A Broken Senate

One wonders what the United States Senate has in store for us next. With its failure to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons With Disabilities, it once again has proven that the Republicans are being held hostage by the far right element of their party. In his OP-Ed column in the New York Times, Lawrence Downes quotes Senator John Kerry as follows:

“This is one of the saddest days I’ve seen in almost 28 years in the Senate, and it needs to be a wake-up call about a broken institution that’s letting down the American people.”
He added: “Today the dysfunction hurt veterans and the disabled, and that’s unacceptable. This treaty was supported by every veterans group in America and Bob Dole made an inspiring and courageous personal journey back to the Senate to fight for it. It had bipartisan support, and it had the facts on its side, and yet for one ugly vote, none of that seemed to matter. We won’t give up on this and the Disabilities Treaty will pass because it’s the right thing to do, but today I understand better than ever before why Americans have such disdain for Congress and just how much must happen to fix the Senate so we can act on the real interests of our country.”

How can a dysfunctional legislative body deal with critical issues affecting the future of this nation? They cannot. Kerry's statement calls for fixing the Senate but he did not offer a solution. Perhaps some surgery on our two party system is in order. As I suggested in a post titled "A Touch of the Creature" on 1/12/10, "Until the parties start pruning their various branches even if it means a third or even a fourth party, there will be no timely or effective legislation coming out of Washington".

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