Hey, look, the GOP-controlled House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood again. Yay!
Oh, no, minority Democrats are going to filibuster that bill to death in the Senate again. Rats!
House Tea Partiers are perfectly well aware of this, so fifty-seven of them have send a letter across the Capitol to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell begging him to nuke the filibuster, even though they know he never will. So are they wasting their time or are they "giving it the old college try," as it were?
I report, you decide. But they do make a pretty good case:
Dozens of House Republican lawmakers are making a late stab at pressuring Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) to abandon the filibuster on legislation to block the nuclear deal with Iran.
A total of fifty-seven House lawmakers signed on to a letter led by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX21) telling McConnell that blocking the deal was “simply so consequential” that it demanded a change to the Senate’s rules, known as invoking the “nuclear option.”
“Our request to eliminate the filibuster for some votes simply underscores that in a [republic] the [Constitution] should decide,” they wrote. “The super-majority now required to advance legislation is sixty votes, which is not serving our country well.”…
Oh, but it is serving the Democrats well. Just like it wasn't in the last Congress, which is why Harry (G)Reid....nuked the filibuster.
“We are under no illusion that the elimination of the Senate filibuster for some votes will guarantee the passage of legislation much less its enactment into law,” they wrote on Thursday. “However, a move by the Senate to a majority vote that can approve some legislation would make it much easier for Congress to advance meaningful solutions to challenges our country faces.”
Nuke the filibuster and Barack Obama actually has to kinda sorta work for a living by obstructing the GOP agenda himself with his veto pen at the same time that he's illegally imposing his own agenda by Executive Decree. That might raise public consciousness about Democrat obstructionism sufficiently to grab a lot of people's attention and possibly create PR headaches for the White House.
Probably not, but it's worth "the old college try". More importantly, it could at least somewhat appease Tea Partiers' "FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!" obsession and motivate Republican voters to show up next November. Why they should need additional motivation to do that when that motivation should already been overwhelming, I don't know, but rationality is not a Tea Party strong suit, so there you go.
Most to the point, what does the GOP have to lose by nuking the filibuster altogether when we're on top when we know the Dems will do it once they're back in charge of the Senate because they already did so just two years ago.
Sure, I know what "establishment" guys like Mitchie The Kid will say: "Tradition!" and "We'll need the filibuster if we're ever in the minority again." The first is nonsense because the Democrats "nuked" tradition two years ago, and the second is even more nonsensical because that shows that they'll do it themselves in the future. Donks don't need GOP provocations in order to carry out power grabs; that's just what they do.
The other thing Sing Along With Mitch will say is, "Harry (G)Reid nuked the filibuster, and his party lost nine Senate seats last November!" To which my reply would be, "Bill Frist DIDN'T nuke the filibuster ten years ago, and the GOP lost nine Senate seats in 2006." Your mileage may vary, in other words.
All of which to say that Senate Republicans have absolutely nothing to lose and potentially everything to gain from getting rid of the filibuster and administering Dirty Harry and friends a stiff dose of their own hardball medicine.
At the very least, 'Pubbies might take back some measure of self-respect.
Which is why Senator McConnell will never do it.
Oh well. At least we gave it the old college....oh, you get the point.