Andy McCarthy makes a manly try, providing a plausible argument as to why using The Slaughter House Rule is substantively different now than in the past. I think he's essentially correct.
But the fact remains; Republicans have used the arcane procedure before now, if in a VERY, VERY different context, and for innocuous purposes.
There is an important lesson here...one that conservatives must learn and enforce on their legislators in the future.
The Constitution matters. Nobody cuts corners, and violates the Constitution...even a little bit...without enormous risk. The motives may be pure, the immediate consequences nil, but ignoring the founding charter of our nation for the sake of expediency leads us to the kind of despicable perversion we see in Slaughter's proposed rule.
The terrible power of precedent is put into play, as we see now. That the precedent set is tortured beyond credulity does not matter, as any law student knows. Thereafter, the new precedent...often unrecognizable as the logical extension of what they did by the authors of the preceding one (because it isn't logical)...becomes the new place-holder that creative, unprincipled people will try to move further down the road to ruin.
For far, far too long in the United States, we have failed to aggressively defend the Constitution from ourselves.
Let all of us who love the Constitution take a lesson from this episode. Bring the founding compact of our nation out of the drawer, and guard it jealously against even our friends.