Re: “Young Democrats challenge Senate traditions” (TNT, 11-15).
It’s about time somebody finally saw the decrepit Senate procedures for the problem they really are. Congress is one of our democracy’s adaptive mechanisms. It’s how a democracy changes to respond to new challenges and opportunities. When it breaks down, democracy cannot adapt. Darwin tells us what happens to those who cannot adapt quickly in a changing world.
The real problem is not that our country is going broke and that our economy is mismanaged. Those are just symptoms of the underlying problem. The world is changing fast, and American democracy cannot keep up. The true enemy is not Republicans or Democrats, it’s gridlock.
This is why everyone loved the base-closure process. it bypassed all the byzantine legislative procedures and allowed Congress to make tough decisions.
Reforming Senate rules is not the big step we need, but it’s a small step. Real change will come when voters and the media stop rewarding blowhards and partisans and stop punishing quiet, thoughtful moderates. Among the big losers in the last election were moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats. Until then, it is a step in the right direction and one we voters should support.