The United States Senate is our national shame. It was founded on the elitist notion that a people’s house would be subject to passions that the “upper” house would need to calm. Ironically, rather than be the intellectual bedrock that the founders envisioned, the Senate has evolved into an institutional roadblock which elevates the voices of the ignorant and makes a joke of the notion that anyone would ever consider this country a true representative democracy.
As long as a deep blue state like California only gets two Senators to represent its 36 million residents (vs. blood-red Wyonng who gets an equal number of senators for its half million residents), I don’t think it’s enough to have Democratic Senators like Dianne Feinstein who brag that complaints from the left “doesn’t move [her] one whit”. When it comes to counting votes for progressive legislation, I want a crazy-ass liberal who make Dennis Kucinich look like Barry Goldwater. Somebody whose liberal bona fides are so golden, no one would ever think to question whether or not they’d support a reasonably progressive agenda.
I’m getting really sick of sitting on the sidelines while people die because there are too many tiny state idiots in the Senate who actually believe their own bullshit (taxation is socialism, global warming is a myth, stem cell research is murder, etc.) . Even worse, the best our side can come us with is a bunch of more-or-less tenured cynics who dare not try to accomplish anything significant because they’ve been around so long they realize “the way Washington works” is to not do any work at all.
This goes far beyond right and left. I’m perfectly willing to have a reasonable debate and try to come to a consensus. Taxing emissions vs. cap and trade? A public option vs. a non-profit co-op? Cool, let’s find out the basics on where we agree and hash out the details on the rest. That’s the way things are supposed to work, but it’s increasingly hard to stay optimistic when it becomes ever clearer that “their” side isn’t bargaining in good faith and “our” side doesn’t share my values.
But, hey, there’s another election next year. Maybe THEN we’ll get something done.