Hooray that the Senate voted to start debate on the health care bill. But can someone please explain to me why it is a healthy thing in a democracy that we require a 60 percent supermajority for a procedural vote? The Constitution already provides for a bicameral legislature, for checks and balances and division of powers. And in allocating an equal number of senators to every state, the Constitution reduces the representation of those of us in populous states, such that a resident of Wyoming (pop. 532,668) have over 24 times more representation than I do as a resident of Illinois (pop. 12,901,563). Isn’t that enough? Why add on the need for 60 votes in the Senate?

For the record, I made this argument back when the Republicans controlled the Senate and wanted to “go nuclear” and approve judges with a simple majority. I was of the opinion then, as I am now, that if you want to influence the political process, you need to win elections. The Democrats won the last election. They are doing the work they were sent to do. Why the will of the people should be thwarted, by the invocation of supposed safeguards beyond what the Constitution already provides, is incomprehensible to me. Unless, of course, you want to say we don’t live in a democracy. Which we evidently don’t.

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