I am becoming more and more convinced that we need to tweak the Congress to get it to "work." Right now it seems to be a collection of people do what needs to be done to advance their own careers and the power of their party. I have lots of suggestions, but would like to propose this one for starters:
We need to change the electoral system so that each state sends one (1) and only one senator (it would work the same for the house but you have to do some math :)) from each party to the senate so that it would always be composed of 50 democrats and 50 republicans (tough on 3rd parties but they haven't been all that effective in our history anyway). This might get rid of the myth of bipartisanship and might have each state send the most qualified member of each party to govern rather than the one with the most money, best machine ... you know the drill.
We could work out the details later (eg. rotate committee chairs, speakers, President.pro.temp etc.)
I think this might actually emphasize ideas over politics, and if they could never agree on anything maybe they'd be so embarassed that it would "force" them to agree.
Just an idea. What do you think? Any hope? Any great ideas of your own?
I agree! In fact, I think both houses should be expanded ... 1,000 senators and maybe 2,000 representatives. They never have to come together to meet ... use the internet and other tools to get work done. The work of the government has to be less about THEM and their position/power/whatever and more about US. The more of them there are the less "important" each of them would be. And it would be more costly to buy 3,000 people than the 535 we have now, and harder since they would never conveniently come together in one place to feed at the trough!
I was also amazed to see that someone found this 2 years after I posted it :)
I think the House of Representatives could use more than 435 people, given how much our population has expanded since we determined that number. I also think there should be reform in the process of passing legislation, especially the filibuster rule in the Senate, as this has been completely abused by both parties to hold up judicial nominations and essentially require an undemocratic supermajority vote on almost anything. We need Congress to be more responsive during an economic crisis, not paralyzed by partisanship.