By David Lightman | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans are using the filibuster to limit and often derail Democrats' initiatives, paralyzing the Senate and making it nearly impossible to accomplish even the most routine matters.
The filibuster strategy "makes the Senate dysfunctional," said Mark Strand, the president of the Congressional Institute, a nonpartisan research group. That, in turn, blocks the Obama administration's agenda, but it also sours public opinion on Washington, with polls showing clear public disdain for Congress in particular. Republicans think voters will reward them for that in November.
However disruptive it is to governance, their extensive use of the filibuster — extended debate to block a decisive vote — could prove to be a valuable campaign asset this fall. Democrats used similar tactics in 2006 and won enough seats to gain a Senate majority. Now Republicans hope it's their turn.
The statement that "Democrats used similar tactics in 2006" does not seem consistent with the graph in the same article.
"Republicans are gambling they can convince the American people Democrats can't get much done, and at the moment, their gamble is paying off," said former Sen. Bob Kerrey, a Nebraska Democrat and the president of the New School in New York.