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Don't end the filibuster, make it stronger


James S. Robbins

The push by Democrats to eliminate the Senate filibuster is exactly the wrong move at the wrong time. In these days of strident partisanship, cloture should be mended, not ended.

Senators may still fancy themselves part of the world’s greatest deliberative body, but that expression was more suited to a time when they actually deliberated. Now it seems that the work of Senators is to out-bid each other in making angry statements, hold sensationalized hearings, craft legislation in partisan cells behind closed doors and show up for the occasional rushed vote on massive bills they probably haven’t read.

The cloture rule is one of the only remaining vestiges of a way of doing the people’s business that was rooted in the norm of compromise. Getting rid of it will be finally to admit that the system is broken beyond repair.


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