Democrats Did Kill the Filibuster

Wall Street Journal: It lives in theory but is dead in reality
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2013 1:21 PM CDT
Democrats Did Kill the Filibuster
Harry Reid speaks to the media on Tuesday.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

So Harry Reid didn't exercise the "nuclear option" and thus kept intact Republicans' ability to filibuster presidential appointees, right? Wrong, declare the editors at the Wall Street Journal. Consider the filibuster dead in those situations—because what's to stop Democrats from making the same threat to kill the filibuster next time around? Even though the legislative maneuver technically lives, Harry Reid has "established a de facto majority-vote rule." Republicans should acknowledge as much, "even if it means admitting defeat in this round," says the editorial, suggesting that Reid's actions might come back to haunt him.

GOP senators "should state clearly for the record that the next time there is a GOP president and a Democratic Senate minority wants to block an appointment with a filibuster, fuhgedaboutit. Majority rule will prevail." (At the New Yorker, Hendrik Hertzberg also notes that Democrats made no promises about leaving the filibuster alone in the future. But his take is an admiring one: He praises Reid for engineering a "rout.")

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