Friday, 01 August 2014 00:00 GFP Columnist - Jack Random
The Honorable Harry Reid
United States Senator for the State of Nevada
Majority Leader of the United States Senate

Dear Sir: 

At long last you took a decisive step in curtailing the power of the filibuster in the United States Senate.  We are not impressed. 

In ending the filibuster for presidential appointments to the bench you finally did what the party of opposition would have done in a New York minute.  Had you ended the filibuster as a tool of obstruction to legislation I might be more inclined to applaud.  Had you ended the filibuster during Obama’s first term, preferably in the first year, I would sing your praises to the mountaintops. 

Consider what might have been accomplished:  the right to organize in the workplace, a long overdue raise in minimum wage, labor and environmental protection in trade policy, a Put America to Work program rebuilding our antiquated infrastructure, a comprehensive mass transit and alternative energy program, immigration reform, the Dream Act, an expanded voting rights act, common sense gun control, on and on. 

I am no fool.  I know that too many Democrats and their corporate sponsors wanted the cover of Republican obstructionism as an excuse not to act.  I suspect you are one of them.  Just don’t expect us to applaud because you took one little step for democracy in the royal halls of the United States Senate.  It is far too modest and much too late. 

The only virtue of the Senate today is that states (unlike congressional districts) cannot be gerrymandered; they can only be distorted by disenfranchisement.  It is past time we struck down all the antiquated, aristocratic protocols of the Senate.  The British stripped away the power of the Lords ages ago.

When the Republican leaders warned that you would pay a price, you should have replied:  Go ahead, make my day! 

Jack Random

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