harry reid filibuster
The Senate Democrats' lond-deferred success in reforming the filibuster rule for executive branch and judicial appointments will have reverberations that are only gradually being appreciated. Not only will 76 long-blocked appointments -- a record -- now go forward in short order. Obama, if he chooses, will be able to appoint more robust progressives. One of the best pieces of news in the filibuster story was the report that Obama personally got into the act, working the phones to help enlist the last few Democratic votes for reform. This may bode well for more hands-on leadership by a president whose trademark has been reticence.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) pulled the trigger Thursday, deploying a parliamentary procedure dubbed the "nuclear option" to change Senate rules to pass most executive and judicial nominees by a simple majority vote.