An Incomplete Letter

Dear Senator Joe McConnell, Joe McManchin, Joe Manchin:

I write to you not as a constituent because I am not one of your constituents; but, I am confused. It is difficult to align with a politician who changes his persona various times.  I am confused by your series of stances on the filibuster and what you believe it to mean with regard to the Senate and its procedures.

The filibuster was never meant to be the sole action available as taken by a minority within the Senate. It did have a counter which fell by the wayside when suggested such was unneeded due to Senators being more astute and gentlemanly in their manner during Senate sessions.

After a debate was begun, the “Previous Question Motion” was used in the Senate to end debate if needed.  It required a simple majority of voting members to pass. Being such institution was peopled by gentlemen, debate might last a long period of time as party allegiance was not as strict as it is today with one Senator controlling what can and can not be presented to the Senate body for debate. The last 4+ years of control of the Senate have been dictated by one person.

“It’s no accident that a state as small as West Virginia has the same number of Senators as California or Texas. It goes to the heart of what representative government is all about. The Founding Fathers understood that the challenges facing a rural or small state would always be very different from a more populous state.”

It is also no accident that one party has consistently refused to take up a debate of the other party’s motion or bill on the Senate and the House floor even though offered an opportunity to do so. Although in the House, the Previous Question motion still exists.

It is also not an accident the House no longer represents by population in the manner it was prescribed to do. Even using the state of Wyoming’s population as the absolute minimum for a House Representative, California would gain 13 House Representatives.

Representation by population is meant to be in the House and not the Senate. Such representation has been stymied by political interests the same as in the Senate.

“The time has come to end these political games, and to usher a new era of bipartisanship where we find common ground on the major policy debates facing our nation.”

We have had multiple years of one party not willing to take up debate and find common ground with the other as led by Senator Mitch McConnell. I would ask of you, did you voice your complaint then? Did you take up your cause then to the majority leader than who makes claims of what the “American people want?” I do not recall any Op-Eds concerning this issue of one Senator forcing his political interests on the others within his party by you previously.

I do not understand why you would hold your fellow Democrats hostage after giving Republicans a chance to debate when it was blocked for Democrats. Was there a time when they crossed political lines to join Democrats? Did one Republican stand up and demand his party meet the other half way the same as you are doing with Democrats? I think not.

Opinion | Joe Manchin: I will not vote to eliminate or weaken the filibuster – The Washington Post