The Progressives’ naked grab for it in the Senate: Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, UT) intends to do away with the filibuster so that he and his fellows can ram through whatever they feel like, without regard for anything the minority party—or the American people whom these represent—might have to say.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell understands the travesty of Reid’s move:
[He] called Majority Leader Harry Reid’s plan to end filibusters on motions to proceed a “naked power grab” and an “affront to the American people” Monday. He encouraged members “on both sides” to oppose Reid’s proposal “strenuously and loudly.”
Here’s what Senator Reid and then-Senator Barack Obama had to say on the matter in 2005, during the Bush the Younger administration:
Harry Reid: [T]he filibuster is not a scheme. And it is not new. The filibuster is far from a “procedural gimmick.” It is part of the fabric of this institution. It was well known in colonial legislatures, and it is an integral part of our country’s 217 years of history.
It also separates us from the House of Representatives—where the majority rules. And it is very much in keeping with the spirit of the government established by the Framers of our Constitution: Limited Government…Separation of Powers…Checks and Balances.
And the gentleman from Illinois:
Barack Obama, in an emailed response to a constituent: I recognize that the filibuster can be used for unfortunate purposes. However, I am also aware that the Founding Fathers established the filibuster as a means of protecting the minority from the tyranny of the majority — and that protection, with some changes, has been in place for over 200 years. [Never mind Obama’s historical error; it’s well established he’s a mediocre student of history.]
Here he is, again, this time speaking to the National Press Club in April of that year about getting rid of the filibuster:
I remember what it was like the first several years that I was in the minority. You couldn’t attach an amendment. You could not get a thing done. If you were in the minority, you might as well not have even showed up. And then there was redistricting, and a few years later, the Democrats are in charge, and now the Republicans cannot get a thing done. And the Democrats don’t have to pay them any attention whatsoever.
And what I worry about would be you essentially have still two chambers—the House and the Senate—but you have simply majoritarian absolute power on either side, and that’s just not what the founders intended[.]