Sixty Is the Loneliest Number
Wednesday, July 01, 2009 at 04:59 PM EDT
Or at least, it may feel that way to one Harry Mason Reid, currently Senate Majority Leader.
With the election â€“ at last â€“ of Al Franken, the Democrats have the â€œfilibuster-proof supermajorityâ€ of which much has been said.
However, I think such things as the recent House vote on Waxman-Markey (the â€˜climate change billâ€™) show that there is no such thing as party unity within Team Blue. That vote saw some moderate Dems vote no due to its potential effect on their constituents, and some highly liberal Dems vote no because the bill was not progressive enough.
Surely the Senate is blessed (or plagued) with the same diversity of opinion.
Can we assume that Al Franken and Arlen Specter will vote the same way onâ€¦ well, anything?
Reid has often said that if only he had a supermajority at his disposal, he could ensure passage of a great many bills on the Obama agenda â€“ but does he, really and truly, have the votes?
In practice, the Dems may now be able to come together enough to force down the threat of filibusters, but the bills will still have to stand on their own merits, or fall on the lack thereof.
This article originally appeared on That Other Blog, Way Over There.