Dayton v. Kennedy

Returning Senator Mark Dayton to the Ranks of the Idle Rich in 2006

12/17/2004

Brinksmanship

Collin Levey has some cautionary words for Senate Democrats in this morning's New York Post regarding their reckless use of the filibuster:

The filibuster's magic when applied to judicial nominees is that, through extended blathering, it raises the standard for confirmation to 60 votes, from 51. The GOP now has just 55 Senate seats, but several Democrats are up for reelection in 2006. If they spend the next two years in another riot of heel-dragging, they may just hand Republicans the 60 votes needed for cloture two years from now.

The last election showed that voters have remarkable aptitude to sift out the important lessons at the ballot box. They may not have followed every Beltway skirmish over judges, but they certainly understood the idea of Democratic obstructionism against a popular president.

The filibuster has traditionally been a useful and legitimate tool of the minority. Republicans are right to see Democrats' abuse of it as an unearned power grab, but they should realize that voters see it too — as one more reason the Democratic Party is not yet fit to govern again.

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