Monday, January 25, 2010

A Contrarian View of Losing the Senate's 60-Vote Control

The news is chock full o' stories these days about how the Democrats are reeling from the loss of Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts. The party is almost certain to lose more seats in both houses of Congress in this fall's mid-term elections, so there is much nail biting and wondering if the Obama agenda is over before it really began.

The Democrats will indeed be facing an awful election climate this fall. No doubt. But losing your 60-seat majority in the U.S. Senate is only a bad thing if you actually had been using it to push through your agenda. But President Obama has been intent on being as bipartisan as possible, so he hasn't been running a hardball campaign to get his agenda items passed. He has not been repaid in kind by his friends across the aisle.

So what if you don't have your filibuster-proof majority any longer? Stop acting like Smurfs and start acting like Rahm Emanuel. And best of all: Let the Republicans filibuster. Make them filibuster. Let the cable news channels fill up with hour after hour of talking heads complaining about the mean ol' Democrats not listening to the Republicans -- cuz the tide will turn, especially after we're all sick of listening to the Republicans filibuster.

Filibustering ain't nothin'. It's one party obstructing a bill by talking and talking. It delays progress, but it doesn't hurt you. If Emanuel and Obama and Reid and Pelosi can't take that to the bank and cash it, then they don't deserve to be playing in the big leagues (to mix metaphors with wild abandon).

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