I have a prediction not for January 2011, but for January 2013.
I shared this prediction with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. My prediction is that if the Republicans take control of the Senate after the 2012 elections, but with fewer than 60 votes, among their first acts, encouraged no doubt by members of the tea party, will be to either dispense with completely or substantially alter the filibuster rules. There is no way with Republicans in control they will allow a minority of Democrats to impede their agenda.
I fully expect that right-leaning readers will respond with, "Well, Democrats filibustered, too."
That may be correct, but here is an apt analogy. One person may lie about his age to receive a senior discount at a movie theater, but that act being observed does not equate to justification for someone else stealing from the ticket counter.
Also, one finds it strange that given the tea party's professed allegiance to the Constitution, its members would not strenuously object to what amounts to a unilateral change in the Constitution by Republicans, who demand a supermajority of 60 votes, instead of a simple majority of 51 votes. A cynic could easily become suspicious.
Peter C. Rosato
Hilton Head Island