By now you've probably heard that Senate Republicans filibustered efforts to fund a phased redeployment of American military forces from Iraq. I was at a breakfast this morning with Nancy Pelosi where she addressed the problem of majoritarian legislation passing the House, then going to the Senate, then attracting majority support in the Senate, and then dying anyway in terms that hinted around at the idea that maybe the Senate's cherished traditions aren't such a hot idea. Certainly I think so, and certainly I wish the Democrats had seized the opportunity of the "nuclear option" debate to finally rid the country of this horrible prop of status quo bias.

It's worth considering that in January 2009, Americans will probably have a president elected on a platform of universal health care and robust action to curb carbon emissions, a House Speaker who backs both of those things, and a Senate Majority Leader who backs both of those things, and nevertheless the odds for either of those things happening aren't especially good and the reason is the filibuster.