Ezra Klein: Tear down that filibuster wall

  • Article by: EZRA KLEIN , Washington Post
  • Updated: January 1, 2010 - 6:02 PM

On Dec. 8, 1964, Mike Manatos wrote a letter that explains what's wrong with the Senate in 2009. As Lyndon Johnson's liaison to the Senate, he was writing to update his bosses on Medicare's chances in the aftermath of the 1964 election. Surveying the incoming crop of senators, Manatos counted a solid majority in favor of the president's effort. "If all our supporters are present and voting we would win by a vote of 55 to 45," he predicted. That letter would never be written now. In today's Senate, 55 votes isn't enough to "win," or anything close to it; it's enough to get you five votes away from the 60 votes you need to shut down a filibuster. Only then, in most cases, can a law be passed.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • about opinion

  • The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.

  • Submit a letter or commentary
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you care more about the World Cup than you did last week?

Weekly Question