New York Times Prints Op-Ed Supporting Filibuster (Unexpectedly!)
The New York Times, facing a Republican Senate and President, today prints a shock op-ed piece arguing that the filibuster is a venerable tool that should not be discarded. (Yes, I’m joking about it being shocking.) The piece is titled Why Republicans Shouldn’t Weaken the Filibuster:
The Senate has historically been the one place in our government where legislative minorities are protected, with rules to check overzealous majorities.
The twin pillars of the body’s uniqueness are unlimited debate and unfettered amendments. The minority can almost always have some influence on legislative outcomes. This has often made the Senate the cradle of compromise.
. . . .
It’s important to keep the filibuster. With it, presidents must try to win the minority’s support for nominees. This has helped to keep nominations in the judicial mainstream.
But wait. Wasn’t it Harry Reid who changed the filibuster rule for nominees? You might have thought that, but let the op-ed writer mansplain it for you:
It is often written that the Senate “changed” the filibuster rule. It did nothing of the sort. Democrats voted to interpret the words “three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn” to mean a simple majority.
(Go ahead and read that paragraph again, as many times as you need to, for it to make sense. I’ll wait right here.)
They didn’t change the rule, you see. They merely interpreted it to mean something other than what it says.