Supressing the minority is easy. Democracy is hard.
Just a wave of his magic wand, and - POOF! - Harry Reid disappeared the filibuster, a vital protection for the minority party in the Senate.
That's the easy thing to do. The expedient thing to do. But is embracing the easy and expedient thing always the right thing to do?
Not hardly, as John Fund points out:
Democrats say the crippling of the filibuster will make government more efficient and allow legislation to pass more easily. But there is a downside to majoritarianism and the "efficiency" it brings. As Phil Kerpen, author of the 2011 book Denying Democracy, told me: "The filibuster change will make it far more likely that major legislative accomplishments can be swept away in the next swing of the political pendulum. Public policy will be less stable and long-term business planning will be confounded."
In short, it will make government more unstable. Temporary majorities could pass sweeping legislation on immigration policy, tax law, and regulatory procedures with no bipartisan input - as was done in 2010 with the passage of the now unraveling Obamacare law.
Many people have decried the extent to which the Senate has become a bitter, partisan place with fewer examples of bipartisan consensus building. But giving whichever party has a narrow majority free rein to approve presidential nominees isn't the solution. Over time, it will become clear that this "cure" is far worse than the disease the snake-oil salesmen behind it claim it is treating.
The bottom line is that President Obama and the Democrats are too damn lazy to govern democratically. The act as if they are a one party dictatorship rather than partners in governance. Agreed, Republicans are lousy partners sometimes. They can be obstreperous, cantankerous, even obstructive. Perhaps if the president stopped sending radical leftists up as nominees for the bench, enough Republicans would be mollified and respectful of tradition that he would get his judges.
As it is, it doesn't matter now. We have a full blown tyranny of the majority. Republicans in the Senate may as well not show up for work, given the lock-step nature of the Democratic majority. Any time Harry Reid wants to do his master's bidding, all he has to do is crack the whip and the deed is done.
We will be dealing with the consequences of this ill-advised, imprudent move by the Democrats for years.