Five more months?  Can the tires on MSNBC even last that long?  Are there enough pixels in the universe to sustain the coverage?  Couldn’t we just do all this tomorrow?

Yet it’s not just a Democrat in the White House that we need, it’s a Democratic Congress — and reform of the rules in both chambers so that it’s possible to do the nation’s business.

I’m all for checks and balances, but the Founders could never have imagined this — and all the other crazy ways even a single senator can bring sensible governance to a halt.

“Holds” should not be secret and should not be of unlimited duration.  The filibuster — nowhere written into the Constitution — should at least be more difficult.  Instead of requiring 60 senators to end a filibuster, 41 senators sitting continuously in a room should be required to sustain one.  (See #3 in this analysis.)

And why are “discharge petitions” so difficult in the House?  If the Senate has passed something that the President and the nation — and a majority of House members — want, how can there be no way to get it to the floor for a vote?  Have you not seen Legally Blonde II?  When all hope for the bunny rabbits seems lost, and Reese Witherspoon is talking tearfully to a marble Abraham Lincoln (cinema at its finest), the whole movie turns on discovery by her staff of the “discharge petition” — clip here — which, this being a movie, is successful and the bunny rabbits are saved.

A happy ending.  But not, sadly, for Cassandra Butts. Entirely qualified for her post, as all agreed, her appointment was held up for more than 820 days — more than five times as long as between now and November 8 — and then she died.

Read it and weep,” as they say.

Sad for her; sadder still for democracy.

 

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