51

Allen concedes. Does this mean we move from political Hell to political Purgatory?

And, yes, my predictions that (a) Allen would litigate and (b) the national party would encourage it both appear to be wrong. The report is that the national guys decided the case was unwinnable and didn’t want two months of bad press. (But maybe my read of Allen wasn’t all that far off?)

The action now moves to how many judges and how much evil legislation this administration can try to rush through the lame duck Senate. First up — the warrantless wiretapping bill?

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4 Responses to 51

  1. Ann Bartow says:

    Here’s a stupid question I think I already know the answer to, but the “51” includes Lieberman and Bernie Sanders, right? If I am correct about this, technically the Dems are only at 49 and the Republicans are at 49. I wonder if there are ever rules or procedures where that would be important.

  2. michael says:

    Yes, this 51=49+2. But they caucus with the Dems, which makes them functional members. In exchange for their crucial vote on the first day, which determines the organization of the Senate, they get all the privileges of membership, including chairmanships, seniority, etc.

    The rules of the Senate, like the House, are re-enacted in each new Congress, so they’re whatever the majority says they are.

  3. Galloping Goose says:

    A recent precedent for the independent question happened in 2001 when Jeffords went from Republican to Independent, but caucused with the Democrats. This made the Senate 50-49-1 for the Democrats (with Cheney there to break any ties), but with Jeffords the Democrats had 51 effective votes and ruled as if all 51 were Democrats.

    Now, to answer the other question about lame duck legislation between now and January, when the new Congress takes over, Bush has already announced he is submitting Bolton for UN ambassador and wants to get the warrantless wiretapping bill passed. Fortunately, the election has decimated the influence and fear factor wielded by Bush, Cheney and Rove. Chafee has already said he’ll block the Bolton nomination in committee, Spector and Luger have the other two relevant committees and they’ve kept good relations with their Democratic counterparts and aren’t about to spoil that now that they are about to go back in the minority, and the Democrats have already stated they’ll filibuster any such far right proposals — and they now have the authority to make a filibuster stick.

    It is ironic, but not surprising, that immediately after Bush’s empty words about bipartisanship his first actions were to push Congressional action from the hard right. Fortunately, this isn’t 1995 or 2002 and the Democrats were fully prepared this time. It’s also interesting that CNN noted Bush’scontradiction in their opening story tonight. I wonder if the press is also starting to stretch its wings after six long years of rule-by-fear. If only they’d shown a spine like this in 2002 ….

  4. anon says:

    “the national guys decided the case was unwinnable and didn’t want two months of bad press.”

    I couldn’t figure out where in the report you linked to it says anyone thought the “case” (whatever you mean by that word) wasn’t winnable. Article seems to say the election outcome was thought unwinnable, and the candidate therefore conceded. Kerry did it with Iowa, now a republican in Va. Makes me wonder how history will judge Al Gore.

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