(PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
A run-off is underway today in the U.S. Senate race in Georgia between Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss and Democratic challenger Jim Martin. Poll watchers say the race will come down to voter turnout which is probably why Alaska governor and former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin flew down to campaign for Chambliss yesterday. That and to get her picture taken some more. She apparently hasn't lost her touch. She drew huge crowds.
The Georgia race is one of two unresolved Senate races. Democrats need to win both to get a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority. The other undecided race is in Minnesota where a recount is underway between Republican Senator Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken. Don't hold your breath for that one. The recount is expected to take weeks.
If the Democrats manage to win both races, they will have the trifecta: A filibuster-proof majority in the Senate, a commanding majority in the House, and of course, the White House.
Here’s my question to you: How important is a 60-seat Senate majority for the Democrats?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Billy from Las Vegas, Nevada writes:
I really think it's overblown because there are so called "Democrats" like Joe Lieberman that will vote against Obama on many foreign policy issues while Republican moderates like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe and Arlen Specter just may side with him on many domestic programs. Except for die hard ultra right wingers, like many of the southern state Republican senators, I think most will vote for what is best for their state and the country.
Ann from South Carolina writes:
My understanding of Obama's campaign rhetoric was that he would seek consensus. He said we were not blue states and red states, but the United States. That being the case, does the Democratic party need the 60 seat majority? Ideally, consensus would mean that the opposing point of view would be taken into account and included in any legislation. The operative word, of course, is ideally.
N. S. writes:
Without the majority the Republicans will do whatever they can to stop any plan Obama and the Democrats have to help the country just because that is what they do best. They have no intention of letting Obama be successful so they can use it against him and the democrats in the next election.
Philip from New Jersey writes:
Jack, it's not really that important because there will always be somebody willing to vote your way if the price is right. Ask Lieberman.
Joy from Orlando, Florida writes:
Obviously not important enough for Obama to get to Georgia and campaign for Jim Martin.
Ralph from Corpus Christi, Texas writes:
Doesn’t matter how many seats if they don't get off them and get some work done.
The Democrats have enough of an advantage that the 60 seat majority is not an issue. Holding majorities in all three houses of government is a greater boon to Obama's agenda. Filibusters in the senate (which is the reason you aree asking this question) are mostly threatened, rarely executed. Finally, with the fast waning popularity of the Republican party, do you really feel they will rock the boat in the Senate NOW?
Without question this will give the Dems power to prevent a filibuster. It was make pushing President-Elect Obama's agenda alot easier and with little or no resistence.
Means things will be done for the people, finally. And if not, we know who to blame this time around.
It is huge. The necessity of the 60 seat majority is important in these difficult times to allow president-elect Obama to get things pushed through congress more easily. The Republicans will not be able to stop legislation with a filibuster. I am interested to see how much this congress will get done now.
The democrats will be able to control the bills being passed in the Senate. They won't have to worry about the republicans blocking the progress we need. Also, it helps to have a democratic president.
A 60-seat Senate majority would be a false reality for the Democrats this year. If they're counting on Joe Lieberman to support their filibuster proof votes, they are delusional.
Does'nt matter how many seats if they don't get off them and get some work done.
Well, if they follow through with their promise of reaching across the aisle, a 60 seat majority wouldn't matter at all. So to answer your question, the lack of a 60 seat majority will doom this Democrat controlled congress to complete and utter failure.
It's very important because then the Democrats get to break the Filibuster. It would make it certain that most of Obama's policies would quickly get through the Senate. If they should not get this majority,I'm sure that with some politicking, the Democrats will be able to pursuade some"on the fence" Republicans to vote their way.
Extremely important to a first term president who has a long road all up hill and has to come through with some positive results on his campaign promises if he wants a second term.
Very important Jack! It`s the only way we can fix the GOP`s distruction of our government in a timely manor. That is if they all get on the same page.
I believe it is important. We can finally get things done. While people say that we should have a mix of conservative and liberal, it leads to arguing, filibustering and nobody ever gets a bill passed. that's why our legislators have such bad records. If we get the majority, we can get some laws passed through that are very much needed. Having a Democratic Pres and dem. legislators means we are having an agreement. Its time.
It is extremely important to the leadership of the Democratic Party because it will allow them to pass any legislation they want, virtually unchecked, for the next two years. It is more important to the American public, regardless of party affiliation, to ensure that this does not occur. Otherwise the system of checks and balances will essentially disappear until 2011.
Having a filibuster proof majority isn't really necessary, as we have seen demonstrated over the last seven congresses. Just consider all the good that got done for the good of the good ol' USofA, sit back, be proud, and vote republican!
If they don't get to 60, the Republicans still have a little power through filibusters. It could mean a compromise on something like healthcare reform, which will only work if we actually make a big change to single-payer universal coverage. If they end making piecemeal band-aid type reforms, it will costly and ineffective.
I think it would actually be detrimental to both the Democrats and Republicans. 60 seats gives the Democrats too much ownership of policy decisions. Not only do the Republicans need to be involved to spark debate, they need to be involved so they can learn new ideas. If the Republicans just play the victim and criticize, they might return to power while still using the Reagan playbook.
Its very important..... they main reason that nothing got done the past 2 years,early,most everytime the Democrats put a bill in or tried too... the Republicans shot it down without a discussion or a consideration... the only time that they began to consider the bills,were over the past 4-6 mths before the election. The Democrats will work with the otherside of the isle, not shun them like the Republicans have done.....
Jack: It is as important as winning the Lottery–One step closer to a Super Majority, filibuster-proof, and a "super majority" in the Senate.
The Democrats see it as being crucial as it gives them a clear path to do anything they want. I, as an independent, see it as frightening. I believe that compromise in government discussions is vital and the ability to filibuster is sometimes the only means to acheive that.
With a Democratic majority, and a Democratic President, it is not quite as important as when the Congress and the President are of different parties. The ability to prevent a filibuster is nice, but with President and majority of Senate in the same party, there is less likely to be an occasion for a filibuster.
Actually, I don't mind if they don't reach the magic number in the Senate; I'm more concerned with a strong enough majority in the House to actually get something accomplished.
JACK – In order for this country to go forward, we need to get a "filibuster proof" majority.....If we don't get it,
then it will be nothing but gridlock, the same as it has been for a long, long time.
Hence, this country will get nothing done, or passed, without it....The Republicans are so "ticked off" right now for losing in a huge way, that they will not budge on anything that will be put on the table......and "dismiss" everything that the Dems want to do, to make this country better.
Jack in order to have balance in government no one party should control anything. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.. A great example of this is the last 2 years of a democratic controlled congress. We are now in a recession. This didn't happen over night and it would never have happened with proper legislation. Get the picture. Checks and balances are out the window and they can do what ever they want. This means bigger government, more give away's and each time this congress tries and fails at something they will just throw more money at it. That money by the way will be your and my tax dollars.
Enough for me to get out and vote for Jim Martin in Ga today. It's time to see what the democrats can do since we've already unfortunately are living what the republicans have done.
It means the republicans can no longer stand in the way of progress for the little people. Notice most of the wealthy that still have jobs are republicans. Time for a CHANGE.
How important is a 60-seat Senate majority for the Democrats?
It would be more important if a Republican president was in power.
