Monday, November 25, 2013

Filibuster Fallout

At NRO, I suggest that conservatives might not want to follow progressives down the "nuclear option" rabbit hole on the filibuster and the other Senate institutions of consensus:
In politics, process matters often nearly as much as — if not more than — substance, and the procedure by which the filibuster was weakened last week by Senate Democrats is likely far more problematic than the rank hypocrisy of their doing so. It is hard to view the Democratic majority’s use of the “nuclear option” as anything other than an admission of weakness and of curbed ambition. After the increasingly problematic Obamacare debacle, it seems as though President Obama and his fellow Democrats have given up the hope of governing through a national consensus. Instead, Obama has signaled that he will try to rule with the club of 51 percent for the rest of his term: Push through as much as possible with a narrow majority.
Seeing its legislative program stalled by recalcitrant Republicans, perhaps the Obama administration believes that its best chance of implementing its agenda is through the machinery of the federal bureaucracy and court system. The nuclear option increases the administration’s control of the federal bureaucracy, but it also potentially transforms the institution of the Senate.
Read the rest here.

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