One Senator’s genius plan for filibuster reform: require that the act actually take place, and take the form of debate, for its duration; and require the minority to be present in number.
This and other reforms should be deployed to target the shockingly low transaction costs that the Republican Party must expend to execute its maddening strategy of obstruction. As it stands, the country can be ground to a halt with almost no effort: a bill can die from the threat of a filibuster; nominees may be secretly held without risk of political retribution; and so on. Part of this problem is our fault. If we had the courage of our convictions, we would force the honorable opposition to make good on its threats. The spectacle of Republicans actually shutting down the chamber has a different effect on political discourse than the threat thereof, circulated through Washington’s back-channels, and eventually reported by (ugh) Politico.
Of course, the rule change will never come — at least, not with this leadership. But a majority should mean something, and forcing the Republicans to actually filibuster would be a welcome first step.