…the number of filibusters has been relatively steady since 1986 — until this year, when Republicans found themselves in the minority for the first time in a decade and decided to throw an unprecedented temper tantrum about it. If they keep things going at their current pace, they’ll have conducted 153 filibusters by the end of 2008, compared to the previous record of 58.
Drum notes their motivation:
…a desperate desire to kill popular legislation quietly (the press doesn’t spend much time reporting on routine filibusters) rather than force President Bush to kill popular legislation in full public view (the press does report on presidential vetoes).
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, trying to take advantage of the media’s passivity, is actively trying to avoid responsibility for blocking popular legislation.