What we have now in the Senate is phantom filibusters, where nothing controversial is ever even brought up for debate because of the mere threat of a filibuster. I agree with this gentleman: let the Republicans actually carry out their filibuster and see how it goes.
The phantom filibuster is clearly unconstitutional. The founders required a supermajority in only five situations: veto overrides and votes on treaties, constitutional amendments, convictions of impeached officials and expulsions of members of the House or Senate. The Constitution certainly does not call for a supermajority before debate on any controversial measure can begin.
And fixing the problem would not require any change in Senate rules. The phantom filibuster could be done away with overnight by the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid. All he needs to do is call the minority’s bluff by bringing a challenged measure to the floor and letting the debate begin.
Some argue that this procedure would mire the Senate in one filibuster after another. But avoiding delay by not bringing measures to the floor makes no sense. For fear of not getting much done, almost nothing is done at all. And what does get done is so compromised and toothless to make it filibuster-proof that it fails to solve problems.
Better to risk a filibuster — an event that, because of the great effort involved, would actually be rare — than to save time and accomplish little or nothing.