On Wednesday the newly elected Republican majority took power in the House of Representatives. As part of the changeover, the House Republicans adopted a new set of rules based on the principle of majority rule by a majority vote. This is effectively the same thing each new House has done for decades. Amazingly, there was no media outrage about the Republicans again choosing to govern this legislative chamber on the basis of majority rule.
No op-eds calling it a terrible partisan power grab, none calling it a dangerous fiat, no one claiming the Democratic minority has been “steamrolled into silence,” or horrified the House Democratic minority won’t for some reason have procedural tools to allow them to still effectively control the chamber despite losing the last election badly.
This is all strange because while no one seems at all concerned that the House’s rules were again changed so it would be governed on the basis of majority rule — like almost every other legislative chamber in the world — but, at the same time, the idea of doing the same thing in the Senate is being called way too radical.
If people actually think it is inherently great to allow a minority party to have a veto over all actions in a legislative chamber because it might potentially increase the chances of bipartisanship, instead of just defending the tradition of the filibuster in the Senate, they should be spending ever more time demanding it be restored in the House. After all, the House for a period of time also allowed filibusters.
The total lack of advocacy for returning the filibuster to the House among those who want to keep it in the Senate is some of the strongest evidence that support for the filibuster is at best passed on a status quo basis, and not an actual logical belief in the inherent superiority of government based on minority veto.
Despite many op-ed writers claiming to care deeply about “protecting the rights of the minority” (i.e. the party rejected by the voters in the last election), their total silence on the recent House rules changes speaks volumes.