Thursday, December 04, 2008

Maybe Obama Doesn't Need 60 Senate Votes After All?


I know, I know, I know... I've been a big ole bundle of gloom and doom about the Democrats' prospects of effecting any real substantive change with a Senate that has morphed into an even less democratic body than it was when I was growing up and only 51 votes (instead of the current 60) were needed to get anything done. But with goose-stepping reactionaries like Kyl and McConnell bragging to the Federalist Society that they would prevent Obama from enacting his agenda and with a clown like Saxby Chamberpot-- albeit in a backward red state filled with religious fanatics-- running on a platform of pure anti-Obama obstructionism, how can anyone be optimistic?

If you have to ask, you probably didn't read your Reuters yesterday... did you? Thomas Ferraro, who is not a humorist, assures us that Senate Democrats will pack plenty of muscle even without the 60 votes required to overcome rampant GOP obstructionism.
Sixty votes are needed to override the roadblocks, which Republicans routinely invoked over the past two years to stop or at least slow down legislation they opposed...

Senate Democrats will have the muscle, with the help of a few moderate Republicans, to pass a crush of bills, including ones to stimulate the economy, ensure equal pay for women, ease global warming, lower prescription drug prices for the elderly and change course in the Iraq war... Democrats will be able to reach 60 with the help of a handful of moderate Republicans willing to break ranks with their conservative leadership on certain issues.

A real page-turner! I can't wait to find out who these "few moderate Republicans" are. Willing to break ranks, no less! Who? Who?

McCain-- on global warming and an economic stimulus package. And it isn't just McCain. Democratic operatives insist that on almost any given issue-- except EFCA of course-- there is a Republican or two they can dig up who will help them. I'll believe it when I see it; I mean I don't even believe they can dig up reactionary assholes like Mark Pryor, Mary Landrieu and Ben Nelson to help them on half this stuff-- and they're sort of Democrats in a manner of speaking... officially. Anyway, here's what they say they can do-- even despite McConnell, Kyl and Chamberpot:
* Give residents of the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C., a full-voting representative in the U.S. House. It presently has no voting rights in Congress.

* Allow the government to negotiate with companies the prices of drugs covered under the Medicare program for the elderly.

* Overhaul U.S. immigration policy with a guest temporary guest worker program and border security.

* Mandate that U.S. military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan be allowed to remain at home for the same amount of time they spent in battle.

* Reverse a U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it tougher for workers to sue for pay discrimination.

And McConnell as much as says he doesn't care about any of this crap as long as the Democrats don't push through EFCA. That's the Chamber of Commerce and Big Business' line in the sand and I'll bet the GOP is more willing to stand and fight there than Obama is.

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