The Democrats are sometimes too nice for their own good. I think that they should be publically and privately twisting GOP arms when the needs arise. They need to take a page out of the LOW ROAD GOP Play Book.
With a 60 seat Senate they don't have to play LOW ROAD politics.
58 or 59 is a runaway democratic train with no breaks.
60 is a runaway democratic train with no breaks downhill.
It's a little differnet, but not much.
a 60-seat majority would be icing on the cake for democrats. not only will they control the three houses, but this majority will assure them of having the ability to set any agenda they wish to push.
the real question is, however, how good would a 60 seat democratic majority be for the country?
Turn about is fair play! As the Republicans bore their contempt of the Democrats during the 2000-2006 years, is it possible that the Democrats can mute the Republicans this time around! The way things are going, I am counting on it! Sixty key votes in the senate that makes the Republicans essentially absent points to Senator of Florida Martinez's desire to retire come 2010 as he sees the writing on the wall. May as well just not come to the senate chambers if the democrats can get the sixty member requiring no Republican filibuster. Sennsenbrenner should never have turned those lights, microphones, and Democratic voices off as turn about is fair play! What goes around, comes around! Six years of Democrat contempt may turn into eight years of Republican contempt! They should have known!
The 60 seats would be nice to have, but it is no sure thing that all 60 would vote the same way on any given issue. So it's really not the magic bullet people seem to think it is. Our good friend Joe Lieberman can't be counted on, although it seems he is busily trying to mend some fences after watching his buddy take a drubbing in November.
It is important as the republicans will fillibuster everything they
can. Saw where they are having fund raisers to fight the "left agendas".
What does that tell you?
It is apparent they have no intention of putting the people and
our country first and will do all they can to destroy anything that
is not of their questionable desires.
I think it is very important. We might be able to get bills past that needs to be passed. But the democrat should remember what the voters give the voters can take away.
Maybe some of the bills will now become laws.
Jack, I am a Democrat but an American first. I am not really sure if I want a filibuster proof majority in the Senate. There is a reason the founders of this country put that provision in the US Constitution. They felt that debate was important and consensus was paramount. When a filibuster proof majority is allowed full reign of the Senate, there is no debate. When there is no debate, there is no compromise. With no compromise, comes resentment. With resentment, comes…well, a lot of really bad stuff like Civil Wars.
The importance of a senate majority is having the power to remove the Bush administrations bad policies and institute replacements to get our country back on our feet and respected in the world again and ruled by the Constitution again. Well, its a dream I keep having.
Hard to tell. If Democrats are as corrupt as the Republicans who charactarized Bush's rubberstamp congress...we're just as screwed. The last 8 years have been charactarized by a President and Congress that only represented the interests of rich wealthy modern day "robber barrons" as opposed to the middle class.
They will beable to get everything done if they have a 60 seat majority!!!
Things really NEED cleaning up and the faster the better!!!
I think it's more important that they DONT get it. Whenever either party has overwhelming control over the Executive and Legislative branches, partisan politics take priority over necessary actions. Look at the failure of the Bush Administration. If the Democrats have an overwhelming majority, Obama will be lumped in with Bush come 2012. A multiple party system is necessary to make PROGRESSIVE change.
It's essential to insure that the Republicans DO NOT BLOCK the efforts of Obama to get this country out of this DEPRESSION!!! We have gone past the Recession stage and are falling headfirst into a full blown Depression. A filibuster proof senate – wow!!
It depends on how things turn out. Will the Democrats be congratulated or blamed? Personally, I would love to see nothing but Democrats in Congress. Republicans should be banished (or tried and put in prison). You could keep a couple around just for show, lol.
Maybe we'll finally get something done on health care reform. I don't give a dang about anything else that comes out of Washington.
important for the party BUT disheartening for the people; corruption abound anyone think's otherwise should take off the rose colored glass's!
It will be just more Democrats to roll over...............................................
Well, they had their chnce for 6 years. Can the Democrats do any worse?
Like all else in life, this a double edged sword. On the one hand it could allow Congress to get something constructive done. On the other hand, it could allow Congress to do much more harm than good. We hope for wisdom from our elected officials but it seems they always let us down. Like the economy, I don't hold out much hope for this Congress thus little for the Obama administration. I just wish for once they would work to prove me wrong.
It means that they can do just about whatever they want for the next 2 years. I don't like this and it was the one thing that seriously made me consider voting for McCain.
the main reason why it is so important of 60 seat majority because so things can get pass like healthcare,jobs,education etc....i am tired of the democrats being nice with the gops and start taking care of business to work for the people who elected them not ceos...i have never seen the republicans siding with the democrats when it comes to healthcare or jobs..republicans only care for the greedy not the needy..if they don't work with the democrats, they will lose the next serious of elecitons..
It depends on how pig-headed the Republicans decide to be after deservedly loosing an election. If they want to play nice and act in their constituents best interests, it is not important. If the Republicans are out for blood and are just too stupid to understand what their party has done to this country in the last 28 years then the Democrats need a 2/3 majority.
If a 60 seat majority actually produces positive, tangible results for the future of the country and the people in it, than it would be devastating to the GOP. Yet, government should work regardless of who has complete control over it. Instead of punishing Republicans, we should be rallying against the partisanship that really cripples the country. Good legislation should be created and voted for regardless of the party that it originates. Bad senators should be voted out, not because of the party they represent.
The 60 seat majority is not just important to the Democrats, it is important to the whole nation. We need leadership that can make quick decisions and take decisive action. With the constant threat of filibustering that has already began, important legislation will never get accomplished. At this point in history, with the economy in crisis and the threat of world terrorism increasing, another do-nothing Senate is the worse think that can possibly happen.
I don't think that it is an imperative for the Democrats. There are enough moderate Republicans in the Senate to break up any filibuster that the Republicans could come up with. 58 Democrats should be enough.
Jack, it's not really that important because there will always be somebody willing to vote your way if the price is right. Ask Lieberman. He may know something about the importance of a swing vote.
To get some stuff done instead of constantly bickering about it leaving the middle and lower class continually out in the cold in lack of jobs and healthcare.
The Democrats holding a 60 seat majority is not important to getting things done, but it would represent the proverbial double-edge sword if it comes to pass. They would hold much more unchecked power. If they wield it unfairly, they could engender a backlash, sending the balance of power in the opposite direction.
Mike – Pueblo, CO
Since Republicans have proven themselves to be more interested in their own political agendas, and not the will or the good of the people, then a 60 seat majority will prevent them from crippling the legislative process. Democrats have been given a mandate to get off of their indicisive butts and get some meaningful work done for the sake of the country.
It will mean that we will be force fed laws as the Democrats see fit. It is not good when there is no opposition. We are heading down the road to no good. It is a mistake, however, no one will see it till it's too late. What a shame. America will never be the same ever again.
It may be, but I think Obama is a team builder and so is Emanual. They may be able to get a majority WITH Republican support. It would not surprise me. I think Obama treats people as equals and with respect so he wins folks to him and his policies. We'll see.
The question should be, "How important is that Democratic majority for the American people?" Well, if we want what our Nov 4 ballots said we want, then the answer is Extremely Important. In fact, vital, critical, absolutely necessary, not a moment too soon, gotta happen, and God bless us, everyone.
