PREFERRING POLITICAL PARALYSIS…. If there’s one thing that should be overwhelmingly obvious after the last four years, it’s that the Senate process is broken. Obstructionist tactics that were once rare have been scandalously routine — for the first time in American history, a Senate supermajority is necessary for literally every bill of consequence. The result is a legislative paralysis that undermines America’s ability to thrive in the 21st century.

Except, it’s apparently not obvious to all.

Senate Democrats do not have the votes to lower the 60-vote threshold to cut off filibusters.

The lack of support among a handful of Senate Democratic incumbents is a major blow to the effort to change the upper chamber’s rules. […]

Five Senate Democrats have said they will not support a lowering of the 60-vote bar necessary to pass legislation. Another four lawmakers say they are wary about such a change and would be hesitant to support it.

A 10th Democrat, Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.), said he would support changing the rule on filibusters of motions to begin debate on legislation, but not necessarily the 60-vote threshold needed to bring up a final vote on bills.

Most of the support in the Senate for reforming the broken status quo comes from newer members of the chamber, but it’s the Dems who’ve been around for a while — those who remember being in the minority — who are most inclined to keep things as they are, regardless of the consequences to the institution or the country.

It’s a reminder that no one wants to give up a weapon they might want to use themselves someday. Republicans are abusing procedural rules now to undermine a progressive agenda, and some Dems are no doubt thinking they’ll be able to abuse those same rules down the road.

Sen. Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii) told The Hill, “I think we should retain the same policies that we have instead of lowering it…. I think it has been working.”

I don’t know what Senate Akaka has been watching, but it doesn’t sound like this one.

With the Senate Democratic majority due to shrink, and Republicans becoming more hysterically conservative, these anti-reform Dems are inviting a disaster — a government incapable of passing legislation.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.