Greg Sargent over at the Washington Post says the reconfigured Senate might be able to pass filibuster reform:
In 2011, the Senate voted on a proposal to force Senators to employ a “talking filibuster,” requiring a more public role in filibustering that might dissuade the practice. It failed, but 39 Senators who will be in office next year voted Yes. Senators who did not vote Yes — such as John Kerry and Daniel Inouye — have come out for reforms. Harry Reid made news this week by saying the time for reform has arrived. That’s 42 Senators.
On Tuesday, seven Dems were elected to the Senate, all of whom have pledged to back reform. So does newly elected independent Angus King. That’s 50.
The upshot is that filibuster reform might make the Republicans less obstructionist, making the government more functional. "The filibuster," he writes, "has become a tool that the minority can use to paralyze government at its most basic functional level, purely for partisan ends, in order to render the majority a failure, no matter what the nature of the majority’s legislative aims."
Majorities have always hated filibusters. But they're romantic, in a Cato the Younger sort of way—when they're judicious and principled and not being chronically overused. (Filibuster reform might also involve only letting the minority party use it a handful of times in each Congress.)
I guess we'll have to see how badly the Republicans abuse it—and how badly they piss off independent Angus King. They're not off to a great start.