“Senator Mitch McConnell on Tuesday bluntly warned Democrats who are considering weakening or eliminating the filibuster to push through progressive legislation that Republicans would bring the Senate to a complete standstill and derail President Biden’s agenda if Democrats took that step.”
— New York Times, 3/16/21
I believe that the filibuster is part of the fabric of this great nation. It is what makes this country exceptional. We must hold fast to its essence, for without it, we would destroy the Senate and America as we know it, forever. The filibuster is the last bastion of democracy, and we must cherish and protect it with everything we can.
Except when it’s bad for me politically.
In that case, the filibuster is nonsensical and destructive, borne of accident, used to ceaselessly exert minority rule over the majority. It is a great evil that must be stamped out. It is a stain upon this city on a hill.
Except when it helps me hold onto power.
Then, it is a mighty symbol of our Founding Fathers’ intent and a beam of light in the night sky, letting all who can see it know: here we stand, determined to keep the heart of government beating. Like some desperate, mad scientist, the filibuster has one hand wrapped around this nation’s aortic valve, squeezing in rhythm, coaxing it to live.
Except when it helps the Democrats.
If that’s what’s happening, then the filibuster is a Beelzebub of political destruction. It is a means to an end of the United States as we know it. It is unjust, it is unfair, and it is unreasonable. The filibuster is a blight upon the American crop of democracy. It is a plague sent by God, to which there can be no answer but complete annihilation.
Except when I don’t have the votes.
Anytime I don’t have the votes, the filibuster is our one true hope as a citizenry. It is the gold standard upon which future generations of democracies must be built. It is a foundation without which this united house would fall, divided. It is the blood in our republic’s veins, the connective tissue of our fifty states, the sinewed muscles straining to hold our coasts together.
Except when I do have the votes.
Anytime I do have the votes, the filibuster is a deep chasm into which we condemn all the laws that we hold dear. It is a recent, temporary, needless advent that will soon grow to be a gaping maw into which our most sacred of political institutions will slide, uprooted, and disappear.
In short: the filibuster is good, except when it does not benefit me, and then it is bad.
Next up: I believe the sitting president should nominate a judge to the Supreme Court in an election year, unless it’s a democratic president, and then I believe the opposite.