Sen. Carl Levin is right -- the days of the filibuster in the Senate should be numbered.
Levin was speaking after two separate incidents of Republican shenanigans regarding the U.S. Senate's filibuster rule. The first was Sen. Richard Shelby's attempt to hold up all of President Obama's nominee until a French company received a military contract that would help his district. And the latest is an attempt to block an Obama appointee to the National Labor Relations Board, Craig Becker. Becker had a majority vote in favor of his routine appointment, but not the 60 required to break a filibuster.
Levin told the Huffington Post that this abuse of the filibuster can't continue.
"I think it will either fall of its own weight -- it should fall of its own weight -- or it will fall after some massive conflict on the floor, which has happened in the past where there have been rulings from the chair that have led to reform," Levin said.
Republicans, of course, complained to high heaven that George Bush's appointments to the highest court in the land deserved "an up or down vote" but now they have no qualms about holding up the lowest level appointees about whom no questions have been raised, except that Obama appointed them.
Levin is right. Senate rules need reform. But hoping something will fall of its own weight someday isn't good enough. Somebody needs to give it a stiff push.