So the Democrats are down 55-45 in the new Senate (44 plus Independent James Jeffords). Does that mean they will be marginalized and ineffective? Not at all. In fact that is a pretty good sized minority by historical standards and it is more than enough to block the really bad legislation that will be cropping up.
For lessons in being obstructionist, the Democrats need only look to the other side of the aisle at the party that was in the minority for years and made obstructionism into a fine art. Why one of the greatest obstructionists of our time was Republican Jesse Helms or Sen. No, as he was called.
From the time the Senate was expanded to 100 members in 1959 the Republicans were in the minority for more than 20 years, usually with far fewer numbers than what the Democrats have now.
So don't be surprised when Bush fails to get his grandiose plans to screw-up, I mean reform, the tax code and Social Security through Congress. Then again, I expect to see initiatives in these areas about the same time that Bush gets that manned mission to Mars off the ground.