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Tom Daschle’s New Debate Series

Erik Sofranko

Posted on June 11, 2022 20:20

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The former Senate Majority Leader is aiming to bridge the divide in the chamber.

Former Senate Majority Leader, Democrat Tom Daschle of South Dakota, is looking to use his new platform to reignite the spirit of friendly and honest debate in the U.S. Senate. As a board member of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute, Daschle has been a catalyst in the creation of a new debate series at the institute that will begin on June 13th.

The first round of debates will be between Senators Bernie Sanders and Lindsey Graham. Fox News anchor Bret Baier will be the moderator for the first debate that will premiere on the Fox Nation app. Sanders and Graham were selected due to their prominence and ability to infuriate ideological opponents.

Daschle is also a co-founder of the Bipartisan Policy Center, which aims to revive the spirit of constructive debate in Washington. Daschle was a U.S. Senator in an era that was much more welcoming to constructive policy debates. The deeply partisan nature of today’s politics has prevented the legislative branch of government from being able to form a consensus. Therefore, it is much more difficult to pass legislation than it used to be. Gridlock has become the accepted norm in Washington, and Daschle’s new debate series aims to be a reminder of what politics used to be and can again become.

The legislative filibuster in the Senate allows the minority party to shut down debate on a particular bill to ensure that it never reaches the floor. Both parties have used this tactic to their advantage over the years as it is an easy escape route to ensure the other party does not get a “win.” The Senate can only operate with bipartisan consensus, which means senators must be willing to put in the work necessary to reach deals through compromise. It is important to maintain the legislative filibuster to preserve the minority party’s power of influence. However, the filibuster can also be abused in a way that prevents people of good faith in either major party from being able to deliver for Americans.

Shortly before Senator John McCain passed, he gave a speech on the Senate floor that called for exactly what Tom Daschle is currently attempting to facilitate. McCain called for a return to regular order in the Senate: “I hope we can again rely on humility, on our need to cooperate, on our dependence on each other to learn how to trust each other again and by so doing better serve the people who elected us. Stop listening to the bombastic loudmouths on the radio and television and on the Internet. To hell with them. They don't want anything done for the public good. Our incapacity is their livelihood.”

If all politicians viewed each other as fellow Americans instead of adversaries, more solutions to the country’s problems may arise. Network television plays a major role in sowing division by only focusing on what divides instead of what unites. Passionate debate based on principle is a key feature of democracy.

Erik Sofranko

Posted on June 11, 2022 20:20

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