Guardian: ‘Not Special anymore’: how the Senate has failed the American people

“The Senate was once the place where problems got solved, where senators were able to converse across party lines,” Baker told the Guardian


The Supreme Court battle underscores how rigid partisanship overtook ‘the world’s greatest deliberative body’ – which has never truly represented the majority view.

In 2012, the political scientist Ross Baker spent a sabbatical brushing up on his congressional knowledge by spending time in the office of Harry Reid, the then Democratic majority leader in the US Senate. Baker vividly remembers Reid telling him a story about Mitch McConnell, his opposite number in the Republican party.

“Reid told me he couldn’t get McConnell to go to the White House with him,” Baker recalled.

“McConnell would say, ‘I don’t want to go to that place.’ Reid specifically told me, ‘Mitch hates to go there.’”

For Baker, the distinguished professor of political science at Rutgers University, that exchange about McConnell’s resistance to even visiting Barack Obama in the White House provided a telling insight into how rigid in its partisanship the modern Republican party under his leadership had become.

It resonated with McConnell’s comment two years previously, that “the single most important thing we have to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president”.

Such a visceral determination to oust a sitting president was not in the spirit of the Senate as it had historically been conceived. The world’s “greatest deliberative body”, as the now fraying cliché goes, was meant to rise above party political point-scoring.

“The Senate was once the place where problems got solved, where senators were able to converse across party lines,” Baker told the Guardian. “It was the place for the grown-ups. They thought of themselves as special. Well, they’re not special any more.”


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  1. With 28 standing ovations in 47 minutes during satanyahu’s speech to the congress, you can see that these Senators (flapping Seals) have been well trained and made fully dependent on the Jewish money. Forget America and “we the people..” I have said it before and say it again these traitors should be hanged – during half-times of major games – two or three at a time .. believe me you will be doing your country (and the world) a service.

  2. John

    The house is controlled to an extent by GOP vote rigging and gerrymandering and even then, DEMS got control. The Senate is run by states controlled by organized crime that have no people in them, all are GOP, all are Kosher Nostra. The constitution did not allow for new states to have two senators.

  3. David Birdsell says something interesting in the article: “[The Founders] did not intend to create a dictatorship of the minority that prevents the majority from moving forward with sensible policies that benefit everybody.” Yet isn’t this exactly what the banker gangsters were allowed to turn most of the government into? Not just the Senate and not just Republicans…?

    Any of the branches could stop this. Jefferson said that “these jugglers were at the feet of government.” But instead, the branches and major parties bicker with each other while subjecting the rest of us to bankster policies and rich-get-richer wars.

    • Colossians 4 v.1: “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.”

      I agree, Elvin, that having power structures, having leaders and followers is normal. However, abusing others in the power structure for selfish, materialist interests do not have to be normal.

  4. People don’t remember this: The animosity between McConnell and Obama which started in 2009, which started The Party of NO, which became a playbook for republicans, was all about Obama’s H.R. 1256 (111th) Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. Prior to 2009 McConnell and the rest of the rats from the south were getting their day to day fundings from the Tobacco industry. H.R. 1256 gave the FDA the power to regulate the tobacco industry, and a huge kick in the butt of McConnell.

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