His name is James Fallows, and these are "the brakes":
Let's round the figures to 63/37 and apply them to the health care debate. Senators representing 63 percent of the public vote for the bill; those representing 37 percent vote against it. The bill fails.
This is just as a point of information. The Constitution was designed as a system of checks and balances. As explained in my article, that image is being replaced by one of brakes:
Just about the only positive -- and it's a small one -- to come out of the recent crisis of confidence in America, which now spans broadly across both parties, is that people are re-thinking the big picture on things such as the filibuster, which have created a situation that, as Fallows writes, goes well beyond the "checks and balances" that most of us have come to appreciate.