There have been a number of fine articles and columns recently examining the increasingly dysfunctional U.S. Senate. (see also Eric Alterman’s really important essay for a look at how the executive branch is doing.)
Norm Orenstein of the American Enterprise Institute (that’s the thoughtful conservative think tank, unlike Heritage which is entirely ideological) has an op-ed today in Times. (Yes, I am still reading the editorial page.) It is definitely worth a read. From it:
“Filibusters aren’t just more numerous; they’re more mundane, too. Consider an earlier bill to extend unemployment benefits, passed in late 2009. It faced two filibusters — despite bipartisan backing and its eventual passage by a 98-0 margin. A bill that should have zipped through in a few days took four weeks, including seven days of floor debate. Or take the nomination of Judge Barbara Milano Keenan to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit: she, too, faced a filibuster, even though she was later confirmed 99 to 0.”
This is quite remarkable. And entirely irrational.
Now, it is on to A Face in The Crowd. And by the way, Beck’s DC side show has every movement person of color on the stage. None in the audience of course cuz all two dozen of them are on the stage. An Indian too. Also I thought I saw a Pakistani.