Author Topic: If you kill the 60 vote rule in the Senate, then the Senate becomes meaningless.  (Read 1178 times)

DJQuag

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Originally, Senators were supposed to be a counterweight against the hordes of idiotic, uninformed voters.

The State governments would choose people who they trusted to be intelligent. Successful merchants, scientists, respected clergy, whatever.

The 17th amendment changed this so Senators were voted in directly by the people. They then brought in the 60 rule, just so the Senate wasn't subject to the tyranny of the mob.

On a pragmatic level, I shudder to think at who the majority R state  governments would choose as Senators. On an idealistic level, there really does need to be a level of government removed from Trumptards or even, if you're looking at this from the other side, citizens who agreed with everything that Obama did simply because he's black.

You remove the 60 rule, the Senate becomes exactly the same as the House, and it becomes meaningless.

TheDrake

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It used to be that there was no ability in the Senate to force even an individual member to give up the floor. The cloture rule came about in 1917, and it was originally 2/3. This is actually weaker than prior to the cloture rule.

The Senate still wouldn't become exactly the same as the House, as representing citizens statewide is different than cavorting around your district (at least in larger states). Let's not also forget that the Senate still has proportional votes by state, and that doesn't change, so there's a distinct difference there (which always has California and Texas gnashing their teeth, because they can be cancelled out by NH and Wyoming in that body).

A true voting supermajority was never envisioned by the Constitution, or it would have been written that way. The filibuster was a hack used by the minority to halt legislation they didn't like.

I believe the purpose of the Senate was badly broken by the 17th, and it has led to federal encroachment on state's rights that have undermined the 10th Amendment. Imagine though, that the entire freedom caucus (and quite a few progressives) would be apoplectic about senate appointments.

Without the 17th, Bernie Sanders is never going to hold a seat.

yossarian22c

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Until Gerrymandering gets under control the 17th is one of the only checks against politicians drawing their own safe districts that give a permanent structural advantage to one side over the other. That doesn't mean all states are toss ups but at least the politicians don't get to redraw the lines every 10 years to keep them that way.