It would be great to have the 60 vote majority if the Democrats could count on Joe Lieberman. However, his only loyalty to the Democrats seems to be as Chairman of his committee. Most of the time he supports the Republicans.
You betcha!! Now maybe we can get something done without the Republicans messing things up.
hey jack, good question. democracy is based on balance of power, once you lose that balance you step into totalitarianism, after eight years of right wing totalitarian dictatorship it would be nonproductive to move to a left wing totalitarian dictatorship, anyway america is in such dire straights you need both sides on board and anyone who think that they can filibuster this progress do so at their own peril, the republicans know this well...
It's not that important to hit the 'magic' 60 – which is probably one of the reasons that Obama is not in Georgia campaigning for Jim Martin. Considering the state the country is in I think it would be very dangerous, if not political suicide, for republicans to start trying to block Bills being passed.
A 60-seat Senate majority for the Democrats is a whole lot of wishfull
thinking. At this point in time, it looks like they will come up two seats
Jack, it wouldn't be important at all had the Republicans tried at all to act in a bipartisan manner. The last 2 years have been a steady stream of them blocking good and neccesary legislation if they didn't get their way on some pretty kooky bills. They've ransomed the Congress, and unfortunately it takes a supermajority to end their tantrums.
Jack, it would mean the lunatics have taken over the asylum and there's no one to prevent stupidity from reigning free.
My understanding of Obama's campaign rhetoric was that he would seek consensus. He said we were not blue states and red states, but the United States. That being the case, does the Democratic party need the 60 seat majority? Ideally, consensus would mean that the opposing point of view would be taken into account and included in any legislation. The operative word, of course, is ideally.
It sends that final message to the GOP. We have had enough and we want change. I'm not one who likes to see a team run up the score, but this will feel good and I'll smile and cheer if Dems hit the 60 number. All is still not forgiven.
Democrats, with the help of Americans must get every seat possible!! These seats represent new policy change but also a mandate in the way most americans want their country run now and in the future. We must show that we are united in the direction we want democrats to take us and do it decisively , in a way that will hopefully positively affect republicans and America in good ways far into the future.
Jack, I'm confused. When the Republicans controlled the Senate without a 60 vote majority, they threatened the "nuclear option," changing the rules to prevent a filibuster. Why don't the Democrats just use the "nuclear option" against the Republicans?
Port Aransas, TX
The 60 seat majority is very important to most Democrats but in the long run they may be better off with Republicans to blame for lack of action. Easier to point a finger than clean up a mess.
Jack It took a one sided republican parity to get us in this mess maybe a one sided democrat party to get us out anyway it just seems they can get thing done better that way!
It is very important to me that the democrats do not reach the 60 . Even without the 60 they will get some cross over moderate repiublicans to get some things thru. I hope the republicans stand their ground and keep the democrats and Obama in check-mate.
Jack – it dosent matter because the Republicans have nothing more to lose. They can now sit back and start building their campaign for 2012. Instead of a 2 year campaign like Obama did, they can now start a 4 year campaign. It will be more of the same, lets blame the Democrats for everything that goes wrong. The Dems dont need 60 seats, they are the majority. Poor Joe Lieberman, he will be the scapegoat now for both parties.
Important enough that some good things might actually get done..let's only hope..
Actually, I don't think it's that important. Judging from the cabinet he has chosen, he seems willing to govern from the center. Also, many of the Republicans are still demoralized from being beaten so decisively that it won't pay for them to be overly partisan.
It's like the old saying: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em!"
Democrats will not get a 60 seat majority and thankfully so as we don't need one party deciding all. Indeed, it is necesary w/such incompetent politicians we have today to have a checks and balance.
Democrats was our family party for generations when they "were for the people" who they understood they worked for – they are now a little off the wall to say the least. Our family is independent now and vote for the best person (if that is possible to find one).
Frankly it doesn't matter to me much, nothing " I can do about it ". It may as well be Mickey Mouse for the tie breaker; they're all professional politicians and its their Big Bowl game !! Let 'em chew their own bone !!!
It's important for all of us. If we ever expect our elected officials to get anything done, we need a filibuster-proof senate. And it wouldn't surprise me if the Republicans secretly feel the same way!
It should be even steven but when one party messes up the works this is what you get. Everything will balance out.
the Democrats need to teach the Republicans how to play nice and a touch of being humble. The Republicans had control for quite a while and basically told the Dems to "sit down and shut up" Now it is the opportunity for the Dems, to NOT get even but teach the Republicans how the system was designed to work.
It is not important Jack, The Republicans had the majority and look what they did. Opposition and serious debate is a good thing. It is what government is suposed to be about.
Jack, I have mix feelings about it. Normally I believe in the checks and balances that are the normal by-products of a two party system in Congress. However the Republicans have screwed things up so badly over the past decade that I do not want them to get in the way of badly needed change. They will do everything they can to prevent positive progress by the new administration and that is unfortunate and unacceptable.
The 60 seat thing is a bit overblown. It will be hard to get 60 Democrats to agree on anything. What Will Rogers said back in the 30's still applies today, "I am not a member of any organized party, I'm a Democrat!"
I think it would be a good thing. Bush has our country in such a bad shape, we need all the help we can get, to get thngs straightened out. The Repubs had the Congress and Bush for six years, but they were interested in taking care of themselves instead of the people that voted them in. Let us hope for the majority, and give Mr. Obama and his Cabinet a chance. He will work real hard to get us back like it was when Mr. Clinton was in.
It is extremely important. We must clean up after eight years of a failed Republican President, Republican Senate, and Republican House. There is no time to waste. We’ve been in Recession since December, 2007, you know.
In these unchartered waters, the magic 60 number is really irrelevant. The Democratic majority in Congress is going to be able to push the rescue plan on the economy, energy independence, and major reform legislation through because two independants and moderate Republicians have no choice. The GOP is in no postion to be obstructionist at this moment in our history, we need undeniable positive change in our land.
That's a no-brainer! They've got full control, what else is needed? They can call the shots and do what they want, let's just hope they make decisions that will benefit us small people.
A 60 vote majority would be like a giant application of Drano to a clog. Suddenly needed legislation that has been successfully blocked by Republican filibusters would pass. I might even look forward to affordable healthcare someday. Fingers crossed.
It's important because there's fewer Republicans left to screw America over!! No super liberal agenda will rise from a Democrat majority because of the diversity represented by the Democrats. They, unlike the single track minded Republicans, are a more accurate representation of the ideals of most Americans.
Give a politician an inch, he'll take a mile. Give him a filibuster-proof majority, he'll take everything you have. Democrats controlling the government will be no better than Republicans controlling the government. I just wonder how bad it has to get before we finally decide to go with "Other".
Considering what Sarah Palin said yesterday, it seems to be very important to the Republicans, despite all the talk about non partisan ship coming from them. I guess it takes her a while to wind down from the election time slams she keeps on making. It would be nice to do without obstructionism.
It is a nice-to-have not a need-to-have. Democrats just have to make sure that if anybody wants to filibuster that they actually need to try to control the floor like Mr. Smith, with none of this "free pass" mularkey. Then, the American people will see exactly who the obstructionists are. End of problem.
A sixty seat majority will give the democrats complete and thorough control of the legislative agenda,but only if the democrats get rid of their own personal agendas and work for a common cause. It probably won't happen because getting democrats to work together is like trying to herd cats.
