To preserve the filibuster, Republicans need scarier policy threats

Senator Mitch McConnell warned yesterday that if Democrats abolish the filibuster, Republicans would take advantage when they regain the majority. He listed right-to-work legislation, defunding of Planned Parenthood, and concealed-carry reciprocity as some items that a majority-Republican Senate would pass.

I’m reminded of the famous interrogation scene from The Dark Knight. As Batman subjects him to an increasingly brutal beating, the Joker laughs it off: “You have nothing – nothing to threaten me with.”

For as much as Democrats may detest Mitch McConnell’s agenda, they know that none of the items he listed would be necessarily permanent. None would fundamentally restructure the political order. Democrats could simply repeal them when they are back in power, just as they will soon probably repeal Paul Ryan’s corporate tax cut.

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