March 10th, 2010
In this month's Newsweek, Ezra Klein opens a column so straightforwardly that it is almost unique in comparison with his contemporaries.
"Ask a kid who just took civics how a bill becomes a law and she'll explain that Congress takes a vote and if a majority supports the bill, the bill goes to the president. That's what we teach in textbooks. In reality, the Senate is a contest to find who's better at manipulating the rules for purposes that they were never meant to serve. For the minority, everything depends on its skill with Rule XXII. For the majority, it's all about its understanding of the budget reconciliation process. For the country, it's a mess."
The filibuster has grossly outlived it's usefulness. However, it is unlikely at this time that any major reform of the maneuver will happen this year. I would warn against those of us on the Left forgetting the Right's abuses in the event that majority control of the Senate returns to the Republicans in November. If that is to happen, we must not become what we have beheld.