When the U.S. Senate absolutely does not want to get anything done, it has always relied on the filibuster. For those of you who don't remember any of your civics classes, the filibuster is when, in order to stop a popular piece of legislation from passing, a senator just delays the vote. By talking. Forever. He just keeps going until either supporters of the bill come up with the extra votes it takes to stop a filibuster, or the sun swallows the Earth.
"If elected, I promise to incessantly quote golf statistics until my opponents give up and go home."
Today the technique has advanced to where they don't require the filibustering side to actually give a speech that lasts for infinity -- the threat of filibuster is enough to do the job. But back in the old-timey era, if you wanted to stall a bill you'd better believe that you were expected to stand on your feet and start talking. Since actual relevant subjects run out pretty quickly, this means they would just start rambling. For instance, back in the 1930s, Sen. Huey Long (D-La.) filibustered several bills by using such tactics as "reading Shakespeare, reciting shrimp and oyster recipes, and talking about 'pot-likkers.' "
"No, I don't know what a pot-likker is. Why do you ask?"