Month 7, Day 10: Yes, I Know It’s A Sucking Chest Wound, But Please Fill Out These Forms. In Triplicate.

We really really really need to change the way the filibuster is used in the Senate. You should write to your senators (if you’ve got some Democrats) and tell them something along these lines. The emergency-room analogy in this letter pleases me; I’m going to try and use it some more.

Dear Senator Kerry,

The Senate needs filibuster reform, for all our sakes.

Despite having one of the smallest minorities in recent history, the Republicans are making it impossible for us to move forward. Every bill is watered down, every policy initiative is gutted, every noble impulse turned into a tepid and uninspiring porridge.

This is most appalling and damaging in the case of climate legislation. We are asked to wait. And wait. And wait. And give up the things that might actually make a tiny bit of difference to humanity’s next century, in the hope of appeasing Olympia Snowe, or Lindsey Graham, or Scott Brown — or some damn Republican or another who will end up voting against the bill anyway.

The United States Senate is like the admissions clerk in an emergency room; someone is brought in bleeding to death, and rather than receive treatment, is forced to spend hours filling out insurance forms. That’s what the US Senate does, thanks to the abuse of the filibuster by the Republicans.

And if Democrats want to keep a majority, they’d do well to enact meaningful filibuster reform at the beginning of the next congress. Senate Democrats must overcome the timidity that has kept them quivering and cowering at the threats of their Republican colleagues, and this must begin with ending the most egregious abuse of Senatorial process in the past century.

With Arctic sea ice at its lowest level yet, with methane bubbling up out of the ocean floor, with BP’s toxic cocktail destroying the Gulf of Mexico, with the ocean becoming more acidic, with atmospheric CO2 at 394 ppm and rising…learned helplessness is a luxury we can no longer afford. We need a strong climate bill, or we may not have any descendants to curse us for our inaction.

There is no time left to waste in appeasing a group of anti-science, anti-environment, anti-humanity opportunists who are guaranteed to oppose anything you do. Reform the use of the filibuster. Advance genuine climate legislation.

That’s all.

Yours Sincerely,

Warren Senders

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