Thursday, November 21, 2013

the post-filibuster Senate

The Democratic majority leader of the Senate chose the nuclear option to end filibusters on nominations, just as the Republican majority leader almost did a decade ago. Too bad. It now seems as if, rather than causing a more fractious Senate, this action confirms the lack of comity and trust that has developed in recent years.

Democrats apparently concluded that the Republicans couldn't be trusted to keep the present rules whenever they become the majority, so the Democrats made the change now to reap the benefits in the meantime.

How will the Senate change? Sarah Binder has some good insights. I fear the Senate will continue to be more like the House, with deeper partisan divisions and less willingness to reach across the aisle. I regret this change, but I also regret the dysfunctions that led to it.

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