But that is just bullbleep! The following chart shows the frequency of cloture votes (formal votes to end debate -- end the filibuster) that minorities (of whichever party) have forced on the Senate since 1959.
Though the use of the filibuster to block majority-approved legislation has been rising throughout the period, it only really took off in the last 2 years of Bill Clinton's presidency -- and then again when Democrats took over the Senate in 2006. The last Congress (the one represented by the huge spike on the right) set a record for filibusters, even though the minority Republicans had George W. in the White House to backstop them with a veto. This Senate, the 111th, will set a further new record.
According to Steve Benen from whom I got this item,
Part of restoring democracy in this country will have to be curbing the Senatorial privilege to gum up the works for majorities. This was accomplished once in my lifetime, in the late 1950s and early 1960s in order to pass civil rights legislation over the opposition of Southern segregationists.
Lyndon Johnson cut the cloture vote requirement down from 66 to the current 60 and broke the power of Senate committee chairmen in that era. The current Republican Party is not really so different from those old fossils. As usual, progress in this country amounts to a struggle to extend democratic (small-d) rule.
Chart from Norman Ornstein.