Thus far, we have been speculating about the sorts of vacancies caused by the death or other departure of a single senator. But in an age of nuclear weapons, it is also necessary to contemplate the simultaneous deaths of many more. In such a case, the sheer size of the United States would work in its favor. If (say) a third of the Senate's membership were wiped out in a surprise attack on Washington, the replacement of the dead senators would take place in dozens or even scores of states all over the country.
So the United States Senate is a tough old institution and would be hard to put out of business altogether.
William Rusher is a Distinguished Fellow of the Claremont Institute for the Study of Statesmanship and Political Philosophy and author of How to Win Arguments .
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