The weird rule that broke American politics

The filibuster started as an accident. Today it lets the losers rule Congress.

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The US Senate is supposed to pass laws. But today, it’s broken. And it’s broken because of something called the filibuster, which has been part of Senate tradition for over 200 years. But the filibuster came into being by accident. And today, some politicians are suggesting we should get rid of it entirely.

Further reading:

* My colleague Matt Yglesias does a great job breaking down the 2020 Democrats’ debate over the filibuster: https://www.vox.com/2019/3/5/18241447/filibuster-reform-explained-warren-booker-sanders

* Ezra Klein dispels some myths about the filibuster: https://www.vox.com/2015/5/27/18089312/myths-about-the-filibuster

* The book “Politics of Principle?” from Sarah Binder and Steven Smith from the Brookings Institution, really helped me understand the Senate filibuster: https://www.brookings.edu/book/politics-or-principle/

* The book “Filibustering: A Political History of Obstruction in the House and Senate” from Gregory Koger, a University of Miami political scientist, puts the filibuster in a broader context: https://www.amazon.com/Filibustering-Political-Obstruction-American-Politics/dp/0226449653

* Lastly, this article from the Stanford Law Review answered some basic questions about the Senate filibuster: https://scholarship.law.duke.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1682&context=faculty_scholarship;The

“Note: The headline for this video has been updated since publishing.
Previous headline: How the filibuster broke the US senate

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