Margaret Talev reports for McClatchey Newspapers on the GOP’s unprecedentedly frequent use of the filibuster. This chart, though, kind of says it all:
It’s really pretty surprising to see this kind of record being broken at the present time. Abstractly, you’d think that the most filibustering would happen at a time more like 2005-06 when 40-odd Senators might see their use of the filibuster as the only possible way to stop legislation. Alternatively, you might see a lot of filibusters aimed at preventing a first term president from needing to veto legislation, as Senators agree to take the hit in order to help their president secure re-election.
It seems, though, that the GOP has decided that if they use filibusters to obstruct congressional action that the press will keep reporting this in a “congress fails to do X” kind of way rather than a “GOP obstructionism” kind of way, which makes filibusters a win-win for Republicans. Be that as it may, the filibuster is a bad idea and should be done away with. Given how hard the Democratic caucus whined about the “nuclear option” just a couple of years ago, they couldn’t do it without being called hypocrites, but that’s just further evidence of what a bad idea the “Gang of 14″ deal was.