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General statements against the filibuster

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Paul Krugman. "A dangerous dysfunction." New York Times. December 20th, 2009: "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. And it gave a handful of wavering senators extraordinary power to shape the bill.

Now consider what lies ahead. We need fundamental financial reform. We need to deal with climate change. We need to deal with our long-run budget deficit. What are the chances that we can do all that — or, I’m tempted to say, any of it — if doing anything requires 60 votes in a deeply polarized Senate?"

"The Senate and the Filibuster--Posner". The Becker Posner Blog. July 5, 2009: "The filibuster is an incomprehensible device of government. A supermajority rule, whether it is the rule of unanimity in criminal jury trials or the supermajority rules for amending the Constitution, makes sense when the cost of a false positive (convicting an innocent person, or making an unsound amendment to the Constitution) substantially exceeds the cost of a false negative. But it is hard to see the applicability of that principle to Senate voting, given the other barriers to enacting legislation."

Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa). "There is no reform more important to this country and to this body than slaying the dinosaur called the filibuster. We need to change it so that we can really get back to what our Founding Fathers envisioned - a process whereby the minority can slow things down, debate them, but not kill things outright.'"[1]

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