Well, yes, I do think the Senate showdown mattered quite a bit. To begin with, just the confirmations that have already happened are a big deal. Assuming that the NLRB picks also go through (and I'll be very surprised if it doesn't hold through that point), it's even a bigger deal.
Then, if the deal holds through the 113th Congress, that means plenty of other exec branch nominations going through.
That Harry Reid was able to line up 53 Senators for a nuclear threat may also mean that Republicans will be even more selective about blocking judicial nominations. Note that they haven't been obstructing many of them at the Senate floor stage this year, anyway.
And then there's the broader issue: they eventually didn't go nuclear, which may mean that the filibuster in general is safer in the long run than it would have been otherwise.
So, yes, all of that mattered.
For something that doesn't matter? How about the efforts over on the House side to keep the IRS scandal going as a presidential scandal.
That's what I have, but it was a very newsy week, so: what did you think mattered this week?