It should be no secret (although thanks to our mealy-mouthed media it still seems to be) that Republicans have used the filibuster to wreck havoc on the democratic process. According to this article by Ezra Klein of the Washington Post, it turns out the filibuster is an accidental side effect of a senate rule change proposed by Aaron Burr:
In 1806, the Senate, on the advice of Aaron Burr, tried to clean up its rule book, which was thought to be needlessly complicated and redundant. One change it made was to delete something called “the previous question” motion. That was the motion senators used to end debate on whatever they were talking about and move to the next topic. Burr recommended axing it because it was hardly ever used. Senators were gentlemen. They knew when to stop talking.
So, even one of our nation’s most notorious ne’er do wells* couldn’t imagine how any self-respecting senator would abuse the process to subvert democracy for their own twisted, extreme agenda. Too bad Mr. Burr isn’t around now to challenge Mitch McConnell to a duel.
*Can’t call Burr a traitor, because he was never convicted.