(Who can name the illustrious statesman shown above, a longtime member of the self-proclaimed ‘greatest deliberative body in the world’?)
The dear people at The Nation magazine are shocked and dismayed at the failure of filibuster ‘reform’ — a fine phrase, as who should say ‘burglary reform’ or ‘slavery reform’.
The piece linked above, by a rather alarmingly bright-eyed Junior Woodchuck named George Zornick, is entitled ‘There was no reason to surrender in filibuster reform.’ Well then, George, if there was no reason, why did it happen?
Admittedly, all the reasons given, which poor George capably eviscerates, are unconvincing. But of course this shows that the real reason can’t be acknowledged.
I think it’s quite simple. Every senator in that contemptible body has a vested interest in the filibuster, because it increases the price he can charge for a vote. (I don’t mean in the literal sense, in most cases, of course; though the quid pro quo is often stark enough.)
It’s a question of supply and demand. If getting something through the Senate takes sixty votes instead of fifty, the marginal vote becomes that much more valuable.