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Friday, March 23, 2018

Either Get Rid of the House or the Filibuster:

The House of Representatives under our current formulation is utterly powerless.  It doesn't matter who has the majority in the House, because for any bill to pass, it must also pass the Senate.

Since it's practically impossible for either party to amass 60 senators to override a filibuster, essentially all bills are passed by a bipartisan compromise in the senate approved of by both the Democratic and Republican Senate.  Where does this leave any room for the House of Representatives?  They are simply presented with the compromise and told to take it or leave it.  Whether the House is Democratic or Republican, all they can do is go along with the offered compromise or shut the government down.

Since government shutdowns are a ludicrous way to run a country neither side wants to do that, so the House must always eventually back down and accept the Senate compromise.

The House also lacks any other vital function.  Judge and cabinet appointments are with the advice and consent of the Senate, not the House.  Impeachment requires a 2/3 majority of the Senate, all the House can do is bark, only the Senate can actually remove a sitting official from office.

The Senate is also required to validate treaties, but the House has no role in this either.  The constitution gives essentially no authority to the House from start to finish.

All the House can do is sit on the sidelines and occasionally rubber stamp whatever Senate compromise Republicans and Democrats come up with every year.

If not for the filibuster, one could imagine the Senate having to compromise with the House to get a bill passed, but since the bottleneck is always the threat of a Senate filibuster, the House has no leverage in any negotiation.  If one side can guarantee a bill will never pass without their approval, the other only has the option to shut down the government or surrender.

Because the Senate and the House are elected in different manners, it's possible for one side to be majority Republican and the other majority Democrat.  This would be relevant if not for the filibuster, which says that having 40 senators is just as good as having 59.  Since the filibuster is already a check and balance on whoever has the majority at the moment, the House can't materially affect things any further.

Why do we even have a House?  All legislation is essentially concocted in the Senate based on filibuster negotiations.  It's the Senate version of every bill that passes, not the House version.  The House has no other vital function like approving judges.  I just don't see the point.  Are they just there to make grand speeches and posture for the public?  What are they getting paid for?

I think the filibuster rule, which was invented out of thin air and has no basis in the constitution, is poisoning our democracy and making it impossible for anyone to achieve anything -- Democrat or Republican.  Of course, judges just ruling everything to be unconstitutional on no basis and no precedent has already completely undermined our democracy.  And on top of that, our lying mainstream media has left people so uninformed that democracy is already essentially meaningless, because people can't even vote in their own interests anymore, because they have no idea what's going on and can only do as they're told by their media overlords.  (See Alabama, the reddest state in the country, voting against Roy Moore because of pure media lies.)

Democracy in America is a joke.  It's impossible to achieve anything through elections, because the system has been compromised six ways to Sunday.  The best you can do via elections is stop monsters like Hillary from taking power, but no positive changes are possible.  All you can do is slightly slow down the negative trends and kick the can of societal collapse down the road a bit.

Two years into Trump's term, we still have no wall, no restrictions on legal immigration, no deportations of illegals.  The one thing I wanted from our President I didn't get, and all because we deferred to this unconstitutional filibuster rule.  We had the House, the Senate, and the Presidency.  We could have completely revolutionized America and changed it completely into our image.  Instead we did nothing, muttering about the Senate's traditions and how it would be bad to go against tradition.  Well excuse me for wanting positive change in our government, I guess if that would violate tradition than obviously tradition must always take precedence.

A tradition that dates all the way back to the hallowed days of the 1970's.  Clearly the country must be sacrificed for something as sacred as that.

Now we're going to lose the midterms miserably, because Trump didn't deliver on any of his promises and voters will be too cynical to bother supporting him again.  And we'd better hope Democrats honor this wonderful filibuster tradition as much as we have, because soon we'll be utterly powerless and they will control all three branches of government.  'Use it or lose it,' is a phrase that comes to mind.  We gave Republicans total power and they chose not to use it, breaking all of their campaign promises for the sake of a meaningless Senate rule.  Well, next we'll give Democrats total power and see how they do.

Americans want change.  They want reform.  They do not want endless government shutdowns and paralysis.  The filibuster rule creates chaos and paralysis.  We voted for change.  First with Obama -- "Hope and Change."  Then with Trump, "Make America Great Again."  Both times we made very clear to our government that we were not happy with the status quo and wanted to see massive shifts from the current regime.  Both times the administrations were mired in bureaucratic paralysis and ended up doing very little one way or the other, all because of the Senate filibuster.

Our whole country has been brought to its knees, the voters ignored, the sovereign people disenfranchised, all for this stupid Senate process that was invented out of thin air, for God knows what reason, and subsequently abused further and further until now we're at a complete standstill.  Nothing at all can be done without it being immediately and continuously filibustered.  There is no other democracy on Earth with this insane system.  No country can function or exist with this stupid filibuster rule.  And yet it just goes on and on, poisoning everything, year after year after year.

What a masochistic, insouciant, suicidal country we are.  It's so laughably stupid there's no point even caring any more.  We deserve absolutely every single thing that happens to us.

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