Despite the fact that a Cabinet nomination has never in history been blocked by a minority filibuster, Republicans are filibustering Chuck Hagel's appointment as secretary of Defense.
Alexander Hamilton, one of the most conservative of the Founding Fathers, decried minority rule in the Federalist Papers.
Several Republican senators announced their opposition to filibustering a Cabinet nomination, and yet the Republicans filibustered anyway. As The Times put it, they "objected to the word 'filibuster,' insisting they were simply seeking more time."
Previously, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised to weaken the filibuster; instead, he made a "gentlemen's agreement" with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), who ignored it.