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The New Filibuster Fight | The Nation

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Katrina vanden Heuvel

Katrina vanden Heuvel

Politics, current affairs and riffs and reflections on the news.

The New Filibuster Fight

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

Perhaps it was inevitable that a parliamentary rule named after pirates would metastasize into an untamed menace.

Throughout its unlikely history, the filibuster has been—depending on the moment—lauded and scorned and even immortalized by Hollywood. A Senate relic, dry as parchment, has gained the sort of colorful reputation normally reserved for troubled starlets (or troubled generals).

 

Now, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid proposes, as others have in the past, to finally rein in the beast. It won’t be easy. Previous efforts to change the filibuster have failed in the face of opposition from whichever party is in the minority and fearful of losing their right to stand up to—and in the way of—majority will.

Editor’s Note: Each week we cross-post an excerpt from Katrina vanden Heuvel’s column at the WashingtonPost.com. Read the full text of Katrina’s column here.

For more on the fight to reform the filibuster, check out John Nichols’s take here

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