Preventing one-party rule
The filibuster is a parliamentary tactic that works against one-party rule. It allows a minority to block a vote through unlimited debate, and refusing to vote, that can be cut off only by a vote for "cloture" by 60 or more senators.
Which means the 55 Republicans who control the Senate are five votes shy of being able to stop the Democrats' threatened filibuster of some of President Bush's controversial judicial nominations. Thus Republicans may force a vote, requiring only a simple majority, to ban judicial filibusters -- a radical move dubbed "the nuclear option."
On Friday, Vice President Dick Cheney darkly warned Democrats he will cast the tie-breaking vote, as the Constitution permits, to ban the filibusters if the Senate deadlocks.
Conservatives seeking to tarnish their opponents point out that the filibuster was once a favored tactic of Southern segregationists trying to block civil rights legislation. That's a strange argument, given that conservative senators in that era didn't try to shut up their racist colleagues by wresting the floor from them.
So what would happen if there were 60 Republicans? Would the Fishwrapper be demanding that we stop electing "one-party" to carry out the will of the people?
We have a two party system where the parties have opposing ideologies. United States citizens (or in the case of Washington elections, dead people) vote for the candidates/party that will best represent their view. We don't go to the poll worried about the "rights" of the minority party. We don't say, "I'm hoping my guys win but that the other side will still be able to control the agenda."
And heaven forbid you try to "tarnish" a liberal with evidence of their previous misdeeds, it will only be pointed out that you, the conservative, didn't take the responsibility to baby-sit them and keep them from doing their ill deeds.