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07 August 2011

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Hoss

Perhaps he thinks the upper house in India and the Senate in the US are similar bodies.

Margaret Imber

Actually, it's how the citizens of Montana and Arizona, atypical minorities, rule the rest of us.

John Minnerath

"Actually, it's how the citizens of Montana and Arizona, atypical minorities, rule the rest of us."

Say what ?!?

I'm from Wyoming and like other low population states we're forced to follow and abide by screw ball decisions and legislation passed by the big population centers and their messes!

jonst

As long as the filibuster is to be employed like it is now this kind of talk will continue. Indeed, it will, I believe, escalate, dramatically. Something has to give...you either have to go back to the way the filibuster used to be employed...or get ready to have the vast majority of the population begin to complain they are not being listened to. Personally, I prefer the system the way it was for the most of the 20th century. But if a minority of the population begins to be PERCEIVED, anyway, as dominating the discourse..you will have trouble.

J

How did FZ garner a spot on CNN? Why are they keeping him on? Is he that popular, and if so in what circles besides the elitestas?

graywolf

Doesn't this annoying little punk have a country to go to?

Matthew

So who is going to be Sulla? We can at least agree that Washingtonians literally hate the people (meaning "us") that they govern.

JMH

Correct, he should stick to foreign policy. BTW, last time I checked, it was the Senate that was acting as the reasonable body. With the vast majority of the population living on the coasts, fly over country only has the power in the House that the rest of us are willing to give them.

Tony

why do we give FZ so much weight? Does he really have that much influence on US policy?

Margaret Imber

"- we're forced to follow and abide by screw ball decisions and legislation passed by the big population centers and their messes!"

I'm from a low population state - but I do think the ability of a minority of Senators to block legislation supported by a significant majority of the Senate has created a situation in which a minority who is culturally and demographically quite distinct from the majority of the country is undemocratic. The bill of rights protects minorities from the tyranny of the majority - nothing protects the majority from the tyranny of the minority created by a Senate procedural rule.

Fred

John Minnerath
"I'm from Wyoming and ... we're forced to follow and abide by screw ball decisions and legislation passed by the big population centers and their messes!"

You mean Wyoming has Gay Marriage? Mass Transit? Tough gun laws? Livable wage legislation? Legalized Marijuana?
(Just don't mention equity in distribution of tax dollars spent on federally funded projects vs. tax dollars collected since Wyoming has been a major beneficiary for decades.)

Greywolf: Right on.

Hank

He is entitled to his opinion, regardless of how wrong he is. He is merely repeating the academic opinion of good government progressives. The earliest proponent was a Professor of Government at Princeton--Woodrow Wilson.
American academic elites have longed to base the Senate on population rather than each State having equal representation. They fail to understand that the Senate acts as means of cooling the passions of the people--House of Representatives.
As far as the filibuster the rules will change the people demand a change to the politics as it is practiced today.
Given what I have seen recently I worry less about the Senate than I do the crazies, both Democratic and Republican, in the House.

John Minnerath

You all want that, have at it.
What little influence our Senators and lone Representative can provide gives us some protection from the tyranny of the powerful.

Federally funded projects? Yeah, we're really rolling in all that Federal money pouring in.

Patrick Lang

MI

Well, then maybe this is a bad idea, like Belgium. pl

JustaReader

graywolf: Zakaria is a naturalized American citizen. Go where?

Fred

John Minnerath,

To quote the Janet Jackson song, "what have you done for me lately" is not the only way to look at the structure of government. As I recall Wyoming Congressman Richard B. Cheney has had a rather outsized impact on US policies. So has Senator Alan Simpson (who is still actively in trying to gut the Social Security system).

Lee

@J:

A few folks and I think it's because CNN wants/needs to appear more "ethnic".

par4

Direct democracy, because representative democracy has proven it is too corruptible.

graywolf

"graywolf: Zakaria is a naturalized American citizen. Go where?"

Some Euro socialist/pacifist paradise where the professional "elite" politicians and bureaucrats have turned the populations (ignorant peasants, all) into zombie government check cashers.
And please, take Obama with him.

The same goal, BTW, of our Democrat/media/academic self-anointed "elite."

highlander

The secular trend since the 1700s has been toward combining smaller states into larger and larger nation states like the former Soviet Union,Great Britain, Yugoslavia

That trend has now reversed, the discourse here is a good indication of that. Will the USA survive?

Patrick Lang

All

TIC (tongue in cheek) since the big state city slickers here think the little state rubes are getting a disproportionate share of benefits and the little state folks don't want to be pushed around by people who think themselves grand because they live in filthy places like NY City, why then, let's do away with states and divide the country up into administrative districts of equal population all to meet in a unicameral legislature without any restrictions on the power of that body.

Oh, yes, the person who thinks we should have "direct democracy" for a country with 300 million people is the biggest looney heard here yet. that would be great, then the corporate media could explain life to all the morons in the general population.

George Orwell would love this discussion. pl

Patrick Lang

All

BTW, FZ is unimportant except as a symptom of the phony self-important sense of superiority of the NY City-Washington power structure. Hostesses love this man. Isn't he cute? And his diction is so good!! (A Fifth Avenue hostess said that to me once, surprised that someone not from her circle could speak English) pl

Asa

Col Lang

Was the status of the residents of Montana and Arizona, before they became states, the same as the current status of Puerto Rico and American Samoa?

If yes, would/could states like California and Texas try to block Puerto Rico and American Samoa from obtaining statehood today?

Was there any push by existing states from blocking Montana and Arizona from statehood due to loss of power in Federal affairs?

I apologize for being too lazy to look up the answers on Wikipedia myself.

Asa

Patrick Lang

Asa

Dunno. The citizens of Montana and Arizona were American citizens living in a federal "territory.' Puerto ricans and Samoans are living in different statuses although citizens. pl

Will Reks

graywolf must get his talking points from "conservative" Republican talk radio media. No on second thought, I think he thought of it all on his own.

The Senate is a bottleneck for all 'progressive' legislation whether it be of Republican or Democratic origin. Yes, even the Paul Ryan plan to kill Medicare is progressive/utopian in a sense. There are benefits for both parties.

However, I'm not sure why the Senate should be limited to two seats per state only. Why is that the perfect number? 3,4, maybe 5 per state might be better suited to serve our growing population. Same deal with the House of Representatives which is one the smallest bodies of its type. I feel the House would better represent the people when serving smaller constituent sizes than the current 700,000+ people per congressional district. We might be better off if the House was even more representative of its people.

What is the opinion here of majority rule (50% +1) in the Senate? I think the Republicans will remove the filibuster as an option when they retake the Senate. The Democrats lacked the spine to so themselves.

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