.@matthewjdowd (Matthew Dowd) was spot-on right this week with his analysis of not only the change in US Senate filibuster rules but of the total partisan trainwreck happening in Washington. No one is innocent — Harry Reid, McConnell, the president — they’re all hypocrites on the filibuster issue. But Matt Dowd makes the larger correct point that this rules change is not a cause of hyperpartisanship, it’s simply a reflection of where we are as a polarized country.
On Bloomberg News earlier this week, Dowd noted that there are fewer and fewer competitive, swing Senate seats — that a quarter century ago, 80 to 90 seats were always in play… now that’s down to 20-30. In the current, it’s Blue vs. Red, right v. left. There’s no in-between. But that’s not where the country really is, it’s not what the country wants or truly how the vast vital center of the country believes government should work. Next November, the D’s may find themselves on the wrong end of this revised filibustering… but it really won’t matter.
When we’ve created a system and a process by which the two dominant political parties are enabled and rewarded to simply play “cat” games — essentially play to a draw and scream to their respective choirs on Fox/MSNBC, there’s no hope for compromise and bi-partisanship.
We have to find systemic changes to get the centrist middle a chance to have a voice. The voters really are way ahead of Washington on wanting a more effective national government. The successful national parties will reform themselves to give their more centrist elements a chance at influence. States can make simple reforms to primary elections and redistricting (for congressional and state races) to give centrists a shot at making general elections. If they don’t, a rising radical center will force the parties and the states to modernize.
- Now Reid should go further (msnbc.com)
- Filibuster? Nuclear option? Most people don’t care. (washingtonpost.com)
- Is The Change To The Senate Filibuster Rule A Good Thing? (addictinginfo.org)
- Obama’s Presidency Beginning to End Now: Dowd (stateofglobe.com)