Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Could the Filibuster Really Be Dead?

I'll believe it when I see it, but it seems that the filibuster as it is currently constructed could be dead by next week. That's shocking. There's no downside here. Even when Republicans control the Senate, they have the right to rule with a majority vote. And if this happens, freshman senators Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall will already have changed the nation in a way far more positive than the vast majority of people to have ever served in that body.

If this indeed happens, we can then argue whether the Republicans overplayed their hand in the last 2 years. In the short term, perhaps not. The stalling of Obama's agenda clearly helped them make major gains in the midterm elections. And I have no doubt the Republicans are planning new ways to stall legislation. But by obstructing everything under the sun, they may have hurt their long-term ability to stop legislation they really hate. Not in the next Congress of course because Republicans will control the House, but the next time Democrats control both houses of Congress.