At issue was an op-ed written by Bill Greene and Mike Solon, former aides to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), respectively. He explained that their argument was probably the worst argument to hang onto the filibuster that he's read thus far.
"I am not sure I have ever read a filibuster defense quite as stupid as the one that appears in today's Wall Street Journal," he wrote.
His first issue is that Greene and Solon are both being paid by corporations to give political advice, while it's clear from their op-ed they have don't have the basic understanding of American government "to pass a high-school civics course."
"Their central argument for the filibuster is that it allows most Americans to tune out politics," explained Chait. "Under a majority-rule system, they warn, literally every pursuit other than political activism would end."
"Eliminating the Senate filibuster would end the freedom of America's political innocents," they wrote. "The lives that political nobodies spend playing, praying, fishing, tailgating, reading, hunting, gardening, studying and caring for their children would be spent rallying, canvassing, picketing, lobbying, protesting, texting, posting, parading and, above all, shouting."
He explained that it's an absurd argument, noting that the true test of their thesis is looking at legislatures in states where they can pass things by a simple majority and if people are still able to have a life, go fishing and enjoy the world. As it turns out, both Republican states and Democratic states have citizens who can enjoy their lives.
Currently, no legislation passes the Senate due to filibusters. Necessary is a super-majority of 60 members to break the filibuster to vote in a simple majority. Bipartisan legislation would have passed numerous times if it wasn't for the 60-vote threshold. The idea appears to conclude that if government works and is able to pass legislation, then people can't enjoy their lives.
Chait also noted that the two writers parrot false talking points about the filibuster being part of the beliefs of the founding father of the United States. That's a false assumption as it's written into the Constitution that majority rule is how to pass legislation. The Constitution doesn't even mention the filibuster as it wasn't invented until the 1830s, and the first was in 1837 when former President Andrew Jackson tried to get rid of a Congressional censure of himself, said History.com.
The final argument that Chait found absurd is the idea that without the filibuster, people might grow annoyed with both parties and it could give power to numerous parties. It's probably an idea that members of both sides would be more than happy to see whether there's a filibuster or not. They used "England" as an example, which hasn't had a sole government for 500 years as it's the United Kingdom government.
He explained that none of the end-times ideas proposed make sense, particularly that the United States would somehow become a parliamentary system of government, which would require the entire U.S. Constitution be rewritten and approved by votes in the states.
"The U.S. Constitution requires presidential elections. If it sounds insulting to be repeating basic civics background that is known to millions of schoolchildren, bear in mind that two men who worked for the leaders of Congress and now sell their expertise to important firms apparently don't know any of these facts," Chait warned.