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Lamar Alexander Seems Really Bothered by the Idea of Democracy

Sen. Lamar Alexander: having trouble with the word “unchecked”

It seems Republican Senator Lamar Alexander is upset that policy decisions will ultimately be made by voters. In the Washington Post he attacks the elimination of the the filibuster and concludes by saying:

Thursday’s stunning rules change by Senate Democrats can best be described as Obamacare II: another exercise of partisan political power to permit the majority to do whatever it wants. This time, the goal was advancing its agenda unchecked through the courts and executive agencies. […]

So why would Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) engineer a rules change that he said in 2006 “would be the end of the Senate”? Because the vote was not about the filibuster. It was about permitting the majority to do whatever it wants.

Call it Obamacare II, for which the only cure is a referendum next November.

He uses the word “unchecked” but I don’t think he has any idea what that word means.

The only cure for a majority in the legislature you don’t agree with should be the next election. That is how democracy is supposed to work. If the voters don’t think the party in power is doing a good job, they vote them out. That is the ultimate check. That is democratic accountability.

The alternative that Alexander apparently thinks is a better way is to let the party rejected by the voters bring the entire Senate to a standstill. This just leads to nothing ever getting done, regardless of who wins, and the voters never knowing who is really responsible for anything.

What Alexander is bizarrely calling “Obamacare II” is how democracy works in almost ever other first world country. Apparently we are supposed to find that terrifying.

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Jon Walker

Jon Walker

Jonathan Walker grew up in New Jersey. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2006. He is an expert on politics, health care and drug policy. He is also the author of After Legalization and Cobalt Slave, and a Futurist writer at