Filibuster

Matthew Yglesias has some old numbers up showing that the public is mostly blaming the deadlock in Congress on Bush and the Republicans.  Even though a disturbing percentage blame it on both parties or the Democrats, overall dissatisfaction with Congress helps the Democrats since almost twice as many Republican senators are up for re-election as Democratic senators.

This also makes me think that it would be nice to restructure the filibuster so that it required members of congress to actually talk interminably–it turns out that the Senate majority leader could unilaterally do this.  I think that would be good both as a political message–Republicans reading from the phone book would make an excellent headline.  More importantly, it might make the filibuster actually work.  In theory, it’s quite nice to have a check on majoritarianism, but at this point the filibuster has clearly been doing more harm than good.  But if you institute real costs to using the filibuster, then it might serve its function.  Right now, it’s relatively ‘cheap’ to use.

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