Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Good News, Bad News

Al Franken finally won Minnesota's second Senate seat after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in his favor. I think that is good news.

But there is plenty of bad news. It is coming mostly in the form of coverage of the event by the media. Everyone is focusing on the idea that the Democrats now have 60 seats and that means they are philibuster proof and able to enact anything they want.

The first part of the statement is true, but the second part is completely false. Democrats have already proven unable to keep all of their Senators on the same page, and that doesn't include the two Independents whose votes help make up the 60.

Given the way American politics have evolved over the last two decades, it seems there are quite a few Senators who might have been Republicans 20 years ago but are now Democrats. That certainly doesn't make them liberals. And they have been pretty loathe to help enact liberal policy so far.

So if the American public thinks the Democrats can do whatever they want, but they never actually have 60 votes for anything, then Republicans are in some ways better off than they were before. It could be a long year and a half until the next elections.

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