David Brooks traces the political hostility we're seeing in Washington today back to the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. He may well be right. Almost all of the most bitter battles have been between those who wish to defend and those who wish to overturn that decision. Brooks writes:
Brooks is certainly correct about this. Our politics will not improve until Roe is reversed and decisions about abortion are placed back in state legislatures where they belong, but Roe will not be overturned until more conservative judges are seated on the Supreme Court, and that won't happen until the filibuster of judicial nominees is ended.
In other words, Brooks' argument entails the conclusion that our politics will not grow more civil until the Republicans vote to change the Senate rule that allows a minority of senators to block a vote on the president's nominees. This seems paradoxical since such a vote, though necessary, will surely make our politics much more vituperative than they already are.