What Would Mr. Smith Do?

Get a cot. Here's Ezra Klein describing Oregon Senator Jeff Merkley's proposal for filibuster reform:

...senators could no longer filibuster the motion to proceed to debate on the bill because that, after all, leads to less debate. They also couldn't filibuster amendments, as that also leads to less debate and consideration. The opportunity to filibuster, rather, would be at the final vote, when there is a completed piece of legislation to debate.

Once a filibuster has started, Merkley would like to see it resemble the public conception of the practice.

So rather than a private communication between members of the two parties’ leadership teams, it would actually be a floor debate -- and a crowded one. The first 24 hours would need five filibustering senators to be present, the second 24 hours would require 10, and after that, the filibuster would require 20 members of the minority on the floor continuously. Meanwhile, there would have to be an ongoing debate: "If a speaker concludes (arguing either side) and there is no senator who wishes to speak, the regular order is immediately restored, debate is concluded and a simple majority vote is held according to further details established in the rules. ... Americans who tune in to observe the filibuster would not see a quorum call, but would see a debate in process."

That's more like it. More drama too - which means more responsibility for creating it.

(Hat tip: Doug Mataconis)