In case you all haven't been paying attention, I thought I'd mention a battle in the Senate that will be coming up in the next few weeks that could lead to some pretty serious backlash.
In Bush's last term he nominated several judges that had extreme views. These weren't judges that leaned just one way or the other, but leaned extremely to the right in their views and in their judgement records. The Dems in the senate didn't allow these judges to come to an up/down vote by excersing the last option available to the minority, the filibuster. The arguement, send some level-headed judges to the Senate, not extremists.
The excersing of the filibuster to prevent the up/down vote of a judicial nomination was very controversial, since it had never successfully been done before, although it had been attempted. The Dems approved the vast majority of Bush's judicial nominations, more than were approved by the Senate of Clinton's nominiations. They picked their battle over a few extreme judges.
Rather than nominate less-extreme judges Bush has chosen to push the issue and renominated the same extreme judges. The Dems have threatened to filibuster them again. As a result, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is threatening to excerise what is called the 'nuclear' option. In short, it would scuttle the filibuster in the Senate. This is VERY dangerous as the filibuster is there to force a greater majority vote. For polices that really have merit and greater majority vote should be able to be secured. For controversial polices (or extremist judical nominations on either site) the minority needs a last option.
So that sits the stage. If Frist pushes the nuclear option the Dems will shut down the business of the Senate for the rest of Bush's term through other means. These are big stakes that they are playing for right now. Judical appointments are for life. Hopefully level heads prevail.
Below is a link that you all should read, particularly the second half discussing Lincoln 1860.
The Filibuster War: Presidential Ambitions and Fealty to the Extreme Religious Right