reply to post by Pawnhaus
Just like to add that when Harry Reid (D-NV) recently tried to move for a vote on the Dodd housing bill, Senator John Ensign (R-NV) objected as the
bill will not contain extended tax credits for renewable energy purchase/production. Partisan state politics aside, I do not accept the strangle hold
the status quo has over the common person, both internationally and domestic.
I don’t know when the Senate adopted the 2/3rds vote to STOP debate. It certainly was present after the Civil War as the South managed to regain
control of Congress. Or at least a veto in the Senate. The rule was modified in the 1960s civil rights era, to the current 3/5ths vote - 60 - required
to shut off debate. Cloture. We have by consensus agreed to take no serious actions that are not approved by 3/5ths of the Senate. That gives
disproportionate power to smaller states over larger states.
But as related to the 2 senators from NV, why create useless turmoil and risk injured personal feelings when you know at the start you cannot have it
your way? It is a Senate tradition that 2 senators of differing parties but from the same state present a united front to the world. It would not be
politic for the two who are to represent the interests of the same state to have sharp public divisions.
Another Senate custom used infrequently is that presidential appointees are put on HOLD if a senator from the president’s own party objects to the
appointment within his state. This gives the some senate leverage with the president.
Except for rare intervals, Federal political power was considered to be primarily in the Congress. Washington and Adams were both strong central
government advocates. But in 1800, the Federalists lost to the Jeffersonians and never regained power. Lincoln was exception number 1, and exercised
strong executive power but even Lincoln was not sure he could FIRE a member of his cabinet. An unspoken theory was that if it required a Senate vote
to confirm, it required a Senate concurrence to fire the man. Of course today we regard Cabinet posts as serving at the PLEASURE of the president.
Theodore Roosevelt wanted to be a strong president but Congress won all the battles. Woodrow Wilson also struggled against Congress but he also lost
the final battle of his presidency, the League of Nations vote.
With the onset of the Great Depression, Pres. Herbert Hoover proved completely incapable of addressing the dire economic issues faced by the general
populace. Hoover was sworn in on March 4, 1929 and the Stock Market crashed October 24, 1929, barely 6 months into his term. Americans were STUCK with
a man philosophically incapable of dealing with the issues wrecking the country. From the market Crash until the next president took office was 3
years and six months!
Similarly the voters voted for decisive anti-war policies in November, 2006. Yet, Congress is NOT Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. And no real
consequential action can be taken until January 20, 2009. 2 years , 2 months! The public’s will is both ignored and thwarted. A very long time to
wait. It is not easy for the public to understand this. THIS IS A SERIOUS DEFECT IN OUR SYSTEM.
All of these 'facts of political life' are based on compromises made in 1787. Those compromises had to be made or there would not have been a
Constitution to debate. I say it is now PAST TIME to have another Constitutional Convention to get us better prepared to deal with the 21st century.
For the sake of tradition, I say the Convention should meet in Philadelphia. There should be 2 delegates from each state and 1 from the DC. 101 in
total. The governor of each state and the Mayor of DC should choose one. The second delegate would be chosen by the state legislature sitting in a
joint session and as a committee of the whole. One of the 2 delegates from each state must be a minority person or a female. Any person of good repute
over the age of 21 and a resident (note necessarily a citizen) of the state from which chosen for 10 years would be eligible. Convention proceedings
would be closed to the public. And etc.
[edit on 6/27/2008 by donwhite]