May 16, 2009

WHAT'S THE USE OF 60 SENATORS TO THE 40% PARTY?:

Guns, Geysers and Mr. Reid (GAIL COLLINS, 5/16/09, NY Times)

This is exactly the sort of procedural roadblock that you need 60 votes to overcome, and people are beginning to ask why the majority leader can’t handle these things since Arlen Specter’s defection gave the Democrats 60 votes. Do not say this to Harry Reid! For one thing, Al Franken is still in court in Minnesota, and when you ask the Republicans how long they’re going to litigate the results of an election that took place last November, they murmur vaguely about how Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Anyhow, Ted Kennedy is sick and Robert Byrd is 91 and it’s a miracle some of the other ones can find their way to the Capitol. Even if you eventually get all 60 Democratic votes in the same room, how do you get them to do the same thing? You will remember that when Specter came over, Democrat Ben Nelson of Nebraska instantly said: “They might have a 60-member majority. That doesn’t mean they have 60 votes.” Reid must have found the point Nelson was making less chilling than the fact that the senator kept referring to his own party as “they.”

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 16, 2009 12:33 PM
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