Charles Krauthammer, considered one of the smarter and more reasonable conservative columnists, pulls off a rare double backflip with a half twist on the question of the Senate filibuster. Here he is a few days ago raging about the evil “lawlessness” of the decision to end the judicial filibuster:
This was a disgraceful violation of more than two centuries of precedent. If a bare majority can change the fundamental rules that govern an institution, then there are no rules. Senate rules today are whatever the majority decides they are that morning.
What distinguishes an institution from a flash mob is that its rules endure. They can be changed, of course. But only by significant supermajorities. That’s why constitutional changes require two-thirds of both houses plus three-quarters of the states. If we could make constitutional changes by majority vote, there would be no Constitution.
Democrats are calling Frist’s maneuver an assault on the very essence of the Senate, a body distinguished by its insistence on tradition, custom and unwritten rules.
This claim is a comical inversion of the facts. …. They must either stop or be stopped by a simple change of Senate procedure that would do nothing more than take a 200-year-old unwritten rule and make it written.
The Democrats have unilaterally shattered one of the longest-running traditions in parliamentary history worldwide… What the Democrats have done is radical. What Frist is proposing is a restoration.
I’ll give it a 9.6. He didn’t stick the landing.