Year 16, Book 38

38. Kill Switch: The Rise of the Modern Senate and the Crippling of American Democracy by Adam Jentleson

Jentleson digs into the history of the filibuster and shows how it was never part of the framers’ intent for the Senate to be ruled by anything but a simple majority, but the perversion of Senate rules over time has led to the current situation where legislation is not debated in the Senate and rarely passes. It’s a really excellent look into the people who managed to subvert the filibuster to their will and alter the way it was used over time to block legislation at first sparingly almost exclusively over civil rights issues and eventually pretty much every bill not put forth by their own party. Jentleson also offers suggestions about how to reform the filibuster to again make the Senate a functioning body. This book will make you angry or at least should make you angry and should be required reading for everyone, especially our senators. I give it a 9 out of 10.

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