Filibuster showdown looms over Obama appointments to agencies, judgeships

Historians will agree that the sheer number of Republican filibusters is unprecedented. 

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Filibusters are being abused to destroy the ability of the president to fulfill his constitutional role of making federal appointments. Filibusters are being abused to destroy the very efficacy of federal agencies and prevent them fulfilling their duties. Filibusters are being abused to destroy the ability of the federal judiciary to have sufficient judges to administer justice and uphold the role of law. Filibusters are being used to "pack the court" by obstructing confirmation of judicial nominees offered by a president whose ability to govern the Senate minority seeks to destroy with tactics unprecedented in the history of the nation.

Filibusters were not established in the Constitution. They were created by the rules senators chose to govern the Senate. They can be changed by a vote of senators who believe, correctly, that the Senate has become a dysfunctional institution which now faces record lows of public confidence and record highs of public disapproval. 

As the long list of pending presidential nominations is brought to the Senate floor by the majority leader, Senate Republicans would be wise to let the Senate proceed to work its will with up-or-down votes. If they do not, the rendezvous with destiny will arrive, and the time to change the Senate rules to end this unprecedented and unpopular obstruction will be at hand.