The (not so) inevitable has happened. Gorsuch, Trump’s nominee for the seat that the GOP couldn’t be bothered to fill for a year, was facing a Democratic filibuster in the Senate that was keeping him from filling this suddenly urgent vacancy on the high court. So, McConnell did what anyone completely devoid of the ability to feel shame or understand consequences would do: he changed the rules of the Senate.
No longer would a pesky minority party be able to stand in the way of plugging whatever partisan hack the GOP decided on into whatever position they preferred. (Yes, I know, this individual action is only specifically about Supreme Court nominees, but if you think he’s going to stop there, I’ve got some bottom land to sell you; just don’t ask what it’s on the bottom of…)
With this end of the filibuster, the Republican party has secured control of all three branches of the federal government. They have the majority in the House (not that it’s working out so well for them, given what happened with Trumpcare and the Freedom Caucus), a majority in the Senate (as well as a disregard for rules that inconvenience them, despite having depended on them not that long ago), and now a majority in the United States Supreme Court.
This last one is highly important, especially for an administration that finds itself chest-deep and sinking into the morass of scandal and crimes surrounding its election and dealings with Russia.
But there’s one thing that I believe the leadership of the Republican party has overlooked in this blind grasping for power unfettered by such minor concerns as checks and balances or the desires of the American public they claim to represent: It’s all on them now.
Without the filibuster, Republicans can no longer claim that any errors, fuckups, or failures are the fault of the opposition party, because nothing will get done anymore without the will of the party in power. No bills, no nominees, no policy positions, no executive orders, none of it comes from the Democrats. All results from government actions and rulings from this point on are exclusively the property of the GOP.
This means that, for good or ill (and really, given their stated policy positions and goals, ill is the only thing we can expect), the results of the next two years AT LEAST will be their baby. Given the state of gerrymandering in the states after 2010, I wouldn’t bet on there being a ton of change in 2018; certainly not in the House, considering that the GOP regularly loses the popular vote for representation (man, this is becoming a familiar theme) in many states but still sends more representatives to the House.