Timothy Hodson, executive director of the Center for California Studies at Sacramento State University, has an op-ed in today’s L.A. Times looking at the budget crisis from both a historical and political cultural perspective. From the op-ed:
A democracy needs a minority party that fights for its beliefs but also understands that its beliefs are not those of the majority of the people. Churchill knew the importance of majority rule, which is why he orchestrated the political emasculation of the House of Lords when it consistently used its minority veto to thwart one of the largest parliamentary majorities in British history.
A century later, Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) was so frustrated with the minority Democrats blocking the GOP majority in the Senate that he threatened the “nuclear option” — replacing the supermajority required to shut down debate with a simple majority vote. A compromise prevented going nuclear. State Republicans should accept that the two-thirds vote gives them both power and responsibility, and remember that Sacramento Democrats have their own version of a nuclear option.