Gridlock. Gridlock. Gridlock. If most people were asked for a one word description of the current legislative process in the U.S. congress, it would have to be gridlock. Whether it’s a local news interview with the average voter on the street or national newsreaders reading out the tweets of a frustrated public, political gridlock is constantly on the lips of the punditocracy.
In what can only be a response to what polls show is a massive disapproval for both congressional bodies, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has made a pledge to take on filibuster reform so that the minority party in the senate will have fewer tools for legislative obstruction.
For Reid to make such a statement about 24 hours after what was essentially a mandate-less election might not seem like an important move, but it is. To assert that the senate can tackle the issues it is facing by taking away power from people who were elected by slightly less than half the nation is a wholly antagonistic and ill-advised move.
Although hope in this election has been virtually non-existent, instead being replaced with anger and cynicism, there were some who thought that the one thing that both sides would have to take from this election is that they would have to work together because the American people are unwilling to give either side much of an advantage.
To come out of this last election and essentially conclude that what needs to be done is taking away some of the power from your opponents in order to accomplish more, is to completely miss the point. The ability to filibuster might not make everything easy, but that’s the point. The two party system itself does a very poor job of representing the diverse interests and beliefs of the greater public, so to attempt to silence one of the two voices in the Senate is ridiculous. The people don’t want one party to just try to muscle the other one out-of-the-way, they want both sides to avoid ideological and rash decisions by forcing them to compromise and negotiate. Even those who generally support the Senate Majority leader should understand the large issue with his solution to this gridlock problem.