The United States Senate is the most anti-democratic institution in the United States government. Not only do the Senate’s rules allow any 40 senators to override the will of that 100-member body’s majority, but the Senate’s one-state-two-votes structure gives that power to a minority of a minority.
The pernicious effect of that unrepresentative structure was demonstrated yet again in today’s vote on repeal of the US military’s anti-gay “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. In that vote 57 senators, elected to represent a large majority of the American people, were defeated by just forty, representing just 34.44% of the nation.*
California’s two senators, representing some 38 million people, voted for repeal today. But their votes were cancelled out — and indeed outweighed — by those of Wyoming’s two senators, who represent just 533,000.
If you’ve ever wondered why a policy change supported by 67% of the American public remains so resistant to repeal, now you know.
*Where a state’s senators split on DADT repeal, I counted each as “representing” half of that state’s population.