Wednesday, August 4, 2010

America, We Have a Problem

George Packer of The New Yorker has written a very good essay about the sad institutional state of the U.S. Senate. Included was this nugget:
In 2007, [Senator Lamar] Alexander and [Senator Joe] Lieberman started a series
of bipartisan Tuesday breakfasts. "They kind of dwindled off during the
health-care debate," Alexander said. [Senator Tom] Udall has tried to revive
the Wednesday inner-sanctum lunch. For the first few months, only Democrats
attended. Then, one Wednesday in May,
Susan Collins, the Maine
Republican, showed up, joking nervously about being a turncoat; to protect her reputation, her presence was kept secret.

[Emphasis mine]

When a U.S. senator thinks it's necessary to clandestinely scurry about in order redeem a Senate tradition of bipartisanship by breaking bread with the other team, I'm not sure the title of this post is an exercise in digital hyperventilation.

- John C.L. Morgan


James Tranchemontagne said...

we should go back to the state government electing our senate not the people's individual vote.

Westbrook Diarist said...

Not only do I disagree with that idea on purely philosophical grounds, but I also don't think it would solve the practical shortcomings the Senate appears to have.