Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: Roland Burris's Excellent Adventure

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Roland Burris's Excellent Adventure

It was certainly exciting to see Roland Burris turned away from the Senate floor. I've never had anything against Burris, although lately it has been getting on my nerves that he seems to have no idea why anyone would question his credentials just because he was appointed by a corrupt governor who less than a month ago was arrested for trying to sell the very seat he's trying to claim--why would anything think that one thing had anything to do with the other?

Unfortunately, it seems that the Democratic leadership is acting true to form and, after making what they claimed was a strong and principled stand against Rod Blagojevich's manipulations, are getting ready to cave and accept Blago's candidate. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.


At 9:42 AM, January 07, 2009, Anonymous Mike said...

Oaky, I am genuinely curious. What is the upside of denying Burris the seat? Dragging this out for six more months? Making certain there is not an African American in the Senate? Salvaging what passes for the "credibility" of Illinois at the moment? Making Blago look like he actually has some bullets with which to take the moral high ground?

What, precisely, is meant to be accomplished by any of this other that putting the Democrats one vote further away from a fillibuster proof majority?

At 2:57 PM, January 07, 2009, Anonymous Doug said...

The chimerical filibuster-proof majority was one of my favorite fantasies of the past election cycle. The fact that it seems to be living on long beyond its off-sale date thrills me to no end. At this point, if every possible Democratic senator is ready to vote, that gives us 57 votes. If the two guys who are close enough to the Democrats to be invited to their party also vote, we're up to a whopping 59. Still no filibuster-proof majority. Oh, but wait--one of those "almost Democrat" guys is Joe Lieberman, who hasn't been willing to join with the Democrats on anything beyond holding on to his committee chair. If he's a vital vote, even with a full 60 they'd never have a filibuster-proof majority. Diane Feinstein hasn't been acting much like a team player, lately, either.

Explain to me why an almost filibuster-proof majority of 58 is significantly less valuable than an almost almost filibuster-proof majority of 59? Quite frankly, this 59-Democrat Senate doesn't seem to have any more heft than last year's 51-Democrat Senate.

Also, what's the problem with allowing this to linger a while longer? Would Burris be able to get the most vital piece of legislation in years, the economic stimulus, ready for the president's desk by Inauguration Day? The Democratic leadership themselves have given up on that harebrained scheme. We'll be lucky to have it by mid-February. If they're not in a rush, why should we be?

At 4:53 PM, January 07, 2009, Blogger Jason said...

If we have 59 votes, we only have to convince one "RINO" to vote for cloture. If we have 58, we have to convince two.

Of course, that presupposes the Democratic leadership can keep discipline in the party and get all of the members to vote for cloture, which is such a laughable idea I can barely type the sentence. If there is some sort of award that is given to the most ineffectual leader in the history of the universe, Harry Reid is a strong contender to win.

Which leads me to the Burris situation. Seat him or don't seat him -- in the grand scheme of things, I don't think it makes too much difference. But the way Reid has handled this -- drawing lines in the sand and then immediately tripping over those lines as he backpedals -- is just insanely incompetent. At this point, I think a Magic 8-Ball would make a better majority leader than Harry Reid. At least with the 8-Ball you'd occasionally get a result like "Signs Point To Make the Republicans Actually Fillibuster" or "The Spirits Say Whip the Caucus Into Voting Down the Other Side's Amendment."


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