But should the Senate rules be changed in order to end the Republican minority’s rampant filibuster abuse?
Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the Senate is the world’s most deliberative body for a reason–unlike the House, the Senate has significant protections for the rights of the minority. And I do believe that the minority should have those rights and should be able to prevent the Senate from becoming majoritarian.
So while I do support the filibuster, the current Republican majority has utterly and completely abused it. They’ve made the country almost ungovernable by requiring an unrealistic 60-vote supermajority to pass every piece of worthwhile legislation.
Even though the Democrats do have a 60-member caucus, the GOP’s constant filibustering means that Democrats can’t afford to lose a single member on any important bill. And considering how geographically and ideologically diverse the Democratic caucus is, it’s nearly impossible to hold them all together for nearly every vote.
And what the Republicans are doing is unprecedented–they’ve repeatedly set and broken records for filibustering. Just look at the huge spike in filibustering during the 110th Congress, when the GOP became the minority:
Former Missouri State Treasurer–and failed 2008 Gubernatorial candidate–Sarah Steelman will challenge former House Minority Whip Roy Blunt for MO’s open Senate seat in 2010:
“I’m in the process of laying the groundwork that I need to get done before making an official announcement,” Steelman told POLITICO. “I’m definitely strongly leaning towards doing this.”
In the interview, Steelman took some sharp jabs at Blunt, describing the seven-term congressman Blunt as being part of the “old-boys’ network” who has spent too much time in Washington.
“Roy Blunt is another white guy in a suit, and I think the public wants change,” Steelman said. “There’s a good old boys’ network out there that’s hard to penetrate… and it’s not always in the best interest of the party or for conservative principles.”
In an interview with the St. Louis-Dispatch, Blunt flatly said that “Steelman can’t win the primary.”
I smell a bruising primary fight.
Blunt is part of the failed GOP establishment–he was the interim Majority Leader after Tom DeLay’s resignation and served as the #2 Republican in the House during the 110th Congress. In addition, his son Matt served an unremarkable term as Missouri’s Governor.
But Steelman’s record leaves a bit to be desired. She served one term as the State Treasurer before losing the Republican Gubernatorial primary to Kenny Hulshof, who went on to lose to Democrat Jay Nixon in the general election.
Personally, I think Steelman would be a better bet if for no other reason than all of the political baggage Blunt brings into the race. No matter what, though, it looks like there’s a bloody primary fight brewing, which could very well cripple the GOP’s shot at holding onto this seat.