Nuking the filibuster: Bad for the Senate, worse for America

Like the heroes of The Lord of the Rings, conservatives should not wish to wield unchecked power any more than we would wish it in the hands of our opponents.

I cannot deny that in the short term, nuking the filibuster would probably help impatient leftists get more progressive legislation to President Biden.

In the long term, though, it would hurt the country, badly, because both parties would have less incentive to build consensus coalitions. Our current elite-driven divisions would self-reinforce. Our politics would sink to ever-angrier toxicity. And our future discourse would make Twitter today look like the Lincoln-Douglas debates. That future is not inevitable, but that is the future that awaits us on the other side of the nuclear option.

In a perfect world, this dark picture of political ugliness and dysfunction would be enough to dissuade Senate Democrats from ever pressing the nuclear button. In this imperfect world, perhaps the stronger argument is simple partisan self-interest.

Because in the medium term, Democrats nuking the Senate filibuster would be greatest gift conservative policy has been given since Ronald Reagan decided to quit acting.