Disagreement is part of the political process. Check the Constitution if you don’t believe me. There’s a series of checks and balances that is supposed to allow for civil discourse and the overturning of laws if the majority agrees that changes are needed.
Early Thursday, Senate leaders could have reached an agreement of historical proportions. A potential piece of legislation would have had Democrats granting more chances to offer amendments to passed laws. The result 8212; Republicans would have agreed to filibuster fewer bills and nominations, according to an Associated Press article.
This open declaration of a cease-fire would have been a refreshing alternative to the vitriol that has become the accepted definition of political disagreement. Instead, what passed is no better than a handshake.
Both sides agreed to play nicely with each other, with the only gain of the day for political civility being a deal forbidding a single lawmaker from anonymously holding up legislation. Any other filibuster, polite or otherwise, is fair game.
Politics has to change. A great insult to your political opponent might get you a four-minute clip on “Saturday Night Live,” but the democratic process of thoughtful and reasonable discussion needs to be adhered to.
Politicians could have learned a lot from the reading of the Constitution on the House floor 8212; if only they had been listening to the words and not the rhetoric surrounding the action. This agreement was a missed opportunity. With it, America could have finally resumed the road of civil and intelligent debate.
Editor-in-chief Libby Davis for the editorial board.