In a development that has the potential to fundamentally alter the workings of the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid says the next Congress will look at doing away with the filibuster. Reid opposed changing the rules when the GOP ran Congress, but he says Republicans, who are filibustering at a record pace, are abusing the practice. Republicans counter that a partisan attempt to disarm a long-standing tactic will "poison" the atmosphere on Capitol Hill. Is doing away the filibuster the right move for Dems?
Democrats must do something to counter GOP obstruction: Harry Reid doesn't want to weaken the filibuster, says Steve Benen in Washington Monthly, but he has no choice. If he does nothing about the "truly scandalous Republican abuse" of the tactic, he'll be the one blamed for the Democrats' stalled agenda. It's unclear what changes Reid wants — "but the fact that reform will at least be on the table is heartening."
"Reid eyes 'likely' changes to senate rules"
Reid can't and won't nuke the filibuster: Harry Reid is bluffing to boost Democrats' morale, says Allahpundit in Hot Air. He didn't have the guts to dump the filibuster a year ago when Democrats thought a new liberal era had dawned. It's "fantasy" to think he'll do it now, with "the public recoiling" over the left's ruthless partisanship on health-care reform, and Democrats "on the brink of returning to the minority themselves."
"Sad: Democrats now openly lying to lefties about repealing the filibuster"
The filibuster has outlived its usefulness: "There are those who argue that the snail’s pace of the Senate was the conscious design of the founding fathers," says Mike Lillis in The Washington Independent. But when the Senate rules allow a single senator to tie up bills "then the chamber has lost its ability to govern." Just to underline the current absurdity: Reid's attempt to reform the filibuster "is sure to be filibustered."
"Reid vows filibuster reform"