During the Obama years, the Republicans have done an unprecedented amount of stonewalling on cabinet-and-below appointees. I would also argue that their war on judicial nominees has been way beyond what went before. Really, if the president nominated God to serve on the D.C. Court of Appeals, Mitch McConnell would threaten a filibuster.
The power of the silent filibuster to distort Senate politics is now accepted on Capitol Hill and by the press as normal and not worth mentioning. Let me be the skunk at this political garden party and say this stinks. Representative government was not designed to work this way by the Founding Fathers.