Tuesday, April 17, 2012

necessary, but not sufficient

When an interviewer for New York magazine (as related by Susie Madrak) asked him if there are any structural changes that need to happen in American government, retiring Democratic congressman Barney Frank replied, "Get rid of the filibuster in the Senate."

The interviewer followed up with "Is that the only one," and Frank answered "That's the only one."

Barney Frank is certainly right that changes in the rules governing the Senate filibuster are necessary to restore democracy in the U.S.

Whether such a reform, which would deliver the Senate from the tyranny of minority rule, would be sufficient to restore democracy is another question.

I would like to know how Barney Frank, and every other sitting Democratic congressperson and senator would react to a proposal for a constitutional amendment banning private money from our public politics. I want to know whether they would consider such a measure "structural change," and whether they would favor or oppose such a proposal.

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