Sure. No question about it. But should Harry Reid press for the nuclear option?
Maybe not. But that's what he appears to be doing.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) may be short on votes he needs to force changes to the Senate’s filibuster rules, as nine Democratic senators sit on the fence about the proposed reforms.
In addition, Sen.-elect Joe Donnelly (D-Ind.) did not commit during the campaign to reforming the filibuster rules, which brings the total number of undecided Democrats who will vote on the issue next year to 10.
Of the nine sitting Democrats who have declined to commit to voting for the constitutional option — the controversial tactic whereby Reid could change the chamber’s rules by a simple majority vote — three indicated they could be persuaded to follow Reid’s lead.
That means Reid might be only one or two votes short of the 50 he needs to trigger the change, which Republicans call the nuclear option.
“What this tells me is that we’re very close to 51,” said Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), who has been a leading advocate of using the constitutional option to limit the powers of the minority to use dilatory tactics. ...The Hill
Jay Rockefeller thinks something has to be done. "I’m for radical over nothing."
Greg Sargent makes good sense.
... Caution about changing the rules is understandable, particularly with something as dramatic as the constitutional option. But let's put this as simply as we can: We cannot continue with the Senate remaining as dysfunctional as it is. This situation was forced upon Democrats. No matter how many times Republicans insist otherwise, recent GOP obstructionism is simply unprecedented, not just in degree, but in nature. Republican adopted a deliberate strategy of grinding Senate business to a halt -- on even routine matters -- with the goal of denying Obama bipartisan successes, pinning the blame on him for ineffective government, bolstering the GOP's anti-government ideology, and rendering Obama a one-term president. Surely that is worse than adopting a set of modest changes designed to prevent excessive and deliberate obstructionism for its own sake -- even if those changes are adopted by (gasp!) majority vote.
And one last time: The reforms Dems are pursuing would not take away the minority's ability to filibuster legislation on the motion to end debate. The minority would still be able to thwart the majority's will if the minority really deemed it necessary. All the changes would do is make it harder for the minority to gum up the works with the explicit purpose of making governing harder for the majority, rather than expressing the minority's will. ...WaPo