When I was a kid and we were deciding what games to play and how to play them, our slogan was "the majority rules." That constant and lofty principle ranked right up there with "loser walks" after a touchdown in sandlot football. The bullies and the brats who stamped their feet to get their way did not make the rules. We carried the concept of majority rule into our adult lives and assumed it applied to government as well, but apparently that is no longer the case. Some of our elected representatives would bring down this country in pursuit of their own jihad. The majority no longer rules, and we are all losers as a result. When have we ever had a statute enacted when so many legislators voted their approval and simultaneously voiced their disapproval? The country is in a state of despair -- and for good reason. The stock market has obviously given the debt-ceiling "compromise" and the debate leading up to it a flunking grade as has Standard & Poor's.
Wiser voices have spoken about the consequences of the legislation saving the country from its credit default. I am interested and concerned with the process. The undisputed fact is that a minority of the country has taken over its control. Although the cabal may not share blood oaths or secret handshakes, they have their intractable pledges and fanaticism that makes them willing to destroy this country's and possibly the world's economy to achieve their ends. By holding up a vote on what had been a traditional rubber stamp for decades by both political parties to raise the debt limit, they sought to extort compliance with their own demands irrespective of the destruction that might ensue if their demands were not met. This conduct strikes at the very foundations of our democracy and the future of our country.
The same is true of the use, or rather the abuse, of the filibuster rule and need for a super-majority. The filibuster rule was enacted and reserved for those rare occasions when the minority was so incensed or outraged by legislation or appointments proposed by the majority or the president that it used this rule to defeat them. For years, an actual filibuster was required. Now, no one need stand in the well of the Senate and actually filibuster, the mere threat is sufficient, and the rule is used in a trivial manner to defeat or delay virtually all important legislation or appointments proposed by the majority. (I have previously expressed my ambivalence over the survival of 60 vote rule.) ...