The worst thing to ever happen to the Senate, said Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) was Majority Leader Harry Reid's decision to end the filibuster on nominations for everything but the Supreme Court last year. In fact, he expounded upon that theme just a few months ago
, saying, "you can see the destruction that has happened around here" because of the rules reform. Well, that was what Orrin Hatch thought up until Wednesday of this week anyway. Now? Now he says that reform must be preserved
"Simply put, if Republicans re-establish the judicial-nomination filibuster, it would remain in place only until the moment that a new Democratic majority decided that discarding the rule again would be useful," Hatch warned in a Wednesday op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. Hatch co-authored the opinion piece with C. Boyden Gray, a former White House counsel to George H.W. Bush.
Hatch, the longest-serving GOP member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote that it "would only invite further damage to the institution" if GOP leaders, poised to become the majority in January, chose to revert to the filibuster rules in place before last year, which required 60 votes to advance most nominees, versus today’s 51 votes.
Hatch also sniffs that Republicans should "not repeat the Democratic majority's excesses," and to instead "begin the hard work of repairing much institutional damage" that Reid and the Democrats created. Because the fact that there were three times as many filibusters
during the first five years of President Obama's tenure as the whole of President George W. Bush's didn't cause damage to the institution.
It's never been about "the institution" for Hatch, for all his sanctimony. This flip-flop makes that blindingly transparent.