This puppy doesn’t know who to vote for because lines of democratic accountability have been obscured.The filibuster stands today as the single most important impediment to the significant reforms needed in America’s climate/energy policies, its immigration policies, its labor law policies, and its need for a functioning judiciary. But beyond that, the filibuster has become a critical force undermining the workings of democratic accountability.
Democracy shouldn’t be identified strictly with majority rule. Indeed, in a past era the filibuster arguably played a role in facilitating democracy. It allowed legislators with unusually strong preferences to sometimes get their way in blocking majorities (in practice, this often meant allowing white supremacists to block equal rights for their black constituents).
The relatively recent arrival of the routine filibuster, however, simply turns on its head the basic idea that voters should reward success and punish failure. Relatively few people follow the procedural wrangling on Capitol Hill in detail or have a particularly impressive knowledge of the issues. What people do know is their own liv... Read more