With the condition of our economy one would think the Senate would work together in a bipartisan manner for the common good of our country. I sure hope our fate doesn't rest on the Democrats getting a 60 seat majority. Heaven help us all if that's the case!
It's fairly important, Jack. The Republicans shouldn't try to filibuster or block Obama's initatives, but then they should not have blindly supported Bush or screwed the American people either.
As important to them as it is for the GOP not to want it.
For us, we're at the mercy of an unchecked government making decisions. NOT GOOD for the majority, but good for a party's agenda be it good or bad decisions on their part.
So much for "Checks and Balances".
Extremely important. In order to enact better health care legislation, introduce important alternative energy initiatives, create a new infrastructure for the 21st Century and develop a better education system IN A TIMELY MANNER, it is essential for the Democrats to be fillibuster-proof in the Senate. If anything, many Americans would want the President-Elect to start even before he takes office!!
It only matters to them. What should matter to all is understanding and tending to the will of the people, not to Party dogma. If this can ever be realized and practiced there would be no need for the segregation and divisiveness these types of labels bring.
It is very important for America that the Democrats have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. A major reason the last Congress was labeled "do nothing" is because Republicans in the Senate held strong to party lines and refused to work with the Democratic majority. With the crises facing us, America can not afford any partisan shenanigans.
I don't think it really matter's all that much Jack. Fifty eight should be close enough on alot of issues!
Even though they might sound like robot's! Most have a mind of their own, Not all! But I think the majority will vote for the best idea, and not just think along party lines.
P.S. then again I could be wrong!
This seems to be not very important. The Dems have always been such a diverse group, that a 60-seat majority is NOT as significant as if it was the GOP. For the Dems, it's a matter of too many cooks; for the GOP it's a problem of too many crooks.
The current state of the GOP seems to be they don't really know what direction they want to go in which will likely translate into them being objectionists for the sake of political exediency.
The public has indicated they want to go the either the center or the left of center for the benefit of the middle class and so far the GOP is having a problem reconciling their ideology with the desires of the majority. This might mean Obama might be better served with a fillabuster proof majority to implement the legislation the majority of people are expecting.
without the majority the republicans will do whatever they can to stop any plan obama and the democrats have to help the country just because that is what they do best.
they have no intention of letting obama be successful so they can use it against him and the democrats in the next election.
Not much, both Clinton and Bush had it and the infighting among the factions got them nowhere....Politics as usual under a different facade.
Not a big deal to me. Maybe if I was in one of those seats then it would be a big deal to me but until then I don't see any drastic changes coming.
I don't think the Democrats need to worry about a 60 seat majority in the Senate. I think they should try to focus on "doing the right thing" and getting the job done for a change! We've had enough do-nothing Congress sessions. During the election the term bipartisan was used quite often... maybe it's time for all of our legislators to walk to walk and not just talk the talk. Our economy is in dire need of them being able to work together (regarless of who's in control).
It's extremely important. The Dems would be able to pass almost any law they could come up with. This could go a long way to un-doing the damage Bush has done, especially with the environment.
The problem would be, "The entire party" could be blamed for anything that goes astray – down the pike.
It has minimal importance for the Democrats, but more importance for the Republicans. If the Democrats get to the magic number of 60, then they have full responsibility for what happens in government. So the Republicans will play the blame game to the fullest extent. At 58 or 59, they only need to turn a couple of Republicans to break a fillibuster. They should be able to do just that,
I think you might be surprised either way. If the Democrats do get to 60 seats clearly that is an advantage to get the legislation they want passed quickly. However, with how Obama is filling his cabinet with members from both parties and constantly telling us we need to work together you might see majority numbers voting no matter what party they belong to.
Jack, it's not critical. Even a 60-vote majority will never guarantee a rubber stamp congress, and, on the flip side, Republican senators know they are now up to their eyeballs in a tsunami call for change, and Americans will be demanding action, not partisan politics as usual.
It is important so the democratic agenda can be passed without all of the hoopla the republicans have created, causing the do-nothing congress the last two years. It's still not the end of the world if they don't get 60 because I'm sure 1 or 2 votes can be bought for a reasonable price.
I think that whether the Dems have the actual 60 seat majority or not, they will have support from some fair-minded Repubs who will vote with them on issues that make sense and are good for the country–thus giving them a majority anyway. I think the days of voting the way of their party has sunk in for many Repubs who saw what a mess they managed to accumulate after following their "leader" blindly. Some will also want to get re-elected and if they appear to be blocking progress that may get us out of the cellar and help the people who are suffering, they will vote accordingly.
it means that things may actually get done, to serve the people of this country, for a change.............................................mattituck, ny usmc mom
I think they will be able to past interesting new green energy programs. May worry some democratic are so progressive as to be wild which we dont need rtght now.but most can plan good government programs with the best of them
Not very. There are conservative and "blue dog" Democrats who will split from the caucus on specific issues. More important, if major issues are decided by party vote, too little will get done. Lack of 60 sure votes will encourage efforts to be more bipartisan–and that's good.
Truth be told, it shouldn't matter. If our government started working in the best interest of the people that elected them (what a novel idea), party affiliation should be a mute point.
You would think a majority would be great for the democrats. But think about it for a minute. The people of the states that voted those dim-wits in did not vote them in so they could vote like everyone else, they were voted in to help that particular state, not vote in group-think. If that's what they wanted they would have voted for Spock.
Kenneth Chadbourn N.C.
I guess it is important to the Democrats, but George Bush had it
all and look where he took us. I have always thought balance of
power was best. However, I would like to see Chambliss lose
because of his campaign tactics, especially against Max Cleland(?).
A 60 seat majority would be nice but as an added bonus we would be getting rid of two Jerks, Norm Coleman and Saxby Chambliss.
If the Democrats introduce sound legislation to help the middle class like affordable health care insurance etc. and the GOP fillibuster to prevent the passage it will be the end of the Republicans as they will be virtually wiped out in 2010.
Right now if there are any Republicans left with a modicum of common sense they won't oppose legislation because to their ideology as too many people are watching closely and expecting results. To delay or impede these expected results would be political suicide.
Not nearly as important as having the right man in office with political capital to burn. Still it would be nice to fill all those judicial appointments without trouble.
The Democrats need the 60+ majority if Obama wants to get anything done. The 90's were a good indicator of what the GOP does when it is not in control of the White House and the President is doing a good job. Clinton could have accomplished so much more if he wasn't stonewalled at almost every turn by a bunch of crybabies who wanted nothing more than to make sure a Democratic president didn't get credit for fixing the country. Without a majority, Mr. Obama should watch his back.
it,s good to have a filibuster proof majority because the republicans can,t interfere with the programs obama wants passed and after 8 years of republicans being able to fil,ibuster it would be great if they couldn't though i believe republicans will win the 2 remaining 2 senate seats
does not matter...Americans have wised up...if these politicians dont do their jobs they will be voted out...term limits are due also
What's important is that whoever is leading democrat, republican, or otherwise does what's best for the nation. Both parties are to blame for the current state of this nation. Yet each side continues to point fingers at each other. It will be fun to see who the democrats point fingers at if they don't fix this current mess.
