The radicalism of majority rule
As a bit of an addendum to the post below, it's always worth noting that the radical vision of filibuster opponents is ... majority rule. The majority rule that Congress used until very recently, the majority rule that is explained to children when they learn about the American government, and the majority rule that we use to run, well, everything else. Scott Brown, for instance, got 51 percent of the votes in Massachusetts, not 60 percent. In fact, you never hear anyone say that we're a more polarized country now, so we should subject elections to a 60 percent requirement. Majority rule works just fine, thanks.
Meanwhile, in California, the legislature works off two-thirds rule, and the state is in an acute fiscal collapse. And it's not as if there are obvious examples of supermajority rule dramatically improving the condition of states or, to my knowledge, other countries. Nor do you hear people in Washington talking about how well it works now that everything requires 60 votes in the Senate. Everyone agrees Washington is broken. But people have a status quo bias, and so they think up ways to justify the current state of affairs, even as that state of affairs is a huge and radical break with our past.
January 27, 2010; 5:00 PM ET
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