The Time for the Filibuster Ended 5 Years Ago
It all comes down to a simple principle: the power to destroy a thing is the power to control a thing. The filibuster is only meaningful if used sparingly. And Republicans have shown utter disregard for that caution. They have shown that so long as they have at least 40 votes in the Senate, they will use it on anything and everything.
Democrats are idiotically hanging onto the belief that when the Republicans gain power in the future, maintaining the filibuster today will still allow them to use it then.
It’s stupid because it should be obvious by now that the first thing Republicans will do when they eventually win control of the Senate is end the filibuster. After years of using it on everything in sight, they would not hesitate one millisecond to snatch the power away from Democrats. If there is one things conservatives do, it is to project; they have abused the filibuster so much, they would expect nothing less from Democrats, and would not want to give them the chance.
Of course, it is only meaningful to end the filibuster for clearing nominations; for other laws, Republicans in the House will kill anything the Senate sends them anyway, and so the Democrats might as well put the onus of ending the filibuster on the Republicans (because you can be certain that if Democrats end it, Republicans will hypocritically use that as a cudgel).
I even believe that the Republicans would go one step further, and reinstate the filibuster before they lose power again. Because, yes, they are that hypocritical and self-serving, and yes, Democratic politicians are that stupid that they might even fall for that. Republicans were reluctant to “go nuclear” before, but they have become far more radical since then. They’d do it in a heartbeat if they thought it could work.
Honestly, the Democrats should have killed the filibuster completely in 2008, when Republicans made their “filibuster everything” strategy clear, and limiting the filibuster could have meant something as Dems had control of both houses. Even then, it would have been diminished because Obama was desperate to “be reasonable” with Republicans and give them loads of goodies even though they still voted unanimously against the most generous of compromises. But a lot more could have been passed with less sabotage by the GOP.
Republicans, simply put, are now in an all-or-nothing mode, literally. Which means, sadly, Democrats have to play the same game, or else be run over. Alas, they seem all too willing to be doormats.