While unlikely that Martin defeats Chambliss (the pro Chambliss robocalls down here have been relentless…a story all by itself), a sixty forty Senate will expedite the reversal of Bush policies that have done our nation so much damage. We’ve not been in this much national trouble in years and it’s not a time to have a hamstrung Legislative body unwilling to try creative solutions. Bad enough that one ideologue can hold 350 million people hostage, and such has been the case for the last eight years.
The Democarts are close enough to get things through. Even with the few Dems. that may make a stray vote there will be enough Republicans that will vote stray of their party. Jack after all they want to keep their seats although they should lose them.
I personally don't think it is that important for the Democrats to get a 60 seat majority. However, I do believe that it would show great progress in both states (especially Georgia) to elect a Democratic congressman. It is more important at this point to get everyone going towards the same goals rather than to win a majority for either party.
It's really not that important, all it does is give the President a better chance to pass any bill that he wants to and get it done quick. Even it's not 60, it's gonna be just as easy to get his agenda passed. Far as I'm concern the way they've done the last eight years, we need to turn it around on the republicans but if they fail 2012 could be disasterous.
They may actually get something done that would benefit the american people , and if not they could be voted out in 2010.
It would a benefit to have a fillibuster-proof 60 vote majority & be able to head off potential gridlock. I suspect the Minnesota recount will not be the end of the contest & it will end up in court or in the Senate to decide. I hope though that Congress has tuned into the anger of America (the results of this past election really should be a wake up call to all of them) & will not resort to gridlock tactics and actually get things accomplished for this country if the 60 vote majority is not achieved.
A 60% Democratic majority in the Senate would be disastrous for the Democrats. Not having one was the excuse they used for doing nothing for the past two years. If they have one now, they will not have that excuse to fall back on.
To fix the economic mess, a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate is probably not as important for passing legislation as in past years when the congress had the time to bicker back and forth on every issue. Since we are talking about survival right now, any reasonable legislation that might help the economy will likely be passed. But when it comes to universal health care and ending the war in Iraq, those 60 seats in the Senate might be the only way legislation can be enacted.
A 60-seat majority is definitely an important issue. If they have any less than 60, someone will have to stand, and everyone knows that Democrats are too liberal to use their feet.
The 60 seat majority for Democrats would give them a clean sweep. It may be important to them, but it is not helpful to our country as a whole. There would be no balance of power or sharing of ideas. But maybe this would wake up the Republican party to refigure their future electability.
If the Repubs were smart they would actually want the Dems to get to that magic 60. Then when nothing gets done in Washington the Repubs could put ALL the blame on the 'powerful' Democrats.
The 60 seat majority is obviously extremely to the democrats. It is essential to getting die-hard republicans to finally act as fiscally conservative as they've claimed to be for a long time. Do I feel sorry for the Republicans if they fail to achieve a majority; not in the least. For the last eight years they have had there way with everything and only screwed everything up. It is time for someone else to see if they can run things better than the Bush administration. At least I'm willing to allow the Democrats a fair chance to see how well they can do.
It would not be good for the counrty. Our forefather's put in place checks and balances. If the Liberals win that 60 vote majority then we have the same old senrio.
I think it would be better if a couple Republicans were needed to make it to 60 so the Dems. weren't held totally responsible for EVERYTHING that turned out badly.
Too important to be countnig on weasels like Joe Lieberman...we need real Democrats.
DJ – Detroit
Jack as a yellow dog Democratic I have more faith in some Republicans than I should but , I do not think you need the total 60 vote margin in the senate surly the Dem's can pick off a few Republicans when needed to pass bills.
Fingers crossed. I think!
It is very important so we can actually get some work done here in America instead of messing around like the past eight years. It plays a vital role in the passing of Obama's legislation.
Not as important as the people in Georgia voting AGAINST Chambliss, thus further confirming Sarah Palin as the albatross she is when campaiging for anyone. That said, majority or no, there will always be factions, even amongst members of the the Democratic Party, Jack. There are conservative Dems, moderates and of course, liberals. Just because they can block the filibuster of the Republicans does not necessarily ensure smooh-sailing in Congress come January.
It would be nice but after Nancy Pelosi's strong words prior to her latest election victory and the overwhelming Democratic majority in the House I have lost all confidence in our government , both Repulicans or Democrats of ever keeping their pre-election commitments and doing anything helpful!
Nothing to do with filabuster proof majority. The sleeze bag Saxby must go. He is the poster boy for nasty politics.
How important? just think about the past 2 years, if anything is going to move forward the Dems need 60 votes, why you think they pardoned Lieberman?
It's important, but not as important as people think. As partisan as Washington is, the parties don't vote as a bloc (yet), so most bills will have plenty of crossover votes, enough to make the heralded supermajority barrier more of a haze. But still, every vote counts, so every extra one is important, even if it doesn't grant legislative superpowers.
You assume that having 60 democrats automatically means that every democrat will be a rubber stamp to Obama. Although it would be nice, on paper, to have said majority, I think the respective senators will vote based on the quality of the agenda before them, rather than strict party lines. Let's hope Bush cronyism is over.
Jack: I thought the whole idea of electing these people, was that they worked together. Obviously, this is not the case, it is who has the most people and not what is good for the country or what is the best "solution". Forget the democrats, republicans and do what is the right thing.......for the American People, they elected them to do what they thought was right......
This was the first presidential election in which I actually voted FOR a candidate instead of voting against the opponent. I want to give Obama every opportunity to succeed, and every democratic seat, especially a 60 seat majority, will help make that possible.
It's not as critical as some may think.
Didn't they get the message ? If they didn't they will be reminded even more strongly in 2010.
If the Republicans believe that they can hold the Obama adminstration back against the will of the people, the memories of how we got into this GOP induced mess in the first place shall remain foremost in peoples' minds as they go to the polls in two short years.
The GOP is already fracture and wandering aimlessly about. Just let the same old faces maintain control of the Party and there won't be a GOP left.... neither Grand... or old.
It's not important for P.Elect Obama's dem's to have a fillibuster proof senate. Mr. Obama has reached accross the aisles, he has told rep's that he will have a ready ear, what more does a country want. America, you christmas has come early in the form of a president with common sense, who will give the US it's gleaming reputation with the world once again.
It is very important. Unless a significant number of new initiatives, programs, and ideas can actually be PASSED, it really doesn't matter how good (or, I suppose, bad) the ideas really are. So many initiatives fail because only portions of them can be implemented, or can only be implemented for a short time. Changing an entire nation's course is tough work, and in case anyone hasn't been paying attention, there is a lot that needs to be changed around here.
Kevin, Austin TX
Obviously not important enough for Obama to get to Georgia and campaign for Jim Martin.
Although i think the 60 seat majority for the Democrats would be a harsh psychological blow for the Republicans, at the end of the day I don't think it matters. It is doubtful that all members of congress will vote on straight party lines. No votes are set in stone and I'm sure it will be politics as usual with our without a 60 seat majoriity.
If our first term President is going to get any real reform he is going to need all the branches and support from all of us as well. If we can minimize how much we consume and learn to be efficient with our power consumption we could even make it easier for our youth in the long run...
Jack, it shouldn't be important IF the Democrats can get significant bi-partisan support on its proposals. If they need the 60 Democrat votes to pass its probably a bad bill.
How important? Two words: Not very. Why? Again, two words: Joe Lieberman. The Dems can't trust Holy Joe to vote with them. He'll stick a knife in the party's back again, without a doubt.
