For you ADHD readers who couldn’t be bothered to read to the end of last night’s post, I argued that Republicans should be overjoyed that Harry Reid has abolished the filibuster for judicial nominees.
As I have always (consistently!) argued: an up-or-down vote is what judicial nominees deserve under the Constitution. But for those who don’t care about principle, here is the argument for why eliminating the filibuster of judicial nominees is a winner: you can’t tie your own hands when you are in power, on the hope that Democrats will feel constrained to tie their own hands when they are in power. We just saw the folly of that mode of thinking, and I hope the lesson is sinking in, because it goes deeper than this filibuster. They’ll take it away from us in a Supreme Court nomination fight if they feel like it. They’ll steamroll us on simple legislation if they feel like it.
If they can do it, they will do it. It’s liberating to know, deep in our bones, that principle will never constrain them when countervailing pressures get strong. It will keep us from acting weakly (again) when we are in power. And we will be — maybe not tomorrow, but one day.
The Wall Street Journal comes along to echo my thoughts in a very well stated piece that I will quote at length, because it’s chock full of good phrases you will want to use again and again:
The move shows how foolish Republicans like John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Orrin Hatch were to worry that if they broke the filibuster, Democrats would then do it too. Democrats did it anyway. The only way to deter bloody-minded Democratic behavior is to treat Democrats as they treat Republicans. Democrats sicced special prosecutors on GOP Presidents for years, but they gave up the independent-counsel statute only after Ken Starr investigated Bill Clinton.
The immediate result of Harry Reid’s power play will be that President Obama has a freer hand to pursue his agenda through regulation and the courts. . . .
. . . .
The silver lining is that the end of the nominee filibuster will work for conservatives too. The next time they hold the Senate and White House, Republicans should employ the same weapon. Democrats are pretending that they are only breaking the filibuster for lower-court nominees, not for the Supreme Court. They can dream on.
The next GOP President should line up Federalist Society alumni for judicial nominations like planes waiting to take off at O’Hare International Airport. Imagine two or three more Clarence Thomases on the High Court confirmed with 51 Senate votes. Planned Parenthood can send its regrets to Harry Reid.
Amen. The piece ends by pointing out that ObamaCare can now be repealed by 51 votes in the Senate. As long as we have those 51 votes — and the will to cast them.
People worry that this will make the Senate more like the House? Look at the Senate and look at the House. Which one do you prefer? OK then.
We have obtained the moral permission to exercise raw power. All we have to do now is get it.