Why the talking filibuster won't work

Rather than being a rare occurrence, then, a modern talking filibuster might become commonplace. There was more of an ideological mix among the parties during the era of rare filibusters — liberal Republicans and conservative Democrats added variety and spice to both parties, which provided lots of bipartisan opportunities to get things done. That sensibility is all but absent from today’s homogenized, polarized parties, giving them ample reason to try to block the other’s agenda with any tool at hand.

Even if that means talking and talking and talking.

It could be that a talking filibuster might be too taxing for parties to undertake in all but the most extreme circumstances — the average age of a senator in the 117th Congress is 64, after all. But it seems just as likely that minority parties will use any tool they can to throw obstacles in the path of a governing party’s agenda. Just look at the Democratic-controlled House, where no filibuster exists, but where conservative Republicans are still trying to slow down legislation with the few tactics available. (Democrats would almost certainly be doing the same thing if the situation was reversed.)

The only real way to solve the problem of the filibuster, then, is to eliminate it entirely.