Prepping my Congress lecture, I thought about the math on the filibuster for the first time ever. Since 60 votes (out of 100 senators) are needed to impose cloture, 41 senators can block legislation. That part we all knew, but never before did I think about that as a percentage of the whole Congress. 41/536 = 7.6%. Theoretically, a single-digit proportion of Congress can stop legislation. Fortunately that extreme of a case is totally unrealistic (requiring a unanimous, or nearly so, House), and that power is entirely negative–that proportion can’t come anywhere close to passing legislation.
Still, it gives me pause.