it takes an Enron-stlye creativity to make this rule change
happen, it is clearly not within the intentions of the framers of this democracy. A Republican appointed parliamentarian, Alan Frumin, says that his understanding of the proposed method by which the rule change is to be made is in itself breaking the rules. There is simply no argument to be made that this is somehow a clarification of the intent of the framers of our government.

 Senator, please take the moral stance on this issue and defend the integrity and effectiveness of our government. Protect our voice from being lessened by means-to-an-end approach to governing. Safeguard us from the danger of power consolidation and amplification. Speak for the idea that this country was founded with the understanding that all of us are at one time or another, in the minority. Know that you never stand alone when you stand for our nation and its guiding principles.

With honor to you, Senator Lamar Alexander, and the office which you hold,

Jeffrey D. Lee
Owner- Ornament Boutique

Originally posted to xs pants on Wed May 18, 2005 at 11:54 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sadly, ALexander is going along (none)
    He has declared himself, but not loudly. I have a letter from him dated late April that goes on about the crisis of empty judicial seats, the up-or-down, the yada-yada.

    He was on the staff of Howard Baker when the Republicans filibustered Abe Fortas in 1968, so he damned well ought to know better.

    Still, we should make him feel the heat!

    Talk doesn't cook rice -- Chinese Proverb

    by OldYellerDog on Wed May 18, 2005 at 12:06:49 PM PDT

    •  That's too bad (none)
      It's a shame he's going along with it. I probably don't agree with Sen. Alexander on much, but I always had the impression that he was a principled man, and not a special interests whore.  Regardless, thank you, xs, for posting the letter.  It's a wonderful letter, very strong but very respectful too, something he'd be likely to listen to and take to heart.  Maybe it'll make him think twice about nuking the filibuster.  
  •  Alexander was in Chattanooga last week (none)
    talking to Red Bank High School students.  Basically, he disparraged the Democrats and went on about how important and wonderful these judicial nominees are.  He makes me sick, so many people think of Alexander as a nice guy, but he is so lame.  
    Last February, I and a few others were invited through Moveon.org and Pirg to talk with the Senator about the energy bill.  Well, I was excited thinking Alexander was more progressive and fair than I ever imagined.  First, he did not show up and his bored little aides sat there expressionless and listened to us.  Secondly, he was promoting himself for an award by the American Lung Assn. and wanted to seem fair and bipartisan. Third, he voted for ANWR.  He is all sizzle and so little steak.  Hope his air quality in Maryville becomes toxic from the coal fired plants around the area.  Reap what you sow, Lamar.
  •  Well, I'll be darned............ (none)
    When I called his office this morning and asked his position, the telephone jockey told me that the Senator had no position as yet.  I hope this shows that he is hedging.  Anyway, tomorrow I will call and use the above information to again question about the Senators stance.
     I think that its really ironic that as soon as the internet comes along and makes politics and governance reasonably approachable for the even the commonest of folks, such as myself, their are those who are snatching the whole process away from us.  In other words, if these werent such dangerous days, all of this would be really fun.

    "Democracy is a form of worship. It is the worship of jackals by jackasses." --H.L. Mencken

    by xs pants on Wed May 18, 2005 at 04:23:25 PM PDT

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