The Senate is a malignant dinosaur!

The Senate is a malignant dinosaur! We have inherited a tyranny of the minority!

In a recent story (https://wapo.st/394aTte), The Washington Post documented how the effort to remove Donald Trump from office could be frustrated by the action of Senators representing a small minority of the country’s population.

“If we assume a party-line vote (which is essentially what happened in the House), 53 percent of senators would oppose impeachment — but more than half the country would live in states whose senators favored impeachment.”

Further, given that 67 Senate votes are required for removal from office, ” … he could be impeached but not removed from office if senators from the 17 least-populous states — representing about 7 percent of the population — decided to stand by him.”

There is no way the founders could have foreseen how badly the structure of the Senate would distort democracy in a couple hundred years. The two-thirds vote required for removal of a President from office dramatically increases that distortion.

Maybe we could abolish the Senate and create a bill of rights for the smaller states to protect them from a tyranny of the majority. That’s at least part of the function of the original Bill of Rights for individuals. Of course, that would require a constitutional amendment that would be a tough sell for the small states. The bill of rights would have to be crafted very carefully.

The rights of the minority party in the House would also have to be considered since there would be no chance for them to seek compromise through Senate action.

Alternatively, the powers of the Senate could be changed to alleviate the worst dysfunctions. Or maybe the two senators per state formula could be altered to make it reflect population distribution more closely, but preserve a smaller edge for the smaller states. I’m sure there are many other alternatives, and virtually all would require a constitutional amendment.

For now, I would favor abolishment with a bill of rights.

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