My final, for now, letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. If you can stomach it, continue below the squiggle for the disappointment...
I am deeply saddened by today's surrender to Minority Leader McConnell and the obstructionist Republicans on the filibuster.
The Senate is all ready a magnificently unrepresentative body. That Wyoming has as much representation as California is more than enough protection for minority rights in that body.
But no. Instead of using the power that a majority imparts to put in place rules that allow that majority to exercise its electoral mandate you have chosen to give an undeserved gift to the powers of obstructionism.
The filibuster is an accident of history born of a badly written minor change of rules with unanticipated consequences two centuries ago.
I recognize that there have been a handful of instances in modern history where the power of a minority to block legislation has been in the best interest of the ideals we and our party share.
But far more often it has been used to block substantial in the best interests of the American people.
Without the filibuster we would have serious and substantial reform of the healthcare system of this country instead of the watered down provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
Without the filibuster Republicans would not be able to block the President from naming a director to run the ATF, or hogtie his judicial nominations.
Historically, the greatest achievements of the filibuster have been to delay or defeat civil rights legislation. Hardly a legacy worth preserving.
I am sure that you chose to sustain the filibuster in order to preserve it for a day when Democrats are in the minority. In that you could not possibly be more misguided.
Are you utterly unaware of the torched earth tactics embraced by your opposition? Are you ignorant of their willingness to nakedly embrace any advantage an push any power to its limit?
Right now the the Republicans enjoy a substantial advantage in the House of Representatives only because of their terrific abuse of the power to draw Congressional districts at the state level.
Look out of your office window across the Potomac River at Virginia, where just this week Republicans have voted to redraw Congressional districts in midterm in violation of the Constitution of the United States to strengthen their grip on the levers of power.
Look at Virginia and other states, including my home state of Pennsylvania, where Republicans wish to use those gerrymandered districts and rewrite rules for the election of the President of the United States to their own advantage in the defiance of popular will.
And you still believe that these people are partners with whom you can negotiate in good faith in order to preserve the filibuster for your own potential future use?
Senator Reid, the second that the Republicans have a majority in the Senate, whether one seat or a hundred, is the second that they will discard the filibuster and put in place rules that allow a simple...and Constitutional majority of 51 votes to enact whatever they may please.
Senator Reid, if you believe otherwise for the tiniest fraction of a second you are a fool. As you clearly are not a fool, I cannot begin to imagine any rational explanation for today's abject surrender.
I can only hope that today you did not set the stage for a Gerrymandered States of America, where a determined minority is able to impose its will upon the majority of Americans forever.
Shame on you.