Filibuster rule being abused by minority party
Regarding “Senate action erodes protection of minority” (Letters, Nov. 27): The filibuster emanates from neither the U.S. Constitution nor our Founding Fathers. The Senate filibuster was introduced in the early 1900s to protect against tyranny of the majority, to be used only in extreme cases.
Now, it’s abused by the minority. Twice as many presidential nominees have been filibustered during President Barack Obama’s five years as were filibustered during President George W. Bush’s eight years. In fact, now we need 60 votes to get almost anything passed in the Senate.
The U.S. Constitution was a compromise among the 55 delegates who actually attended the constitutional convention. Many thought it was inadequate but supported it only because it was better than the status quo – the Articles of Confederation.
James Madison explained in Federalist No. 10 that the Constitution guards against factionalism, i.e., “a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or interest, adverse to the rights of other citizens. . . .” Madison reasoned that a republic (a representative democracy) is a better safeguard than a pure democracy, i.e., “a society consisting of a small number of citizens, who assemble and administer the government in person.”