4 Reasons Getting Rid of the Filibuster for All Legislation Would Be a Disaster
“We pour our legislation into the Senatorial saucer to cool it.” -- George Washington
Thank you @SteveDaines for being willing to go with the so-called nuclear option in order to win on DESPERATELY NEEDED Border Security! Have my total support.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 21, 2018
In 2013, Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) nuked the filibuster option for lower court judges and cabinet nominees. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) returned the favor in 2017 when Democrats filibustered imminently qualified Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch. I had been in favor of both changes since 2005 and it really didn’t matter much to me who implemented them. They made sense, especially for Republicans.
However, at Donald Trump’s urging, we’ve moved on to discussing the nuclear option for ALL legislation. It’s understandable why he wants to do it. Both parties have become heavily incentivized to block almost everything the other party wants and it’s rare for a side to control the presidency, the House and 60 votes in the Senate, which is essentially what it takes to pass whatever you want. Make no mistake about it, this is a huge problem for the country. However, the only thing that would be worse than the problem we have now is the disastrous new problems that would be created by getting rid of the filibuster for all legislation. Why would it be a problem?
1. It would dramatically decrease the stability in the country
If Republicans were to have control of the House and Senate, it’s true that they could ram through legislation near and dear to the hearts of conservatives if the filibuster were nuked. During this short lame-duck session, that would mean we’d get funding for the wall and probably not a lot else before Democrats take over the House. However, let’s assume a best-case scenario happens in 2020 and Trump gets elected, the GOP holds the Senate, and the GOP takes back the House. Sounds great, right? Then we could theoretically kill Obamacare, push through a free market-oriented health care system, make tough changes to immigration laws, get rid of the capital gains tax, push through entitlement reform, roll back Dodd-Frank, make it tougher to get an abortion, etc., etc., etc. It sounds wonderful, right? Except, let’s then imagine the best-case scenario for DEMOCRATS in 2024. Let’s say they take the House, the Senate, and the White House. What are they going to do? Well, the first thing they’re going to do is roll back everything the Republicans did. Then, they’re going to move on to their wish list, which will feature things like Medicare for all, draconian tax rates, huge tax credits to their base, opening up the borders, making all illegal aliens American citizens, etc. Of course, that will only last until Republicans take over again and reverse course. In other words, we could have radical shifts in policy every few years. In fact, the bases of those parties would be DEMANDING that we have those radical shifts. This would have a lot of ramifications, but most importantly…..