When John F. Kennedy became our first Roman Catholic president, Benjamin A. Smith’s father (our neighbor, mayor and JFK’s Harvard roommate) filled his seat on the Senate. Each Sunday when Sen. Smith and his large family lined up like Russian matryoshka dolls in the front pew, I thought he was absolutely grand.
For me, the president served as “Pope” and the senators were cardinals, but they were definitely in charge. Later when my high school civics teacher talked about the Senate with awe, even we girls wanted to become senators. By 1967, there had been 10.
Now I feel betrayed by the Mitch McConnell shenanigans and the filibuster threat to perpetuate obstructionism. I say this from a broken heart. We are not a semi-literate citizenry anymore. We don’t need “protection” from our own best interests. We certainly don’t need a Senate focused on the benefits to billionaires and corporations.
It is time to disregard the fairy tales we were told about the filibuster. It was birthed as a Jim Crow weapon of hate, and the filibuster simply needs to go. Maybe then we can return to a majority vote and pass meaningful legislation that protects the health, wellness and prosperity of all Americans.
We. Deserve. Better.