Congress is broken; especially the Senate. Compromise is dead as border security and DACA seems to have proven. Nobody wants to cut a deal. Both sides (left and right) just want to get everything they want and give nothing in return. Better to demagogue the issues and hope it helps you pick up more seats. This has placed the nation in stalemate that seems to have no end.
Barack Obama decided the way around this issue was to simply govern by fiat (executive order); and now the left is learning just how well that works when your shoe-in candidate loses. The left got Obamacare through legislatively but had to use gimmickry to circumvent the filibuster/cloture rule (requiring 60 votes). The right is running into the same problems today.
Harry Reid (in his ultimate wisdom) changed the rules of the Senate (back when the Dems had it) to require a simple majority vote on confirmations (like judges). That decision is now biting the Dems on the ass, since it gave the GOP the excuse to keep that rule in place. Who doesn't love karma when it's biting your opponents' posterior?
That brings up the topic of this post. The filibuster.
To the point, I like the filibuster… or at least the classic idea of the filibuster. The classic obstructionist (not always a bad word) tactic of a lone Senator (or a minority of them) opposing the bad legislation (or nominees) of the majority. Toeing the line by refusing to close debate on the issue (or nominee). Debate, being the key word. Picture the classic scene in “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” with Jimmy Stewart speaking on the Senate floor until he collapses from exhaustion.
The problem is... that’s not the filibuster anymore. The filibuster was neutered (I think back in the 70s) so that there’s not skin in the game, no pain to the process. Now all you have to do is say the magic word (filibuster) and everything stops and everybody scuttles off to their nice cozy lives. If you really think about it, the neutering of the filibuster (so that there is actually no physical pain, or exhaustion, or even inconvenience) is a good metaphor for the neutering of our society in general.
I don’t know why I’m mentioning this. There’s no way the honorable, classic filibuster will ever see the light of day again. So… instead... I think it best that we put the poor decrepit (neutered) filibuster out of its misery. Just end it already.
Ending it... has been referred to as the "nuclear option". The Dems played with the idea and used a tactical nuke for confirmations (as described above). The GOP threatened it if the Dems filibustered Gorsuch... but both sides pussed out. But both sides are loath to be the ones to be the first to really push that button. But not me…
I think we've reached a point that somebody going to do it in the near future and whoever grows the cojones to pull that trigger will reap the most benefit.
So, I really think the GOP should really consider it; especially if they think they're going to lose either house in 2018 (which I think they are). So, they should not wait for the Dems to filibuster anything... but rather push the button right NOW. Change the rules of the Senate before the vote; ending the filibuster once and for all. Not only that, end it for everything; not just for judges, and cabinet position, but for legislation, for EVERYTHING. Fifty-one votes... done…
Once the filibuster is no more, the GOP should move forward with making hay while they can; meaning moving their legislative agenda forward while they have the majority. Obama and the Dems sure as $#@% showed no hesitation in doing this when they held the House, Senate, and White House. Unlike Obama, I would encourage the GOP to constantly offer an olive branch (compromise) to ANY on the other side of the aisle (legitimately) willing to deal in good faith. Failing that (the likely outcome in today’s environment) quickly move on, shaking the dust from your feet (paraphrased by someone famous in Matthew 10:14) and passing your agenda.
And finally, I would advise the GOP to learn the lesson that Harry Reid and the left never saw coming. The shoe will eventually be on the other foot… and likely sooner than you think. (Thus, the hay making now and as fast as you can.)