The Congress: The New-Style Filibuster

The traditional Senate filibuster was tedious, to be sure—relays of Senators, hour after hour, croaking hoarse-voiced recitations of the glories of Southern recipes or readings from reference books. But the filibuster could also be dramatic, full of tension and conflict and suspense. By keeping the Senate in session around the clock, the majority tried to wear the filibustering minority down in an ordeal of exhaustion. Cots were set up in the Senate cloakroom, and bleary, rumpled Senators stumbled from them to answer middle-of-the-night quorum calls.

But all that has changed. Gone is the ordeal, the struggle, the drama. All that...

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