This election has me more miserable than I really want to go into, so let me just say this:
Yes, Brown’s election means that a lot of filibusters down the line are possible. But what people are really flailing all around about now is that *health reform*, in particular, might be filibustered to death.
Now then. If that’s what people are actually concerned about (let me be really fucking clear that that’s what *I’m* concerned about), then we could have dodged the bullet on this long ago. Obama and Senate Democrats tried to play nice with Republicans for a long while. That failed. It led to months of delay. If we’re essentially into conference-committee territory now, we could have been in conference-committee territory months ago. By the time Scott Brown’s miserable ass got sworn into Congress, we could have long since had health reform that people aren’t embarrassed about.
Lots of people, myself included, have railed against Senate procedure causing everything to get slowed down. But the fact is that health reform was and is an unforced error. The threat of a filibuster cannot explain why Democrats took so long to get the job done.
I suspect it was from a misguided attempt to be bi-partisan. It seems like the only time such attempts are successful is when it involves giving a lot of money to corporations or legal powers to the government.