Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013 | 2:01 a.m.
Both parties talk about the need to work across the aisle in the interests of the American people and not for special interests. This bipartisan rhetoric expresses the belief that our representatives in Washington need to compromise in order to govern effectively.
If this is a serious goal, then both Nevada senators need to start the ball rolling by ending the 60-vote rule to get just about anything passed by the Senate.
Why would a politician compromise with the opposition if the legislative agenda can be controlled through his/her mere verbal threat to filibuster? The answer is that no politician would. Not long ago, 60 votes were required to end only real filibusters, when senators actually spoke for long hours on the merits of their views from the Senate floor and sometimes won partial or complete victories because their arguments were persuasive. That was called compromise.
So to those Democrats and Independents who oppose fixing the Senate rules because they’re afraid that someday they might be in the minority and wouldn’t have any influence in the Senate, I say if you believe in reasonable compromise, and more fundamentally in democracy itself, you must vote to fix the 60-vote rule.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid needs to get his troops in line and correct this situation now, the time when Senate rules allow such a change. If he doesn’t, we need to ask why.