I just read an article that says Senate Democrats are planning on trying to abolish the filibuster, possibly on January 5th with the new congress. I just don’t see it happening. Democrats typically hate the idea of majority rule, always protect the minorities first seems to be the general idea they subscribe to.
If this actually happens it will have zero effect, at least in the near term. The House is going to be in Republican hands, so holding things up in the Senate will be less of a tactic anyway. Even so if Mitch McConnell wants to hold something up he will only have to convince 4 Democrats to side with him and actually defeat bills instead of stalling them.
Giving it a more futuristic look, the dems are almost certain to lose the senate in 2012. Abolishing the filibuster now and establishing that it can be done with a simple majority would destroy any hopes they have of retaining any power in congress after 2012. Even an attempt to reestablish it before they fall further from grace would prove unsuccessful. Once it’s established that it can be done with a simple majority the Republicans could abolish the rule forthwith once Congress convenes in 2013.
My ruling: Not going to happen. If this even comes up I believe Harry Reid will be hoping to establish that it cannot be done without 60 votes (the idea is that any attempt to abolish the filibuster would be filibustered itself) thus ensuring he will have the tactic at his disposal when that time comes and Republicans will not be able to change the rules once they ascend to power in 2013.