For those who missed it because they were, I don't know, spending achingly rare moments with their family and celebrating the birth of their personal savior and discreetly tripping other human beings to snatch the last half-price Blue-Ray DVD players, I had an Outlook article this weekend on the need to reform the Senate. The article focused on the filibuster, but there's obviously more to the story.
To get at some of that, I also posted the transcripts of some of the interviews behind the article, including my chat with political scientist Barbara Sinclair, who explained the rise in the filibuster and the theory behind its use; SEIU President Andy Stern, who argued that there's no way to highlight Republican obstruction if Democrats can't stop the most conservative members of their party from breaking ranks in order to extort concessions; Sen. Jeff Merkley, who is hoping to produce a bipartisan fix for the filibuster by phasing it out six or eight years into the future when it's not clear which party will benefit; and Sen. Tom Harkin, who revealed he's planning to reintroduce legislation to end the filibuster in January.
I was also glad to see Sen. Arlen Specter join the chorus. On Fox News Sunday, he said, "The lead story today in The Washington Post is that after you reform health care, you ought to reform the Senate. And I would start with the process." So would I, Senator. So would I.
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