In our opinion: Nuclear option wouldn't be necessary if the legislative branch grew a backbone

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  • J in the Desert Maricopa, AZ
    April 8, 2019 11:54 a.m.

    Repeal direct election of senators and send that selection process back to state legislatures. That one move will make a significant reduction in the partisanship of the senate.

  • NeifyT Salt Lake City, UT
    April 8, 2019 10:35 a.m.

    I agree with this opinion piece to the extend that it is true that on both sides of the isle; Congress has largely abdicated their responsibility and abandoned their role of government according to the US Constitution.

    However, "growing a backbone" isn't what is needed here. Both sides are going to claim that they have a "backbone" and stand up against each other.

    Getting to the root of the problem is that politicians no longer represent "We the People" instead they represent each Party. And each party sees the other party as their enemy rather than their ally.

    The way to change that; would be to do away with political party access to the ballot. Parties could still exist; but only to put forth a platform of how they would represent the people. As for electioneering; no party should ever be allowed to choose who is on the ballot. When politicians have to actually address ALL people and campaign for ALL people; they will again represent "We the People" instead of playing partisan politics.

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    April 7, 2019 9:19 p.m.

    Just a reminder: The vote for cloture of a filibuster -- the informal requirement that 60 Senators vote to approve a nominee or legislation -- appears nowhere in the Constitution. It is nothing more a Senate rule, one that can be changed by the majority party at any time they wish.

    Invoking the "nuclear option" and allowing nominations or legislation to proceed on simple majority vote is merely returning the Senate to the original rules as envisioned by the Founders.

    Senators from both sides of the aisle liked the requirement for 60 votes because it gave outsized influence to members of the minority party, while allowing members of the majority party to dodge politically-sensitive votes on controversial, divisive issues.

    But there was, and still is, no legal obligation for them to do it.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    April 7, 2019 6:34 p.m.

    harry reid’s spiteful, foolish prank has come back to bite him.

    For chuckie to say the GOP was putting ideology ahead of the institution just shows how short and selective is his memory.

    Justices take their independence seriously? Not so with rbg, sotomayor, kagan, or breyer. Theya re tied at the hip to the most liberal dems

    Jamchild, birwin
    No need to turn to chuckie’s aide – it was done by harry reid when we suffered through his tenure as senate majority leader

  • DN Subscriber Cottonwood Heights, UT
    April 7, 2019 3:28 p.m.

    "The only thing wrong with that statement is that this tactic is not something unique to Republicans. Democrats are just as guilty."

    Well, actually the Democrats are much more guilty as the tenures of Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer clearly prove.

    But, I am willing to blame both parties for their failure to do the debates and make the tough votes and move on, regardless of who wins. Sadly, both sides have defaulted to "block everything" mode and cannot even get budgets and funding passed on time.

    Mike Lee is sometimes contrary, but usually on principled grounds, not just to be an obstructionist. Too many of his other colleagues are simply pandering to their party base, hoping to win praise from the biased media, and win another election.

    Whoever said we would be better governed if the Senate was selected from the first 100 names in the phone book was not far off.

  • birwin Herrmian, UT
    April 7, 2019 3:19 p.m.

    Your premise is right... The Senate needs to follow the rules, but why are you blaming Democrats for what an aide said the Democrats should or might do?

    It's a distracting argument that keeps us from talking about what is really happening.

    If Republicans are changing rules, should we not try to stop that before we try to stop what an aide says "might" happen...

    The rules have now been changed. Supreme Court justices will now only be confirmed when a party controls both the Senate and executive branches. And they only need 50% of the senate's approval.

  • Bountiful Guy Bountiful, UT
    April 7, 2019 1:06 p.m.

    This is spot on. Both sides of the aisle no longer are interested in doing what's right for the country. They ONLY want credit for anything good and to obstruct anything good stemming from the opposite party. I always loved seeing Supreme Court nominees approved because they were good people, and both sides favored them in the vote. But in today's world, Republicans ALWAYS obstruct Democrat initiatives, and Democrats ALWAYS obstruct Republican initiatives. It's all about posturing for the next election. It's all about power, greed, and money.

    If a Republican has proven shady behavior, Republicans look the other way while the Democrats pounce and try to destroy. If a Democrat has proven shady behavior, Democrats look the other way while Republicans pounce and try to destroy.

    I think that the main reason for the polarization is because of the distance between the two parties on issues like the size of government, abortion, military might, gun legislation, regulation, and several more. If the parties were more aligned. they could work together. Because they are not, they are at war. Each side sees the other as evil. How do we become united?

  • UncleArtie Brigham City, UT
    April 7, 2019 1:03 p.m.

    The legislature is elected by the people; they reflect the attitudes and preferences of the people. If the legislature has no backbone, it is because the people have no backbone.

  • Jamchild Centerville, UT
    April 7, 2019 12:57 p.m.

    The Republican senate majority leader makes such a democracy-threatening move, and you turn this into a "both sides do it" article because of something a *former aide* to Chuck Schumer said? I suggest you take your own advice and "grow some backbone" and simply call out Republicans when they threaten our democracy, without these false equivalencies.

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    April 7, 2019 11:00 a.m.

    "The only thing wrong with that statement is that this tactic is not something unique to Republicans. Democrats are just as guilty."

    It is time to clean house in 2020 and vote out the career politicians.