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The filibuster fallacy

George Will’s defense of the filibuster relies on his contention that “98 percent of good governance consists of stopping bad — meaning most — ideas.” But the filibuster doesn’t only stop bad ideas. It stopped the Senate from passing laws against lynching and protecting black citizens’ right to vote for decades after most Americans supported those laws. The filibuster is unconstitutional, although courts won’t say so because they respect the separation of powers. The Constitution strikes a balance by giving each state two senators, regardless of population. It would be unconstitutional if the Senate adopted a rule giving large states more power... »

We will solve our gun violence problem

Conventional wisdom is that the United States can never solve its problem of gun violence. But it was conventional wisdom that we’d never end slavery, allow women to vote, enact civil rights laws, reduce pollution, prohibit smoking in public, elect a Catholic or black President, or allow gay people to marry. Fundamental change often takes generations. We must do our part to advance the discussion. Just because we can’t solve the problem now doesn’t mean we won’t eventually. President Obama often quotes Dr. King, who said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” »

A difference in values

The Daily Herald published my letter to the editor about the difference between President Obama’s proposal to narrow the budget deficit and the Republicans’ plan. Some of the comments posted on the Herald’s website are from the usual right-wing cranks, but there are some pretty intelligent ones, too. Feel free to add yours. http://ow.ly/g7VSU »

A decisive victory

President Obama won reelection with 62% of the votes in the Electoral College. He won 26 states and the District of Columbia, representing 64% of the population. He won the popular vote by more than 4 million votes. He won more popular votes than any Democratic candidate in history (other than Obama in 2008). That’s a decisive victory. So if anyone tells you the election was “close,” they’re ignoring the facts. http://ow.ly/fyQhA »

We must make government work

  “This is not the time to give up on Washington. Now is the time to prove that our political processes work.” Rachel Maddow. She’s right. Republicans want us to give in to cynicism, to believe there’s no hope, and to accept their dismal view of the future. Remember the scene in Star Wars where Darth Vader urges Luke to give in to his hatred and to come over too the dark side of the force? Don’t give in. Believe that there is hope for a better world, and that we can make our government the vehicle for reaching it. »

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