Everything you need to know about why Democrats should get rid of the filibuster once they get control of the Senate comes in the form of Mitch McConnell taking to the NY Times op-ed section to scold them not to.
A Democratic assault on the legislative filibuster would make the nomination fights look like child’s play. That’s because systematically filibustering nominees was not an old tradition but a modern phenomenon, pioneered in 2003 by Democrats who opposed President George W. Bush. When Republicans followed suit and held up a handful of Obama nominees the same way, Democrats could not stomach their own medicine and began a “nuclear” exchange that Republicans had to end.
The back-and-forth was regrettable, but the silver lining is that the failed experiment Democrats started in 2003 is now over. The Senate has taken a step back toward its centuries-old norms on nominations: limited debate and a simple majority threshold.
On legislation, however, the Senate’s treasured tradition is not efficiency but deliberation. One of the body’s central purposes is making new laws earn broader support than what is required for a bare majority in the House. The legislative filibuster does not appear in the Constitution’s text, but it is central to the order the Constitution sets forth. It echoes James Madison’s explanation in Federalist 62 that the Senate is designed not to rubber-stamp House bills but to act as an “additional impediment” and “complicated check” on “improper acts of legislation.” It embodies Thomas Jefferson’s principle that “great innovations should not be forced on slender majorities.”
The legislative filibuster is directly downstream from our founding tradition. If that tradition frustrates the whims of those on the far left, it is their half-baked proposals and not the centuries-old wisdom that need retooling.
Yes, the Senate’s design makes it difficult for one party to enact sweeping legislation on its own. Yes, the filibuster makes policy less likely to seesaw wildly with every election. These are features, not bugs. Our country doesn’t need a second House of Representatives with fewer members and longer terms. America needs the Senate to be the Senate.
I recognize it may seem odd that a Senate majority leader opposes a proposal to increase his own power. Certainly it is curious that liberals are choosing this moment, when Americans have elected Republican majorities three consecutive times and counting, to attack the minority’s powers.
But my Republican colleagues and I have not and will not vandalize this core tradition for short-term gain. We recognize what everyone should recognize — there are no permanent victories in politics. No Republican has any trouble imagining the laundry list of socialist policies that 51 Senate Democrats would happily inflict on Middle America in a filibuster-free Senate.
Now Mitch isn't writing this for his base, he's writing this as an open threat to Democratic voters to not elect Democrats. For all of his posturing and scolding, the only real thing that matters is control of the Senate with 51 Senators (or 50 plus the VP). The "historical mores" of the Senate have only resulted in years of useless gridlock, and a Republican Senate bound and determined not to pass legislation.
The best thing we could do is get rid of Mitch McConnell.