Republican obstructionism has finally been quantified, at least to some degree. Former White House insider Ira Shapiro discussed via NPR this week, how the filibuster is used much differently by the Senate minority today than it was decades ago. For those who say... "Oh, there has been partisanship in the past...it's healthy. The Senate has only had a handful of super majorities (60+ seats by one Party) in over 220 years, and they were still able to get things done. The sky isn't falling"- I believe they are misreading current events. This is basically what Congressman Alan Grayson stated recently - that nothing has really changed. Grayson seems to believe that with the American public falling for Right wing propaganda and turning against Democrats - handing the Dems 3 big ominous political losses in a row in New Jersey, Virginia and Massachusetts - legislation is going to move forward as normal. But I have to respectfully disagree with Grayson. It is true that In the past the Senate was able to get things done. If we were in a normal political period, more would certainly get done. But we aren't in normal times politically. As I have been saying for over a year, there has clearly been a change in the level of obstructionist behavior over the last few years, especially after the election of President Barack Obama. There is a clear & deliberate effort to make Obama's Presidency a failure- to weaken his ability to govern and even to delegitimize his Presidency.
Soure: The conservative American Enterprise Institute (even their own numbers show it)
This is part of why the U.S. won't be able to manage and keep up with all of the challenges that it faces in the months and years to come. The U.S. will continue to fall behind the rest of the industrialized world. We have a broken government that will not allow the necessary changes to be made. The structure of the U.S. political system is so bureaucratic & inefficient that it won't be possible to keep up with the nations challenges - challenges that are now compounding because so many old problems have been left unattended. Now those problems (from 20, 30, & 40 years ago) are now creating new problems. And the cycle will continue. Add corruption to the mix and you have a government that is incapable of functioning. Even if the Senate were functioning normally, it wouldn't be able to deal with all of the problems the Country faces. The fundamental structure of the Congress makes it almost impossible to get things done efficiently and effectively.
As long as corporations and other special interests continue to control legislation, and drown out the needs and concerns of everyday citizens, this problem will get worse. Meanwhile, other nations are leaving the U.S. in the dust... from green industry, to manufacturing, to civil engineering & transportation, to education, to infrastructure, to health care, to the economy, and most importantly...to quality of life.