Yglesias

Filibustermania

Posted on

CREDIT:

What James Fallows said.

In the New Year, I hope that some enterprising subcommittee chairman will bring David Mayhew and others down to DC to clear up this point about the history of the filibuster. A lot of people seem to think the Senate was always a supermajority body. The real history of the filibuster, however, is that the authentic historical tradition was that the filibuster gave the white South a veto over civil rights bills and was not otherwise used. Then there was a transitional period in the seventies and eighties, and it’s only very recently that the idea of a routine supermajority requirement emerged.