Just a few notes to add to what I said elsewhere, including here for what the GOP was up to and here for something about power and control in the Senate.
* I think the certainty among many liberals that Republicans would rapidly go nuclear as soon as they had unified control of the Senate and the White House is at best unproven. After all, they didn't do it when they had the opportunity during the George W. Bush years. If Democrats ratcheted down to Bush-level selective filibusters...maybe yes, maybe no. It may be true that the next GOP Senate would be more radical-influenced than the last ones, but then again they would still need the votes; if they only have 51 or 52, it's not very likely.
* Conservatives who think that Bush-era filibusters were on a par with Obama-era filibusters...just stop it. It's not a serious argument. Obama has faced a true 60 vote Senate, which means that virtually everything has been filibustered (yes, even those judges who were approved by voice vote with no cloture vote only got there because they had secured 60 votes, and that's a filibuster. Or at least it was). That's new. The blockades-by-filibuster are essentially new, too. It's a little more complicated...there have been blockades before, but they're usually by a Senate majority, or at the end of a president's term, or both. Nothing like this one. The escalation is more severe on the exec branch nomination side, but it's still very large on the judicial side.
* And that's without even getting into the blue-slip situation.
* Just to be clear: yes, Democrats definitely ratcheted up judicial nomination filibusters during the George W. Bush presidency. Democrats also bear responsibility for ratcheting up opposition to executive branch nominations, with the Tower nomination a major turning point. Democrats, however, were willing to cut a deal to back down from the edge.
* Some liberals are urging Obama to now appoint very liberal judges. If he does that, it will risk defeat the old-fashioned way, by building a coalition of all Republicans and a handful of moderate Democrats. So far, Obama has stuck to mainstream judges, and that's meant he's retained just about every Senate Democrat on almost every confirmation vote (I don't actually remember any defections, but I assume there have been a few over the years). That's not to say Obama shouldn't do it. Just that there are costs and benefits that are not always easy to calculate.
OK, that's all for now, but I suspect I'll have more points later.