As for the filibuster, itself, I am just not that concerned. After all, the real mutilation of the Senate came when we started to elect Senators by poplar vote instead of through the State legislators. The Senate is supposed to be the representative of the States, as sovereign institutions – by making the election of Senators direct, we simply turned the Senate in to a smaller, more exclusive House of Representatives. If anyone wants to restore the Senate to its ancient glory, I’m all with you and let’s set about repealing the 17th Amendment. But, still, this is a change – and a permanent one. While the filibuster still technically exists in certain cases, it is in fact a dead letter…any time a Senate minority attempts to use it, the Senate majority will just do away with it, as Harry Reid’s majority just did.
The only thing I can find as a reason for this end of the filibuster is a desire on the part of Democrats to pack the courts with as little fuss as possible – especially the DC Court as it is in charge of dealing with regulatory matters. Democrats want smooth sailing for whatever Obama and minions say in regulating our lives in to the ground, and this is their way to get it. Seems a bit short-sighted, though – not a very good reason for giving up the filibuster, especially as Democrats are in grave danger of losing their majority in the 2014 mid-terms (I figure its 50/50 the GOP will win the necessary 6 seats…but even if we don’t in 2014, we will eventually have a Senate majority again, and Democrats will be rather backs against the wall).
And when we have a full Congressional majority and control of the White House, then the Democrats will feel the full force of their mistake. No longer will the basic premises of Big Government reign supreme because it takes 60 votes to close off debate. No longer will one or two RINOs be able to ensure that the legislative desires of the GOP are blocked. All it will take, with a GOP President, is a mere 50 GOP Senators to agree, and our will is law…end of the Department of Education; end of the Department of Energy; and so on. 218 House members, 50 Senators, one President with a Vice President to break the tie in the Senate. That is not a very high bar. 100 years of Progressive politics can now be undone in a few months. To be sure, a returned Democrat majority can attempt to re-cobble it all together again…but after four or five years without it, it might not be politically possible to do. And the certainty is that whatever is done can be easily undone. And if Progressive politics are in bad odor then a non-Progressive campaign reminding the people that a victory for the left means mere re-imposition of the things we just got rid of, then the non-Progressive side will win.
It could be that when the history of our times are written, it will be revealed that Obama and Reid did away with the filibuster simply because they were frustrated they couldn’t immediately get 100% of their way…that they gutted their own protection because they simply didn’t want to get 90% of their desires. If so, then it will be just another bit of proof that whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad.