Monday, March 07, 2005

Taxation without representation 

The New Yorker's invaluable Hendrik Herzberg points out:

Well, if each of every state’s two senators is taken to represent half that state’s population, then the Senate’s fifty-five Republicans represent 131 million people, while its forty-four Democrats represent 161 million. Looked at another way, the present Senate is the product of three elections, those of 2000, 2002, and 2004. In those elections, the total vote for Democratic senatorial candidates, winning and losing, was 99.7 million; for Republicans it was 97.3 million. The forty-four-person Senate Democratic minority, therefore, represents a two-million-plus popular majority—a circumstance that, unless acres trump people, is at variance with common-sense notions of democracy. So Democrats, as democrats, need not feel too terribly guilty about engaging in a spot of filibustering from time to time.

A majority that, since the Republicans have trampled on the Constitution to produce a parliamentary style government, where the "minority" (at least in terms of seats) has not procedural rights whatever, is no effective representation whatever.

So, bring on the nuclear option. So what if the Senate grinds to a halt? It's bring a halt to the craziness the Republicans are trying to pull. As Harry Reid says, what's wrong with obstructing destructionists?

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