Rising Interest rates are not the only variable that may be bullish for this trade. Market expectations, in this case, negative expectations about the US taking charge of the deficit would be enough for a possible drop in long term bond prices. I see it a short term trade. So watch those "animal spirits".
Likely, yes. The Fed funds rate as been unchanged, essentially at 0 since the start of 2009. This ETF has traded within a 10 point range since its inception during that period. Even the small fees will eat at it eventually. But, IMO once QEII docks in June, rates will have to begin to rise.