Mass. Effect: Revelation (or, Biden His Time)

January 28th, 2010

“The reports of our demise are premature. Take a deep breath. Let’s put this in perspective… Yeah, we took a hit, but I’m not so sure what a blessing 60 votes was.” – Joe Biden consoling Democratic National Committee leaders after Scott Brown’s win

A continuation of our “Mass Effect” series, inspired by Never fear, Democrats: Biden is here! (Washington Post 1/27/10), A mandate to moderate (George Will, Washington Post 1/24/10), and  the video game novel of the same name.

If something isn’t working very well anyway,

Maybe not being able to do it is your lucky day.

Two commentators stand out from the conventional crowd,

Saying there’s a silver lining to that big Brown cloud.

Joe Biden and George Will are saying basically the same thing

(It’s rare the two of them agree on anything).

Both think that the loss of that sixtieth seat

Isn’t such a disaster complete.

It could actually help the Dems and Obama

Avoid some of that sixtieth seat drama.

As I’ve noted before

(And will now discuss more),

The concessions that getting that sixtieth vote entailed

Are a big part of why Scott Brown prevailed.

Mass. voters hated the bribes in the healtcare bill,

Which made healthcare reform too bitter a pill.

The Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback

Subjected the bill to unnecessary attack.

I and most other Dems didn’t like those bribes either.

I and most other Dems supported neither.

Why, then, did the Dems do it?

Because they were forced to it.

Dems wouldn’t have had to accept those demands

If that sixtieth vote hadn’t been in Blue Dog hands.

It’s common when voting margins are so razor thin

That special favors and deals like this creep in.

But now that the sixtieth seat is no more,

Dems don’t have the same perverse incentive as before.

Since there’s no chance for a Dem supermajority,

They must use other ways to deal with the Minority.

Sometimes that should include some compromise,

Though not as that’s seen by GOP eyes.

That’s more appropriately called capitulation

(Hopefully, Brown will be a voice for at least a little moderation).

I do disagree with George (as I’m sure Joe Biden would too)

About what the Dems should next do.

George said that the Dems should “moderate” their positions,

Which I think would be the wrong decision.

Besides, most Dems are already firmly in the middle,

As evidenced by the way they with the bills fiddle.

Both healthcare bills are already very centrist–

It’s only because they’re so far right that Republicans resist.

But when reasonable compromise doesn’t work

(Often the case when Republicans go berserk),

Then Dems need to get rough

And call Republicans’ bluff.

For example, don’t just roll over at the next filibuster threat—

If Republicans do that, make them double down on that bet.

Let them shut everything down for a few weeks

And see what people think of their techniques.

If Republicans cooperation still eschew,

Start doing the things that they’d always do.

Make full use of reconciliation

To counter attempted Minority domination.

And if they continue the rules to abuse,

Show them that’s a battle that they will lose.

And if there’s nothing else we can do,

Then let’s at least consider changing Rule 22.

If they still refuse to play ball,

Then don’t let them play at all.

If somebody needs to learn some respect,

Kill or delay their pet project.

Dems can’t expect political gain

Unless we’re willing to accept (and inflict) political pain.

(Of course, some of these things to do

Work on Blue Dogs too.)

So good job Joe, rallying the troops,

And pointing out we don’t need to be GOP dupes.


Here’s Jon Stewart’s 1/27/10 “Blues Clueless” report.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
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One Response to “Mass. Effect: Revelation (or, Biden His Time)”

  1. Newsericks » Blog Archive » Mass. Effect: Retribution (or, Thanks Scott Brown) Says:

    […] Senator Dodd on Countdown 3/24/10 agreeing that my earlier post saying that Dems were better off without that 60th vote was right (unfortunately, he doesn’t […]

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