GOP has nothing to Fear from Abusing the Filibuster
Senate Democrats apparently are trying to scare Republicans into not filibustering every single thing, by threatening to filibuster everything the GOP tries to do if the GOP regains power. From Politico:
The White House and Senate Democrats are issuing a blunt warning to Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and his fellow Republicans: You live by the filibuster, you’ll die by the filibuster.
Furious at Republicans for blocking votes on an appeals court nominee and the head of a new consumer watchdog agency, Democratic saber-rattling is intensifying, with fresh warnings that McConnell — or any new Republican administration — will face major repercussions if they come into power in 2013.
This is a truly pathetic move by Democrats, because it is so empty.
The majority party in the Senate does not need to let a minority use the filibuster. The only reason Republicans have gotten away with so many filibusters is because the Democrats just let them filibuster everything.
At any time, a determined simple majority in the Senate can change the rules to prevent filibusters or other idiotic delay tactics. In fact, the last time Republicans were in power and they felt that the Democrats were abusing the filibuster, they threatened to do exactly that, and got the Democrats to back down.
There is no reason to believe Republicans won’t threaten to use the “nuclear option” again if they regain power.
If Democrats are really tired of the abuse of the filibuster, they should just take 10 minutes to permanently eliminate it, or at least threaten to do so. The fact that instead of promising to implement a real and immediate solution, Democrats choose to just complain and use empty threats about the distant future only serves to highlight their own weakness.
The Democrats still haven’t given Republicans any real reason to fear that there will be consequences if they continue to abuse the filibuster. It is no wonder then that Republicans keep doing it.