The Senate — and, therefore, the U.S. government as a whole — has become ominously dysfunctional. After all, Democrats won big last year, running on a platform that put health reform front and center. In any other advanced democracy this would have given them the mandate and the ability to make major changes. But the need for 60 votes to cut off Senate debate and end a filibuster — a requirement that appears nowhere in the Constitution, but is simply a self-imposed rule — turned what should have been a straightforward piece of legislating into a nail-biter. […] The political scientist Barbara Sinclair has done the math. In the 1960s, she finds, ‘extended-debate-related problems’ — threatened or actual filibusters — affected only 8 percent of major legislation. By the 1980s, that had risen to 27 percent. But after Democrats retook control of Congress in 2006 and Republicans found themselves in the minority, it soared to 70 percent.
I wonder what politics and passing legislation will be like when millenials are running things? I have a feeling it’ll be different than this. And I’m excited to accept the challenge of re-inventing something that has been destroyed by powerful old white men pandering to special interests.