Filibuster Chart

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Andrew Golis tweeted this out recently:

Cloture_Voting,_U.S._Senate,_1947_to_2008 1

I remember during the Bush years when Nathan Newman and I were saying that liberal infatuation with the filibuster was short-sighted and it would be smart to take advantage of the right’s momentary frustration with it to return the Senate to something approaching a workable set of procedures.

Nowadays it’s the right that’s discovered the alleged principled virtues of governmental paralysis. And really it all might be fine if stasis were actually a viable option. The American people seem fairly small-c conservative and maybe our system of government should be too. But small-c conservative measures aren’t going to deal with the long-term fiscal challenge. And a system that’s too small-c conservative to allow the executive branch to be fully staffed one year into a new administration isn’t working at all. If you look at the chart, it’s pretty clear that the Democratic response to unprecedented Republican obstructionism is going to be an even higher level of obstructionism once the tables are turned.