I think McConnell is acting — as is often the case — in bad faith, and Trump’s nominees will be predictably awful. But I also don’t care: It’s good that McConnell is leading the way to weaken the filibuster. The only problem is that Democrats and Republicans are killing it with an endless series of half-measures: Reid’s nuclear option made it possible to approve nominees on a simple majority vote, instead of requiring a supermajority; the newer change cuts the Senate’s total debate time per nominee from 30 hours to two.
Enough. It’s time to kill the beast entirely.
We’ve all been taught in civics class about the virtues of the Constitution’s “checks and balances” design, but the Founders went a little overboard in designing the legislative branch. On most legislation, the House and Senate don’t just check and balance the executive and judicial branches: They check and balance each other. The filibuster — a Senate rule, by the way, that’s not required by the Constitution — adds yet another opportunity to thwart legislative action. The Senate ends up checking and balancing itself.