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Today we were presented with one more reason why the un-democratic filibuster has to go. 56 senators out of 100 voted to move ahead with the annual defense authorization bill, including allowing the repeal of the wasteful, discriminatory Don't Ask Don't Tell policy that endangers our national security by kicking out qualified troops. But 56 out of 100 wasn't enough, under Senate rules. That's just crazy.

If you want a more detailed writeup on why the filibuster has to go when the Senate rules window is open briefly in January, I can't do better than this 2009 piece by Thomas Geoghegan. Now what do we do about it? More after the jump.

My suggestion is to direct some dollars to three low-population states where our money can have the most impact in helping three Senate candidates -- two of them support filibuster reform and the third probably will. (California has about 50 times the population of Delaware or Alaska, and there are about 30-some times as many voters to reach in California as in New Hampshire.)

The 2 who definitely support filibuster reform are Paul Hodes in New Hampshire and Chris Coons in Delaware. The one who probably will is Scott McAdams in Alaska.

(There's a lot more detail -- including an FAQ -- in my initial diary on this from last week.)

Here's my ActBlue page for these 3 potential filibuster-enders.

Originally posted to Ben Turner on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 04:13 PM PDT.

Poll

Which bill blocked by Republican filibusters would you most like to see passed?

17%12 votes
14%10 votes
8%6 votes
4%3 votes
26%18 votes
24%17 votes
4%3 votes

| 69 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (7+ / 0-)

    http://specterwatch.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/BenHbgPa

    by BenPA on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 04:13:43 PM PDT

  •  They need to get rid of it (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnB47, drawingporno

    or just get rid of the senate entirely (my personal choice).

    And when we ask you why, you raise your sticks and cry and we fall.

    by Ninbyo on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 04:17:30 PM PDT

    •  Just a explanation I should have included. (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JohnB47, phonegery, bear83, Judge Moonbox

      The Senate is the most undemocratic institution laid out in the Constitution. The Supreme Court is pretty undemocratic as well, but would be less of an issue if the confirmations were held only by the much more democratic House. As a Californian resident it is galling to see stuff held up like the last 2 years or so by someone who represents a literal fraction of the population compared to my state. The disparity wasn't 30 to 1 back in 1790, which may explain why they thought it was a good idea then. Right now however, the over representation has gotten far out of hand, further exacerbated by the fact that all these rural states are held lock by the same party.

      •  I live in PA, so I can sympathize (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnB47, Judge Moonbox

        Of course, the imbalance is even worse if you live somewhere like CA or NY, but it definitely grinds my gears that votes cast for Senate in Utah and Mississippi count way more than my vote or yours.

        Filibuster reform would at least be a big step in the right direction. I can't see 2/3 of the Senate voting away the 1-state, 2-votes system in the Constitution that advantages most of their states. But we damn sure ought to be able to have a simple majority of the Senate pass some progressive bills!

        http://specterwatch.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/BenHbgPa

        by BenPA on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 04:38:19 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's there for a good reason... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JohnB47

        too much Democracy is equally dangerous.  

        What would be useful would be to double the number of Representatives and Senators.  That way not so much wealth could be focused on a few individuals.  Representatives and Senators would have smaller constituencies and it would be more likely that coalitions could be formed with groups of people in parties other than R and D.

  •  Elaine Marshall would make (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JohnB47, We Won

    4 good choices

    I'm just an ant in the army of the Amateur Left

    by eeff on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 05:31:32 PM PDT

  •  I like it. Has anyone computed the percent (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Judge Moonbox

    of the nation's voters that are represented by the forty percent of the senate stalling this? May their lives be plagued by wet dreams that turn into bed wetting.

  •  Wish poll had Public Option. (0+ / 0-)

    True, the question was "What BILL..." and the Public Option wasn't a bill. Still, it was killed because the Republican refusal to give the health care bill an Up or Down vote allowed the Joe Liebermans to really mess it up.

    Greg McKendry, Linda Kraeger, Dr. George Tiller, Steven Johns. Victims of Wingnut violence

    by Judge Moonbox on Tue Sep 21, 2010 at 07:01:02 PM PDT

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