James Fallows has been using the term “nullification” to talk the ways that Republicans in the Senate are using the filibuster to keep from appointing a director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. By doing so, they’re making sure that a law already passed by Congress simply doesn’t go into effect. The whole thing is worth a read.
In a follow-up, one of Fallows’ readers says this:
I believe what will happen will in some ways be worse, at least in the short term, if perhaps sadly better in the long term: if the GOP retakes the Senate after the 2012 elections, they’ll simply abolish the filibuster.
I think this is exactly right. The minute there are 51 Republicans in the Senate, we’re going to hear howls of “straight up or down vote”. They’ll be aided and abetted by the DC media, who will inform us that the filibuster is a relic of bygone days that has been abused by both sides, it’s high time that it was eliminated, it really is a scandal that it has persisted so long, and the nation is lucky that Republicans are patriotic enough to foster a reform that’s long overdue.