There, I said it. At the alter of Obama, Harry Reid took the sacrificial pen and created the nuclear option whereby cloture required a mere 51 votes. In other words, as long as you have enough votes to pass the law, you can pass the law. This was not the purpose of cloture. Cloture was to make sure that a law was amenable. Let’s look at the original purpose of the Senate and of the filibuster.
The Senate was originally meant to represent the interest of the STATES. The PEOPLE got the HOUSE. The STATES got the SENATE. Federal laws were meant to be limited in scope and states were allowed to more or less do their own thing within certain parameters. Really, what is the purpose of the Senate? Treaties and confirmations and a few other items…but past that, it’s just an additional hurdle and doesn’t really have any real difference over the House other than just having fewer people you have to talk to, I suppose. This is a moot point. I can only convince about 10% of the population that the Senate should be picked by the states. It’s just never going to happen.
The filibuster was unlimited. If one person wanted to filibuster, they could. And they should. Each Senator should have a right to speak until he is horse in defiance of a law that will hurt his state. That’s his job. To try to protect his state. But people couldn’t take not having their way, so we went from no cloture, to 75 votes, to 66 votes, to 60 votes, and now to 51 votes. The next is to just do away with it all together.
I had some vague hope that the Republicans would reinstall the filibuster. However, now I see that it will never be reinstalled. As soon as one party did away with it, it was gone. What fool would say “Okay, you took away the filibuster when you were in charge, but we will put it back in place now that we are in charge?” It just doesn’t make sense because that side would filibuster you non-stop, and once they got back into power, they would do away with the filibuster again and ramrod their agenda down the people’s throat, yet again.
What this means is that now neither side has to play nice. Neither side has to find people that both sides find acceptable. Barring a case where the President and Senate are opposing parties, there will never be any cooperation from hence forth.
It’s a shame. I hope people start reading the Founding Fathers and understanding their wisdom.
Long Live the Constitution!