What history teaches us about the supermajority

The World

The election of Republican Scott Brown as Massachusetts’ new junior senator on Tuesday night sent shock waves through Washington. Politicians of on both sides of the aisle flocked to microphones to give their takes on the future of health care reform now that the Democrats no longer have the Senate 60 votes needed to avoid a filibuster. But how did we come to expect a 59-vote majority as a bad thing? We look at the history of the supermajority.

We speak to Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and Princeton congressional historian Julian Zelizer, author of “Arsenal of Democracy: The Politics of National Security – From World War II to the War on Terrorism.”

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Sign up for The Top of the World, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning.