That's kind of the way Rachel Maddow looks at the tepid filibuster reform efforts and she's right.
Ezra Klein has thought through several reasons why nothing happened to change the rules in a way that can be considered filibuster reform. The one that pops out is this:
Real filibuster reform would’ve meant a procedural war that Democrats weren’t anywhere near prepared to win. In addition, Speaker John Boehner said the House wouldn’t consider legislation from a post-filibuster reform Senate. It’s very likely that a real filibuster reform fight would’ve destroyed the Democrats’ agenda in the coming months — think immigration and gun control — and ended in a Democratic loss. ...Ezra Klein, WaPo
That and, of course, the possibility of Republicans taking the Senate in 2014.
That said, if the next Republican majority turns around and eliminates or severely circumscribes the filibuster, as they tried to do in 2005, boy will the Democrats have egg on their face! ...Klein, WaPo
And that's too depressing to think about.
Talk about depressing:
"I said to President Obama back in August ... and I said to him the night before the election, I said to him, 'Look, if you get reelected, if we don't do something significant about filibuster reform, you might as well take a four-year vacation,'" [Senator Tom] Harkin said. "This is not significant."
The president is left with few options, Harkin added.
"He can go out and give wonderful speeches and things like that, but with the House in the hands it's in and the fact that in the Senate now you have to have 60 votes to pass anything, well, I dare say that Obama's package -- his very aggressive proposals -- will not get very far," said Harkin.
Liberal groups echoed Harkin, saying that cherished initiatives of the left were certain to be blocked.
"This is a bad decision based on fear -- a decision that will ultimately hurt millions of people who would have been helped by progressive bills that Republicans are sure to filibuster," said Adam Green, a co-founder of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. He took aim specifically at Reid. "For a guy who has been admirably strong on issues like protecting Social Security benefits from cuts," Green said, "this decision is unfortunately weak." ...HuffPo
Ian Milhiser adds up the gains and losses in the filibuster decision. The winners are, of course, the flagrant filibusterers, the Republicans. District judges will get faster confirmations as will "sub-Cabinet" appointees. They can be counted among the winners.
Things will continue to be slow for the losers -- like circuit court judges, Supreme Court nominees, and the Cabinet. Another loser is anyone who hoped reform, even mini-reform, would last. It won't. 2014 is a whole new deal.
Finally, the tea party loses.
The package reduces the number of opportunities to obstruct a bill that is supported by the Minority Leader and at least 7 Republicans, meaning that senators like Rand Paul (R-KY) or Mike Lee (R-UT) will have fewer chances to block progress on matters that everyone but a few Tea Party extremists support. ...Think Progress
I don't know. Rand Paul does such a great job of undermining himself when he speaks out that, heck, more opportunities to play the fool could be something we should take away from him.
Another prospective loser -- should we accept this mission -- is Harry Reid. Do Democrats have the energy and cojones to make sure he steps down?
Jonathan Chait chimes in with this:
The compromise tinkers slightly around the edges. There won't even be a talking filibuster. Instead, there will be some procedural changes, the gist of which will be to make it harder for the minority to tie the Senate up in knots. As it currently stands, the minority side can stop all business for days on end pretty much at will, and that's what this compromise will limit.
Basically, what happened here is that the good government instinct met the senatorial ego, and the latter prevailed because it is the most powerful force on Earth. ...Chait, Daily Intel
Which reminds us that crimes of the filibuster variety are just as (more?) frequent on the Democrat's side. The current debacle serves as a reminder that the system works only if we want it to. And an awful lot of people on both sides don't want it to work. Now, that is scary.
From Political Wire:
"I'm not personally, at this stage, ready to get rid of the 60-vote threshold. With the history of the Senate, we have to understand the Senate isn't and shouldn't be like the House."
-- Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), in an interview with Ezra Klein, on why he essentially killed filibuster reform in the U.S. Senate.
Thing is, Harry, it's not about you personally, it's about democracy and America -- two "values" that have greater meaning than "Senator Harry Reid," amazing though that may seem.