On one hand I am glad to see that the Senate is dealing with the issue of filibusters; I am not surprised that they made “modest” changes because I am glad to see they are beginning to deal with the issue of governing.
There is also going to be a showdown over the issue of recess appointments and it will be left to the Supreme Court to decide. This is another issue that needs to be dealt with and it will be.
The reality is that sometimes, over time, traditions develop that become something they were never intended to be.
I also think we need to deal with what positions within the executive branch that now require Senate confirmations and which ones do not. To make the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives a position requiring Senate confirmation was a political gift to the NRA and has no other logic. This needs to change.
The confirmation of political appointments and the whole confirmation process is one that needs revamping. There needs to be some sort of time requirement between when an appointment is made to when a vote is taken; there needs to be an up-or-down vote as they say and it needs to be timely.
These are all issues that I believe need resolutions as they are issues of governance rather than politics and as such they do not favor one party over the other.
Now, we also have to deal with some “pet” Republican issues that are at the core of why I cannot stand the Republican Party. There is a “divine right” to rule vein within the Republican Party that is very undemocratic. It was evident in Romney’s “47 Percent” comment and it was quite evident in the GWB/Dick Cheney/Tom Delay era. It is the fundamental gene of the Republican DNA: They have an utter disdain for “the people.” It’s also the biggest reason I really cannot comprehend, nor acknowledge the sincerity of libertarians, small government believers, and classical conservatives, who support the Republicans and or operate under the banner of the Republican Party.
These issues are:
Voter Registration/Voter Suppression
As the leading democracy in the world it is imperative that our elections are free, fair, and accessible to all eligible voters. The reality is that voter suppression is a much bigger problem in the United States than voter fraud is.
The Republicans have really knocked themselves out in 2012 to do everything they can do to limit the right to vote and limit the access to voting of the citizens.
The issue of dividing up voting districts to favor one party over another is one that is as old as this country is. Over the last 10 years the Republicans have used it almost exclusively and have turned it into an art form. I am not even going to attempt to discuss the issue but believe that anyone interested in this issue and or concerned about it should read the following two articles:
The Republican Party is now attempting to devise a system to turn gerrymandering into a base from which to control the election process of our President. They want to claim that the winner takes all basis of our electoral college system favors the Democrats and skews the results of an election. Thus they are attempting to, in those states with Republican Governors and State Houses to revert to a system where Electoral College votes would be based on Congressional districts; which would favor the Republicans and rural, less populated areas.
Why not advocate for doing away with the Electoral College altogether and let the election of our President be by popular vote only?
Republicans You Are Looking Bad
To me these issues go against the basic tenets of our constitution and our shared principles. They smack of arrogance and always lead to a faint scent of tyranny. While Bobby Jindal is making an impassioned speech in front of the public for an end to “the stupidity” and while Marco Rubio is paraded around as a token example of Republican inclusiveness, in the back room the power brokers of the party are busy planning how to circumvent our representative democracy.
Then stop the tactics of suppressing democracy.