"The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure" - 2006 Senator Obama...leadership failure indeed!
Originally, the Senate was suppose to be made up of individuals selected by the states. An amendment took care of that "problem" and thus all we had left is that it was the only place that both slowed the pace of government and also was the only place where compromise had to happened. So tell me, what's the difference now between the senate and house of representatives? Why not just get rid of the distinction altogether?
Then come back here and tell me which party abuses the filibuster rule.
McConnell's senate minority has filibustered ALL of President Obama's appointments ...
ALL OF THEM.
My thoughts on this outcome:
1. As in the past, I have reservations about it, particularly as it relates to further erosions of minority influence in the Senate.
2. Things had evolved to the put where the minority didn't just have authority under the rules of the Senate to block unqualified appointees, but had reinterpreted the rules to block appointees for reasons far beyond the narrow issue of qualifications. As a result, a de facto practice had taken hold where the minority could deny the President the ability to appoint positions. IMO, that was an application far beyond what those who developed the Senate's rules envisioned when drafting those rules. It's difficult to imagine a scenario under which every nominee for the Court of Appeals was unqualified or so objectionable that he/she had to be blocked.
At the Court of Appeals, three seats were vacant. These were existing seats, not newly proposed ones. What would happen if every Senate minority adopted the practice of using the 60-vote threshold to prevent a President's making any appointments? That would be an unsustainable outcome and highly damaging to governance.