The Filibuster Must Die

There are many great reasons for the existence of the Senate filibuster, the unique right of a minority of 41 senators to deny a vote on most matters in the upper chamber. Its creation stemmed from the laudable goal of forging, or perhaps forcing, consensus in the Senate by promoting the need for a supermajority. In doing so, it wisely preserved the unique institution of the Senate, often called the greatest deliberative body in the world, and led to the passage of laws based on broad national ideals. By protecting the representational rights of the minority party in our government, the filibuster guarded the interests not just of the majority in the states electing the minority of senators, but of the minority in states represented by the majority of senators. The filibuster prevented a single faction within our nation, temporarily in power, from imposing its will upon everyone else. It also stopped political elites from saddling more government upon an unwilling people for their own economic benefit. By dispensing with the filibuster for executive appointments when it was to their advantage in 2013, Democrats abandoned it as a mechanism for compromise and have now declared the filibuster their tool for blatant obstructionism.

That is why the filibuster must die.

After eight years of partisan rancor, driven by the most ideological president in recent memory, how many Americans believe the Senate ought to remain an airless, outdated institution removed from regular citizens? How many voters care about preserving the chumminess of senators? How many are excited to have a Senate that can find a million ways to achieve nothing? Very few. Not a single person who voted against politics as usual—against a do-nothing, overspending, over-regulating, self-serving Washington—is worried about the sanctity of Senate rules. We’re in the midst of a profound revolution in which national sentiment has moved away from the institutions of government that have failed us. As the president noted in his inaugural, the people want their power back. Republicans should give it to them.

Voters demanded Washington change its act by electing the first true outsider president in history. Americans want problems solved, not more meandering policies stifled by rigid parliamentary procedure. The Obama era led voters to hand Republicans their greatest degree of control over the federal government in nearly a century and tossed 1000 Democrats out of elected offices throughout the country. Not one of those voters chose to help Chuck Schumer desperately cling to power or preserve the Senate’s false sense of institutional antiquated importance. That ship sailed after Democrats rammed one-sided laws like Obamacare down the throats of Americans and declared the new, duly elected president to be illegitimate, undermining our democracy as the voice of the people. 



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