Does it seem to you that Congress is deeply dysfunctional and can't get anything done?
Analyst Ken Rudin, a k a the Political Junkie, suggested on Monday that the political paralysis in the Capitol may be about to get worse.
"As bad as it is now, it seems like it could only get worse, and that's what [Senate Republican leader] Mitch McConnell is threatening," Rudin said in his weekly appearance on The Daily Circuit.
The threat stems from Democratic leaders threatening to change Senate rules to limit the minority's use of the filibuster. As Rudin said, "you have to have 60 votes for everything" because the Republicans will threaten a filibuster on practically anything.
Up to now, Rudin said, the Senate has been able to come together on certain issues. But if Republicans stop cooperating on anything, he warned, the Senate won't be able to agree on so much as the Pledge of Allegiance.
"The House has always been notoriously at each other's throats," he said. "There seems to be no pretense that everybody likes each other in the House. But the Senate, it's usually more gentlemanly, more courteous. You could see that when they passed the immigration bill, when they passed the farm bill. Something can get done.
"But the fact is, the Republicans have held up a greater percentage of President Obama's nominees, more so than any other Congress in the past. At the same time the Democrats are talking about changing the rules that would curtail the use of the filibuster, from 60 votes to 51 votes ... the Republicans say that if [Democratic leader] Harry Reid changes the filibuster rules, all comity will be ended in the Senate. Comedy, maybe, but what comity?"
"We always hear Democrats and Republicans refer to each other as 'my friend from Minnesota,' 'the gentleman from California,'" Rudin said. "Well, there are no friends and there are no gentlemen, the way it looks in the Senate."