Absolutely it’s been a tiresome year, what with the Republicans in lockstep filibustering everything from the health care plan to whether or not to send out for coffee.
Once upon a time there was another procedural problem for Democrats. It was the Independent Counsel law, and it was used to beat Bill Clinton over the head about everything from who was on the healthcare task force to who brought in coffee. It was such an impossible headache that when it expired, the Democrats gladly let it just die without being renewed.
Then George Bush became president, and without a mandated procedure to put teeth into investigations of wrongdoing … well we all know what they were able to get away with. Wouldn’t it have been nice if some version of Ken Starr had been turned loose on Halliburton, Brownie, torture, WMDs?
So to make a long story short, the GOP sez “you liked this rule, we’re going to make you hate it. Then, when the shoe’s on the other foot, watch out.”
Bringing me back to the filibuster. Sure it’s a pain in the ass now; but it helped keep some of the more noxious nominees like Miguel Estrada and Charles Pickering off the bench. The Democrats’ majority isn’t going to last forever, and someday there will be another Republican president. He may be even worse than Bush (I know it’s hard to imagine; but they said the same thing about Andrew Johnson).
Are they going to get fooled again? Perhaps so.