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Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

© Lee Judge

Why in the world was losing one senator such a terrible blow to the Democrats? Yes, they no longer have a “supermajority” in the Senate, and thus cannot automatically stop filibusters. But they still have a majority in the Senate, a majority in the House, not to mention the presidency. Isn’t that enough?

And the former Democratic “supermajority” included two Senators who were not actually Democrats (one of whom is Joe Lieberman), not to mention a mess o’ blue dogs.

If the Democrats require more than a majority in order to get anything done, then we may as well pack up our democracy and go home.



  1. H. Rider Haggard wrote:

    Under the Constitution the Senate sets its own rules. Doesn’t this mean the filibuster rule has to be re-adopted each time a new Senate comes into session after elections every two years? And doesn’t that adoption happen by a simple majority?

    So why, if a majority of either side exists, does the Senate continually tie its hands with a filibuster rule?

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink
  2. Iron Knee wrote:

    The filibuster actually serves a useful purpose (or at least it used to) — protecting a minority. The idea is that if a group of Senators feels strongly enough against a bill that they are willing to talk non-stop for days (wearing adult diapers), then they can (sometimes) prevent the majority from passing legislation.

    So the Democrats are loathe to get rid of the filibuster — they might want to use it the next time that they are in the minority.

    But yes, using it for simple political grandstanding and obstructionism is something new. It will be interesting to see if they can come up with a solution.

    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 10:06 am | Permalink
  3. Vic Binko wrote:

    Sounds like a lot of wishful thinking to me.


    Friday, February 19, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink