Letter to the Editor: Don't do away with filibuster rule


As usual, the majority party in the Senate, the Democrats this time, are threatening to do away with the filibuster rule that requires a 60 vote majority if the minority desires it. This is a very bad idea.

Our democracy has survived more than 200 years because the founding fathers took care to build into the constitution various provisions that protect the minority from an abusive majority. Most obvious is the composition of the Senate, where every state, large or small, gets the same two senators.

No doubt you have seen the red/blue map of the nation, showing, by counties, where Republicans or Democrats won the last election. It is almost all red (Republican), as were the prior two election maps, even in most of the states that went Democrat. The composition of the Senate assures that the interests of rural America are not swept aside by mobs of urban voters. Close to home, even with one-party Democratic Party government, we often complain that rural Berkshire County gets short shift from the Boston majority.

The filibuster is a rule of the Senate, not part of the constitution, and so is in greater risk of abolishment. I know that in past years roles were reversed, but today it is the Democrats who want to push through their agenda by any means possible. Back then it was the Democrats who argued forcefully, and, thankfully, successfully, to keep the rules intact.

As time goes by, President Obama has claimed authority to mandate more and more things that ought to be in the jurisdiction of Congress, and to act in ways that are blatantly unconstitutional. "I won," he says. Yes, but he was elected president, not emperor.

Especially now, with Obama as president, elimination of the filibuster would be a big mistake, and one that Democrats will some day regret. ED DARTFORD



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