So says Greg Koger over at Plain Blog. It turns out there are several different parliamentary procedures Democrats could pursue to do this, and it doesn't need to be done on the first day of a session.
Imagine if the Democrats did this tomorrow. This would change everything. Suddenly the Republican threat to hold up all business until they get their tax cuts for the wealthy disappears. Obama reneges on his pact with Senate Republicans and instead signs a Democratic tax bill that reverts taxation on income over $250,000 to Clinton-era levels. DADT is repealed the next day. The DREAM Act passes the day after that. It's Democratic fantasy camp.
From the Democratic perspective, of course, probably the most annoying thing would be for Reid to engineer the death of the filibuster at the beginning of the 112th Congress. Since Republicans will control the House, the Senate won't be the place where liberal legislation goes to die anymore, since it won't get there in the first place. Ending the filibuster would certainly help move some Obama nominees through, but the time when this would really make a difference is now. (Well, actually, a year or two ago.)