President Obama just reminded Senate Democrats: “You had to cast more votes to break filibusters last year than in the entire 1950s and ‘60s combined. That’s 20 years of obstruction packed into just one.”
Jim Fallows cited this quote in a recent series on the topic, including a couple of exchanges with a knowledgeable DC reader who believes bipartisanship can’t work. Those posts are here and here. Fallows’ own thoughtful mini-essays are here and here.
They’re all worth reading if you believe the filibuster is one of the central problems of American democracy today.
Tom Geoghegan made a solid case for the unconstitutionality of the procedural filibuster in a Times op-ed last month. In a longer piece in The Nation last year, he made it clear how difficult the fight would be to end it.
If the President eventually tires of calling for real governing bipartisanship, we’ll know it when he and Vice President Biden start campaigning against the filibuster.
I’m not holding my breath, but I’m hoping the day will come.