Op-Ed: Democrats want to do away with the Senate

By: NOEMIE EMERY
Washington Examiner
December 16, 2009

In recent months, a narrative has emerged on the Left regarding the cause of the health care debacle: It’s all the fault of the United States Senate, a perverse, bizarre and dysfunctional body, which ought to be phased out or killed.

To E.J. Dionne, it’s an absurd institution, the “least democratic … body” in any democracy, that has tied up the country in gut-grinding gridlock to the public’s unending dismay. “Normal human beings … real Americans — cannot understand why, 10 months after Obama took office, Congress is still tied down in a procedural torture chamber trying to pass the health care bill Obama promised in his campaign.”

Alec MacGillis called it “the chamber designed to thwart popular will,” the saucer in which the coffee not only is cooled (in the words of George Washington) but often turns bitter and cold. Hendrik Hertzberg calls it the place where the hopes and dreams of “Obama mania” go to die at the hands of a small band of soreheads who have the power to stifle the will of the people. “If it weren’t for the Senate,” he says, more in sorrow, “you’d have a whole lot of accomplishments on the domestic front.”

Exactly. It takes a perverse form of genius to talk about thwarting the will of the people when polls show most of the people prefer to have Congress do nothing, but they go on with great verve.

To John Heilemann in New York, “a tiny band of verbose old folks” stand in the way of 300 million, all of them thirsting for the kind of solutions polls show two-thirds of them seem to detest.

“What precisely is the point of the United States Senate?” he asks us, suggesting there is none. “The attempt to push [the bill] through has revealed something important. … If a popular, shrewd president coupled with a Congress with a strong majority in both houses held by the president’s party can’t get its program passed no matter which party we’re talking about, something is structurally wrong.”

The article continues at the Examiner.

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