FREE SPEECH ZONE | An open letter to Senator Al Franken

Dear Senator Franken, Thank you for your letter yesterday, telling me that the vote on the tax bill was the hardest you have taken yet.  I appreciate your clarity about your dissatisfaction that the President ‘punted on the first down’ and enumerating the factors that caused you to support the bill despite that dissatisfaction. I am a Unitarian Universalist minister.  Unitarian Universalists, like Jews, center much of our faith in the practice of asking questions.  I find that I have some deep questions, and when I talk to friends they don’t seem to really know either, so I thought I would ask them directly to you. These are not rhetorical questions; I would love answers!Free Speech ZoneThe Free Speech Zone offers a space for contributions from readers, without editing by the TC Daily Planet. This is an open forum for articles that otherwise might not find a place for publication, including news articles, opinion columns, announcements and even a few press releases. Here are my questions:How did 60 become the necessary number to get anything passed?  Why is the need for a filibuster-proof majority presumed?  Up until 2008, it seemed as if, in general, majority meant 51 votes.  Why were the rules allowed to be changed?In the next Congress, are the Democrats going to play by the ‘rule of 60’ as well?  If not, since you initiated the sports metaphor, I’ll use it, too–can you really play a game when the two teams play by different rules? You say that the President vows to fight these tax cuts for the rich harder in 2012 than he did in 2010.  How could he possibly be more effective fighting in 2012 than in 2010?What was the hurry to pass the bill? What would another week have cost? Continue Reading