Meh.... not so important. Get a few soft, centrist Republicans to cross the aisle, the filibuster need not play so importantly. Considering Obama's demonstrations of bipartisanship as he forms his cabinet, it appears the climate will dictate a "new and improved" way of doing business in Washington. With President-Elect Obama leading the way, I predict most Dems will happily follow the party line; the Blue Team is not the one who savors Red Meat. Meanwhile, it will only take two or three reasonable Republicans to legislate productively; surely there are two or three in that bunch the Wizard gave both a head and a heart.
How important? Considering the fact that the Democrats were fillibustered left and right for the past 8 years and could get little to nothing accomplished, it seems to be VERY IMPORTANT so Congress can redress many of the legislative wrongs.
Democrats don't need 60 seats. All you need is 2 Republicans to join the 58 Democrats to end a fillibuster or overturn a Presidental veto; although nowadays that might be harder than we think.
I am not a Republican, but I honestly hope the Democrats don't get the 60 seat majority either. We need checks/balances to keep from passing too many frivolous bleeding-heart liberal bills, which the Democrats are notorious for. I'm not an anti-environmentalist, but things like (fictional example) a 100 million dollar grant to study the habitat of some extinct worm in some remote part of the globe being tacked onto a sweeping spending reform bill or a stem cell research bill just do not make sense. Especially not now when we already have huge budget deficits and things to take care of like Medicare and Social Security, which will require BI-PARTISANSHIP.
St. George, UT
The 60 seats should not make a difference, if the clowns it toon town
We need a majority to stop filibusters to get to the truth from the past eight years and regain our full constitutional rights and privacy and filecharges against those who have been corrupt over the past 8 years. When is the right going to admit the mess they gave us with Bush??
It means nothing. There are more moderate Republicans in the Senate which will help the Democratic majority stave off any filibuster. The number "sixty" won't produce any more magic than when the Republicans held a majority before 2006.
Besides, when was the last time 60 Democrats could ever agree on anything, much less something as important as their own legislation?
Jack, It really isn't going to matter because human nature has shown historically that when a single party holds the command of Washington then the infighting begins. We are only kidding ourselves if we think that Washington will ever be an effective body politic.
I am a student who is a all around republican in my beliefs but when it comes to this question I think in our economic situation it is very important for the democrats to have a 60 seat majority. I think one of the big problems in our congress which lead to our economic downfall was a republican white house and a democratic congress. Neither would work together to get things done, Bush or congress. Although I am a strong republican I believe the democrats having control of every avenue in congress would allow things to get done faster and save our economy which is really what the people need in America.
The Senate is certainly the weak link in the next government. On any given vote to stop a filibuster, there may well be defectors on either side, so 60 votes isn't magic. None-the-less, the Senate will control what Obama can get done.
Jim, Craig, CO
A 60 seat majority controlled by the Democrats is enough to turn some red states blue and we will be on our way to "One United America".
It doesn't make a difference at all any more. Republican's will vote like Democrat's to keep their constituants happy.
It is extremely important for the dems and the nation to NOT get the 60-seat majority. If they want to stay in power and to solve the problems the right must have a voice, even if a very small one. As with driving, over correction is a good idea with bad results.
Hi Jack, I think it's just fine if we don't get a 60 seat majority. It will force our senators to actually work with one another to get things done.
What we really need are politicians who cooperate with each other to promote the best interest of the country regardless of their party affiliation. If that were the case the 60 seat majority would have little or no significance.
Here in MN we currently have a democrat and a republican and they don't even sit on the same side of the room no less work together in our best interest.
60 seats, Democrat or Republican, doesn't really matter. Its still politicians in power, and we all know how much politicians are liked nowadays.
Santa Fe, NM
Jack if the dems get nothing less than 60 seats I fear the republicans will do everyhthing they can to stop any good fortune the country will enjoy under Obama and company just to prove it wasn't Bushs fault the countries in the toilet
Listen, it is definitely time for change in America. Between President bush and his 8 year term of mass destruction of our economy along with his republican base, yes the the Democrats having a 60 seat majority is a great. If nothing else, we know that the American people will be at the topic of the agenda and not in a soup kitchen line!
It's so disappointing to see all of this us versus them and total domination attitude in our government. Granted, the Republicans did everything in their power to wipe out the middle class and loot the treasury, but in the long run it's the working men and women who get beat up by the politicians and lobbyists and their greed motivated work ethic. Might does not make right.
It is completely necessary to return balance to the force. We have done things the republican way for too long. A majority seat for the democrats would be the best medicine to wash the terrible taste out of our mouths. Republicans could use the opportunity for a "time-out" to reflect on themselves after offering up McCain/Palin as competent representation. I think about eight years is a good start.
It will have a dramatic impact on the speed with which the new Administration can implement it's policies. Generally this would be a good thing, but in moments of crisis, like we are in, it is not.
The 60 seats should not make a difference, all the clowns in toon town need to do is what is right for the USA,
Brits are aghast at the American 60 seat majority needed to be filibuster proof. They wonder that ANY legislation EVER gets passed with such a system. The past 8 years the Bush administration tried to get their way by foul means, not by fair means. They nearly destroyed the Constitution in their grasp for complete power. The Democrats are much more likely to follow the rule of law and respect the American people and their principles. So yes, a filibuster proof majority would be a good thing for the American people at this time.
The 60 seat majority is enormously important, assuming that the Democrats are really working for the people. The only way we will ever find out is to give them no excuses.
As a moderate to liberal democrat, the sound of a sixty-seat senate majority is almost intoxicating, but so is absolute power. As much as I think that democrats are far more capable of pulling the country out of our current mess than are the republicans, there still needs to be balance. Anything that goes wrong under the watch of a democratic white house and congress will make the pendulum swing the other way much more quickly than if republicans have at least some say in our governmental decisions.
Heck Yeah its important. If they don't get the majority the Republicans are going to block Obama with everything they got. This is important i voted at 10:00 this morning in GA. If we don't get these seats oh yeah its going to be change alright. all of us is going to move out into the streets.
All this talk about a 60-seat majority is nonsense. The Dems get there only with the inclusion of the non-Democrat Lieberman and one Democratic Socialist. Also, the odds of getting all of these folks to vote the same way, even on procedural issues, are longer than for Bush solving the economic crisis before he returns to Crawford.
A flibuster proof senate would be a Democrat's dream, plain and simple. They would have virtually unlimited power as no one would be able to stand in their way and say more government isn't the answer. However, a filibuster proof senate would be a nightmare for everyone else. Obama is a Democrat and the Legistlative Branch is controlled by the Democrats which already gives them plenty of power. There needs to be checks and balances even in the slightest possible way and that obviously wouldn't include a filibuster proof senate.
Jack, A 60 seat Democrate majority would be great for the short term, given the current national financial crisis, a Senate Majority rule might be just what the country needs to speed an economic recovery without the political Democrats vs. Republicans nonsense standing in the way of jump starting the economy.
Extremely important ! Remember the Bill Clinton Economic program that led to the biggest economic boom in American history? Not one Republican voted for it in the Senate. Not a one ! The Republicans swore it would lead to recession. It passed only because Vice President Gore cast the deciding vote for a 51 – 50 passage. That's how important it is. Extremely ! Ralph, Yakima, Wa.
