Don’t get me wrong, I think the filibuster is awful. It makes a mockery of the principles of democracy. It destroys democratic accountability. It enable politicians to make false promises they will never need to make good on. It has crippled our government. It even inherently violates the clear intent of the Constitution. That is why I think the filibuster needs to be eliminated, not reformed.
If you think our current Senate works great, you are free to argue for maintaining the status quo. But if you believe the filibuster is bad and has broken the Senate, then you should be for eliminating the filibuster, not making it simply 15 to 20 percent less terrible through reform.
There is simply no logical reason or justification for there to be a filibuster. The Constitution clearly intends for most bills in the Senate to require only majority support, with just a few important issues expressly requiring a super majority. The House of Representative functions without a filibuster, the Senate functioned without a filibuster for the first few decades, and so does basically every other legislative chamber in the United States and around the world.
Trying merely to “reform” the filibuster to make it work like it did in the “good old days” is both foolish and blind to history. For most of its history the filibuster basically existed as part of an unspoken deal that it only be used to suppress African-Americans. The filibuster was used primarily to kill things like anti-lynching laws and civil rights legislation. There is no good argument that the rarely used filibuster was actually good for the country or that it would make our country better in the future.
If you believe a filibuster that gives a minority the power to veto the majority is bad for our government, the logical solution is to simply eliminate it. Restoring the original majority rules in the Senate, making it like almost every other democratic legislative chamber in the world in that regard, is the clearly proven and widely tested solution.
People claiming the filibuster is bad but should still be partly preserved through reform, should be the ones facing extreme skepticism. They should be required to overcome a heavy burden of proof to explain why an untested Rube Goldberg “reform” is better than simply adopting proven standard rules. “Because it is tradition” should never be used as an acceptable defense for maintaining something that is bad.
When problems arise, our goal should be fix them, not make them slightly less horrible.