Let me finish tonight with this.
You know it looks like this country is going be divided politically for years to come. I can’t imagine a situation lasting for long where one political party gets working control of the U.S. government, controlling the House, the Senate and the White House. I really can’t foresee the Democrats or the Republicans becoming so dominant that they get the presidency, the House and the 60 vote filibuster supermajority in the Senate.
So that leaves us with two ways to go—that is if we want this republic of ours to move, to take on the challenges of our time, to prepare for the future and the people who will be the Americans of the latter 21st century and beyond.
One is to remove barriers like the filibuster rule. As long as a lone senator or a minority of senators can logjam the government, the people who want to get something done will be, in the words of Tennessee Williams, relying “on the kindness of strangers.” Anyone in the minority will be able to demand not just a majority of senators to pass a bill, but a supermajority of 60. That means we’re not going to see much done, are we?
The other way to make the government more active, more responsive to the country’s needs is for one party to do such a great job, such a manifestly good job, that the people reward it with a strong, supermajority of support in the U.S. senate along with a majority in the house and regularly elected presidents.
I think the best route, then, is the first one. Get this filibuster thing down to what it was in the 1930s, when we could all root for Jimmy Stewart and hope that he can, once again, beat that corrupt political machine we loved to hate in that greatest of all political movies.