Yes it's important to have sixty seats for the Democrats, at least the Bill won't lay on a desk for eight years, the way the Republicans has done in the past.
Having a 60 seat majority could make things run smoother in Congress, but even that is no quarantee – the Left Wing of the Senate could still be an problem – President Obama gives every appearance of planning a moderate, middle of the road "get it done" Administration, I just hope we have a 60 seat "moderate-sensible" Senate this go around.
This is Huge! But we already have a majority in the House and Senate, oh yeah, and the Presidency. Don't get too selfish with this 60-seat majority...Let's get legislature passed because of the Democrat's strong influence, not because we can finally block filibusters. As much of a Democrat as I am, we still need some kind of balance of power and we don't want to hide the Republicans away in the hole that they built themselves. Sad to say, they still deserve their right to opposition.
Read the history of filibusters. Only 40% of them have failed in the last 40 years. Moreover, just how often are you going to get 60 Democrats to agree on ANYTHING?? The filibusters will be hard to break..count on it.
Not all important. Even with 58 he will have a few pragmatic republicans who will join his revolution.
I think it is very important for the democrat politicians, but for ordinary folks like myself, and I consider myself a democrat, I believe a balance of power is more important.
Ron S. In Michigan
Jack, it's extremely important that the Dem's have 60 seats. For once we need to have someone that we can point to after a few years when nothing is accomplished. For too many years we have sent these men and women to Washington to do the people's business to no avail. If the Dem's have 60 seats they will have no excuse for not getting the peoples work done. If they fail, We the people don't want road blocks. We want real change and accomplishments.
Hi, IF the dems reach 60 I believe Obama will shock everyone and actually practice RESTRAINT.
If they only reach 58 or 59 isn't there a plan to give DC 1 House rep. and 2 Senators all of whom would be Democrats?
Aren't the repubs at the same disadvantage in 2010?
Doesn't the loser in the general elec always win in the runoff?
Is it important? No. At this point President Elect Obama is viewed with such awe that any Republican opposition in the Senate will be token at best. Should they have one? I honestly hope not, and never voted Republican since 1981 when I becam old enough. Control of the entire trifecta has never been good for the country, as the ruling party ends up seeing no reason to reign in their own excesses and compromise.
If our elected officials start authoring legislation with a little common sense and eliminate pork along with special interests. We may actually get something done.
I don't believe the 60-seat majority is all that important; in fact (and I am a mostly-Dem voter), I think being close to 60 is better. It will keep the filibuster possible should the Dems attempt to get way out of line the way Republicans did with absolute power under Bush, and it will encourage the government to work toward compromise to accomplish goals. If legislation makes sense, it shouldn't be too difficult to get it passed. Every time I see a vote split right down party lines, it makes me cringe.
Jack, it's not how important a 60 seat majority is for the Democrats BUT how important it is for the country as a whole at this particular time.
We need to move quickly and decisively with intelligence to get this country turned around at home and abroad...We can do this much more effectively with the majority in the hands of a president that I feel comes along once in a lifetime, if that...I believe Barack Obama is such a man possessing vision and insight and unifying qualities that will lead with strength and not be subject to the old, lame "trickle down economics" and the fictitious "big government" arguments...We need meaningful action NOW!!!
As long as one of the 60 is Joe Lieberman, Democrats can't be guaranteed filibuster-proof. Joe the Senator is now a loose cannon, and if a vote comes down to him being the decider, we can't be sure which way he might go. He has voted mainly Democratic, but after his public support of John McCain and (ugh) Sarah Palin, and his strong remarks *against* Obama, I don't think 60 seats guarantee anything if he's one of them.
How important is a 60-seat Senate majority for the Democrats? I don't think it's overly important. It's rare for a vote to go exactly down party lines, so the Democrats are likely to have a handful of Republicans vote with their voters instead of their moneyed interests. The filibuster threat is a tool that most minorities will use sparingly. And the Democrats should NOT stoop to the level of Republicans and threaten to nuke minority rights and input.
FYI... 49 days till the end of the Bush administration.
I live in Georgia and early voted last week. Judging from the people I know it seems like most people are voting for Saxby (I voted for Martin), so I don't think the Dems will have what it takes to get to that magical 60.
Oh and I laughed hysterically when I heard that Sarah Palin said yesterday that "Saxby wouldn't be an automatic yes vote, but he wouldn't be an automatic no vote either." Well she got half of that right ... he won't be an automatic yes vote, but I'd be willing to bet that he will be an automatic "no" vote. It's all about partisan politics for Saxby ... nothing more, nothing less.
After seeing how well our next president is doing in the transition, I think a 60-seat majority is great. A lot needs to be done and there are a few Republicans that need to be told to sit down and shut up, for a while, so the people's work can get done. Their six years of rubber stampng Bush policy, plus all the stuff Bush is trying to enact as he leaves, requires some fast work after January 20th and you know how slow Republicans are?
Having only 58 Senate seats will create two very very powerful Republicans or Independents. Having less than 60 seats provide each party with cover for unpopular legislation. Politicians like to have it both ways; voting for something they know won't pass is politics as usual. The tricky votes are for things that pass. A super majority is unconstitutional; 51 votes are sufficient if they just had the guts to change the rule.
I hope it's not necessary to get things done with the Obama administration. It would be a great safe guard but the way Obama plans on including all will hopefully move this country forward. Together.. All Americans. Like Obama said.. we are not Democrats or Republicans.. we are Americans!
It is nice to have but it is not that important. 2008 is the year of the Democrats and so is 2012 as long as economic recovery goes underway and 2.5M jobs are created by 2011. I think that some of the Republicans in both Houses will join the bandwagon to make things happen for a change. The Maverick being on top of the list.
I may be a little hesitant towards backing a 60 seat majority for the Dems. Example, look what happened to our country during the 8 years in which the GOP had a majority; too much division.
Now, not every Republican thinks like #43, and not every Democrat thinks like Obama. Having a good mix of both the Democrats and Republicans would work better for this country. Personally, I think there should be more Independants. Hopefully, the next congress will work to further this country in a positive way with Obama's leadership and NOT put their own party or personal feelings in the way of real progess.
We are talking about politicians and the real good ones don't necessarily vote 100% of the time with their individual parties. While having 60 seats would be a historic event, I don't thinks it's that big of a deal.
If Republicans decide to work with Democrats, not very. But if they look to 2010 and withhold their cooperation so that they can criticize and "distinguish their records" from those of the Dems and the President, then a filibuster-proof majority may be the only way anything will get done.
A 60 Seat Majority might mean a lot to the Democrats but would probably mean more pain for the American Public. Remember what happened when the Republicans routed for a trifecta from 2003-2006? I can't think of one single good it did for America. I believe in checks and balances but neither of our political parties seem to know what that truly means. By having the flexibility to filibuster certain issues, they sometimes become roadblocks to progress by selfish posturing. I just hope they keep the good of the people in mind above their own power-bases.
The dems want a majority so badly so they can ram-rod whatever piece of bad legislation they want. Being in power is their inherit right; or so they think. Of course, if they don't deliver on all the 'goodies' they promised to the American people, they'll just whine that it's the Republicans' fault. Whatever happened to checks and balances?
