The filibuster is a leglslative tradition that is nowhere to be found in the U.S. Constitution -- and whose time has passed. We all believe in checks and balances, but that is accomplished by having three separate branches of government and through the already undemocratic makeup of the U.S. Senate, where voters in Delaware have a lot more clout than voters in California. The filibuster "mission creep" that now mandates 60 votes for any piece of legislation means that America can't respond to the grave challenges of the 21st Century.
But the filibuster is really popular, right?
Only in the movies! According to this New York Times poll (Question 53), only 44 percent of Americans want to keep the filibuster as it is, while 50 percent want to change it. That could be done in January of 2011 by a simple majority vote. It would take a lot of guts for either party to do that year, but with no guts, a gridlocked United States will soon have no glory.