I read an article on The Huffington Post about the increased use of the filibuster in recent Senate history. The author reports that use of the filibuster has substantially increased along with increased partisanship in Washing D.C. Some people have gone so far as to say that the constant use of filibusters by opposition Republicans is making the country ungovernable, but the author doesn’t feel the situation is quite that bad.
The filibuster is a protective device for the Senate minority, which ensures the minority is not completely trampled by the Senate majority. It is a historical tool that has been a part of the Senate since its earliest history. But, many Democrats feel that the Senate Republicans are going well beyond simply protecting their interests, to the point of completely tangling up the legislative system.
This article is scary. The fact that partisanship has gotten to this point in Washington is frightening. Now that Scott Brown has taken a Senate seat the use of filibusters is certain to increase, because the Democrats will not have the 60-seat majority necessary to break a filibuster by opposition Republicans. I hope that I will live to see the day when the well being of the United States and its citizens are valued higher that party loyalty on Capitol Hill.
I think the author of this article did a great job of explaining how a filibuster works in the Senate. He also made it very easy to understand why the election of Scott Brown to the Senate is so important to issues such as health care. With Senate Democrats no longer able to break a filibuster, President Obama is going to have a hard time pushing forward any legislation, in particular his plan for health care reform.