May I just quickly express my OWN frustration with the Senate? I know I am adding my opinion to the ranks of those who are much better informed about the issue – but from what I’ve heard, I’m pissed, too.
Hey, just because you’re jumping on the bandwagon doesn’t mean you can’t also agree with what they’re touting.
For those who are my political idiot kinfolk, I’ll summarize in laymen’s terms: the senate has been at a standstill for far too long because of outdated precedents and procedures. The rules don’t fit the times anymore, kiddies. I read George Packer’s article in the August 9 issue of The New Yorker yesterday, and he reiterated (reinforcing perhaps our mutual annoyance) something I had heard elsewhere: in recent years of senate history, both the number of filibusters and clotures has risen extremely quickly.
(Study break! Filibuster = a senator has unlimited debate time, and so can hold the floor talking nonsense for as long as they wish, in order to delay a vote on a bill they don’t want voted on. Cloture = when the senate overrides this senator’s right to continue debate by a 60 person vote.)
So, if Senator Joe Schmoe doesn’t like what the folks across the aisle (political jargon for the physical and ideological divide between Democrat and Republican – though from what I understand, there IS actually an aisle) are proposing, they can talk themselves blue in the face until the opponent gets pissed off enough to just give up, and withdraw the proposed bill.
I don’t know about you, but it would take about a half hour of some dude in a suit reading the telephone book before I lost any sense of patience and propriety. And how is our “elite” legislative body supposed to pass useful laws if all it does is bicker and carry out various acts of passive aggression?
How very, very annoying. These chaps need a good spanking.