Master of The Senate

I am current reading Master of the Senate, by Robert Caro. Pulitzer Prizing Winning Biography on Lyndon Johnson. Caro also wrote two other books on Johnson and one book, The Power Broker, also winner of the Pulitzer. 4 books in thirty years and two of them won the Pulitzer. Not bad, eh? Lesson, slow and steady wins the race?

Anyway, the first hundred pages of Master of the Senate are actually a good (but brief) history of the Senate as an institution. Why it was created, how it grew and changed, how the other branches of government have dealt with it.

My brother has been lobbying me to join him in his crusade to abolish the Senate from our legislative process. I am torn. On the one hand, I think historically the Senate was good in the 19th century up the Civil War. Terrible from that moment until now. So abolishion sounds good based on recent (130 year track record). On the other hand, the House has not always been a bastion of intelligence and thoughtfulness either. Our current House of Representatives would not lead the country forward as a replacement. However, as a nod to the ‘Crusader of Impossible Dreams’, Daniel, I am slightly more in favor of abolishion than I was two weeks ago.

Additionally, I whole-heartedly support your dream of splitting the electoral vote of all states. You are not always wrong. No matter what Lindy says.

3 replies on “Master of The Senate”

Historically speaking, the Senate has not had a good track record. I even debate whether letting the south leave the union peacefully in the early days of the Union might not have been a bad idea.

But specifically, since the Civil War, the House has repeatedly passed Civil Rights legislation, anti-lynching laws, child labor laws, voting rights laws…all of which were killed in the Senate. The senate has been the bastion of the status quo.

Now, I don’t think that the House is a perfect body. It is chaotic and currently ruled by Evil people. However, my statement is that historically speaking, the Senate has been much worse than the House in passing human rights legislation.

Whatya think?