The Republican Party is laying the foundation for minority rule

The paradigm has changed. Political decorum is dead. When Democrats win big in 2020, they must be as methodically calculating as Republicans were in their attempt to establish minority rule.

Former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid published an op-ed in The New York Times on Aug. 12 in which he explained the purpose of the filibuster: to create conversations that allowed for decisions made deliberatively. Reid wrote,

I am not an expert on all of government, but I do know something about the United States Senate. As the former majority leader, I know how tough it is to get anything through the chamber, which was designed to serve as the slower, more deliberative body of the United States Congress.

But what is happening today is a far cry from what the framers intended. They created the Senate as a majority-rule body, where both sides could have their say at length — but at the end of the day, bills would pass or fail on a simple majority vote. In their vision, debate was supposed to inform and enrich the process, not be exploited as a mechanism to grind it to a halt.

Reid further pointed out that the Senate has become an unworkable legislative graveyard. He reminded readers that the ideas of the Republican Party are not all that popular. He said the future of the country is sacrificed at the altar of the filibuster. And then the former leader of the Senate called for it:

I am now calling on the Senate to abolish the filibuster in all its forms. And I am calling on candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for president to do the same.

If a Democratic president wants to tackle the most important issues facing our country, then he or she must have the ability to do so — and that means curtailing Republicans’ ability to stifle the will of the American people. It’s time to allow a simple majority vote instead of the 60-vote threshold now required for legislation. When the American people demand change and elect a new Senate, a new majority leader must be able to respond to that call and pass legislation.

The list of issues stalled by the Senate filibuster is enormous — and still growing.