It's important that Democrats get as close to 60 as possible. Every seat shy of 60 means more pork for Republicans to break filibusters. Obama is not a liberal Democrat. He will cut spending. So having 59 or 60 Democratic senate seats will actually decrease government spending, since they won't need to add as many earmarks that are designed to end Republican filibusters.
They think it will be important but as history shows, Congressmen cannot agree among themselves so 58 or 60 seats means nothing.
The 60-seat count includes Lieberman. Does anybody really think his vote could be depended on to break a filibuster? If you believe that, I've got some ocean-front property in Iowa to sell you. . .
It's up to the voters in Georgia, obviously. That said, I don't think it is very important. There are moderate Republicans in the Senate who will no longer have to vote party as opposed to their conscience – frankly it will help build a stronger bi-partisan program for the incoming administration if they do not have it.
The more Democrats they have to block any filibuster, the better for them. However, filibusters almost never go along strict party lines.
Right now, they have likely enough votes for most issues. Sometimes they'll get a number of GOP votes to help, and other times they won't be able to count on some of their own Democratic caucus. So it's not a magic number.
But yes, each vote they add on above 58 does make it easier each time.
With out 60 seats they will get zero, nada, nothing..
A 60 Seat Majority woulkd only be good for the the people that want something for nothing. They want the goverment to fix the mistakes they made in life. At least in two years they can't point the finger at no one else.
Votes in the senate rarely have 0 defectors. Even if there are 58-59 dems/independents in the senate, it will be hard for the Republicans to block a vote for cloture on an important issue. Moderate republicans don't want to look like they're blocking what may likely be a popular president's agenda.
The last time a party had the presidency and the super majority in the senate was 77-79 (Carter and the Dems). That resulted in a much worse recession than now.
It will certainly send a message that REAL change has been mandated by the people of the U.S. While we all know that the RNC is licking its wounds, the Democratic party better not let these victories lead to complacency. Having such a majority should instill in Democrats the need to bring healing and unity to this nation.
The Democrats caused the economy mess (housing disaster) as well as the social problems we face today. ie: lack of respect, consequences, civility, I can go on. The recession began after the Dems took the Senate and House majority two years ago. The housing bubble was caused by the Dems blocking Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac restrictions (Barney Frank, Chris Dodd, Maxine Waters to name a few) that John McCain tried to pass. So, you know what I think.
I'd like to applaud and deeply thank all the Democrats, Independents, and Republicans who responded here that a 60 vote Senate majority is a VERY dangerous thing.
These folks who responded this way really care about our country and not about payback, control, or evening the score. We ALL know that complete control of Congress and the Executive Branch is not a good thing by ANY party.
Sad to say, but we all need to be forced to work together, as right now many of us are acting like the children in the "Lord of the Flies".
60 seats means the New Socialist Democratic Party can push it's Socialist agenga. The will force Americans to do what they think is right. We may lose many of our freedoms.
Turnabout would be fair play if Martin got past Chambliss in the runoff. Wyche Fowler led in 1992 but lost to Coverdell in that year's runoff.
Sixty seats would be a long shot for the Democrats. I give them a better chance in MN than in GA. Hopefully they can convince a couple of moderate Republicans like Snowe, Collins, or Specter to stand with them in critical votes. And you can't filibuster all the time; it trivializes the exercise beyond recognition.
60 Democrates are not so important because enough Republicans will cross over based on the mood of the people. If there are many filibusters the ones responsible will pay in the next election.
I think it is really important, because the GOP is alreadly knuckling down to become even more hard to the right. This means that they will take every opportunity to impede Obama just so that they can say in 2012 that he didn't accomplish anything.
Even after voters finally pressured the Democrats this Fall to allow oil drilling in our oceans, Democrats were openly speaking about reversing the legislation this Spring. Obama voted with the Democrats 97% of the time in the Senate. To avoid the worst excesses by Democrats, filibusters by Republicans need to succeed.
They get a shot. Make it count.
To: Brian Omaha
Carter and the Super Democratic majority did not cause the recession; there was a huge oil price hike and a war in the Middle East that did that. Also, we don't yet know how bad this recession will be. It is just beginning. The stock market has certainly crashed far worse this time than it did in the late "70s.
I had voted for Obama on November 4th, but for Saxby Chambliss in the senate race. I will vote for Chambliss again this evening. I like many of the ideas that Obama stands for, but being an American of Pakistani origin, and having experienced the Bush's control over the House and Senate for six years, I am well aware of what absolute power does to a politician. I hope that a 40% presence of Republicans in the Senate will ensure that Obama keeps to his promise of compromise and works with the spirit of bringing people and parties together. Besides, to keep Republican Party’s popularity from sinking any further, I am certain they would only use the filibuster option if a good majority of Americans are behind them. I am okay with that.
It is not important. There are still several republicans in office that will consistently vote with the democrats.
I know this is counter-intuitive but I think a 60 seat majority is the worst thing that could happen to the Democratic Party. This would render the Republicans impotent but expose the cracks and divisions in the Democratic Party (Liberals, Moderate, Fiscal Conservative, etc.). It is better to be able to blame the other side when things don't happen than to take the blame when you supposedly hold aboslute power. The Republicans would have faced the same problem if they had won a 60 seat majority in their heyday.
Checks and balances are what make this country great. No one branch of government can gain too much power...except in the case of a supermajority in the house and senate with a President from the same party as the majority. Moving swiftly to prevent a crisis is one thing. Passing legislation just because the party says so is reckless.
The people will suffer the consequences of a majority. Time to prepare for the worst, it can only turn out better.
Who cares...........same stage different clowns.
I think that Obama and the Dems secretly don't want a Super-Majority. It can be a scary thing to have total control and amount to political suicide. If they gain such a majority, they will have no one to blame when or if their policies fail. There will be no fall guy. They could claim that the previous administration for certain failures, but that can only be stretched so far. With Republican filibusters, they can claim obstructionism. Better for the next election.
There will be no checks and balances... no reason for Obama to look across the aisle. Things need to be done yes but they will not be effective if they are done with too much haste or without discussion.
White House ,Senate Filbuster Proof, and Majority in House. Any way you look at it that is absolute power. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Look at the 6 years the Republicans had commanding power. See where they are now.
We done need obstructionist but we do need the loyal opposition!!
if anyones thinks Olympia Snow or Susan Collins from Maine will vote with Jeff Sessions from Alabama, Saxby Chambliss from Georgia, or John Cornyn fromTexas in filibustering legislation, they are deluding themselves. Senators Collins and Snow understand that doing so would be political suicide
To give the dems full control is scary. They would be able to push the Pelosi/Reid radical left agenda. America can't afford the result.. We would have no morals left as a country.
Jack, the Dems do need that 60 seat majority because without it, all it takes is one republican to obstruct critical legislation. It really frustrates me that people have such a low approval rating for Congress, when they aren't even aware of the fact that Republicans filibustered a record number of bills from going to a vote over the last 2 years. We could have gotten so much done to help our economy if these obstructionists did not stand in the way of important legislation!
let them have 60 seats...then when the wheels come off this country they'll have no excuses.
Let's hope they dont reach 60 seats....I enjoy Checks and Balances
Jack Cafferty sounds off hourly on the Situation Room on the stories crossing his radar. Now, you can check in with Jack online to see what he's thinking and weigh in with your own comments online and on TV.
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