All About the 60

A Senate Democratic Chief of Staff chimes in …

There is a lot of misplaced anger coming from many of our fellow progressives about Senate Democrats (which often is just shortened to “The Democrats”) inability to pass a robust healthcare reform bill, climate change, etc.

However, I believe it’s worth reminding folks that–as long as the Republican Senators hold together–we have to hold EVERY single Democratic Senator, including folks like Joe Lieberman and Ben Nelson, which is usually impossible unless the legislation in question gets substantially watered down.

So, what we might end up with is a Senate Democratic Caucus that holds 98% of its members but still fails to pass healthcare reform, AND a mob of angry progressives who are screaming for the heads of “the Democrats.” This isn’t fair, but more importantly, it’s self-defeating. If progressives REALLY want to transform America, they’ll make an issue of the anti-democratic rules of the Senate which make real change virtually impossible. Blasting their elected Democratic officials, the vast majority of whom will vote for the Senate bill (and would also support a more robust public option if we didn’t need 60 votes to achieve cloture), may make folks feel good, but is both short-sighted and stupid.