The filibuster is our friend. By “our” I do not refer only to conservatives at this moment when the legislative and executive branches are in the hands of Democrats. By “our” I mean all Americans, all the time, everywhere. It would be disastrous for the country if the Democrats removed it; just as disastrous for the Democrats as for everyone else.
The Senate has long been derided as the place legislation goes to die. This is not a bug in the system, it is a feature. It is by design that legislation that does not have broad support among the people (House) and the states (Senate) should not pass. Show me a piece of legislation that does not have broad bipartisan support, and I’ll show you a bad bill. I would argue this is true regardless of party.
Some on the left complain that the Supreme Court, the Senate, and the Electoral College are “undemocratic.” This is true, and it is also by design. “Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for lunch” is widely attributed to Ben Franklin but as far as I know, no one has been able to prove he ever said or wrote it. No matter who said it, it is true. Certain things are beyond the reach of the majority and should be.
President Biden’s recent “Jim Crow” remark about Georgia voting law was rich. Democrats might want to refrain from that specific analogy; Democrats own Jim Crow. Jim Crow is an example of the tyranny of the majority. A majority of white voters was maintained by suppressing the black vote. Jim Crow laws existed because that political majority wanted them and with simple majority rule, there was nothing to stop them. It took the heavy hand of the federal government to uphold individual rights and to tell that political majority “NO.” Without this triumph of individual rights over the majority in power, Jim Crow would not have ended.
A bill that gets through congress on a straight party-line vote is, by definition, a bad bill if for no other reason than it is likely to get “undone” when the political majority changes. Such instability costs millions of dollars, if not billions, and does no one any good.
Gridlock is designed into the system and is our ally. The less those clowns in D.C. can accomplish, the less they can screw up. If there is one thing government can always be counted on to do, it is to screw things up.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle frequently talk as if a bipartisan compromise would be nice but not necessary when in fact it is vital to the health of the republic. The president talks of unity. Here is a simple suggestion to promote unity: He should inform congress that he will not sign any legislation that has not been passed by a veto-proof majority. It is well within his power to press congress to work together and compromise and pass legislation that has broad support among the people and the states. I predict vast electoral victories for the first party to embrace this. I further predict that neither party will embrace it.