Some political observers think Tuesday’s Senate runoff in Georgia is a big deal, because a victory by underdog Jim Martin over incumbent Republican Saxby Chambliss would keep alive the Democratic Party’s dreams of a filibuster-proof 60-seat majority to move its agenda successfully through the Senate. Other experts see the race as a big deal for the opposite reason; Democrats with a filibuster-proof 60-seat Senate majority as well as control of the House and White House could overreach, leading to a conservative backlash in 2010.
But really, there’s no such thing as a “filibuster-proof 60-seat majority,” even if Martin pulls off an upset and Al Franken wins his recount against Republican Norm Coleman in Minnesota and Joe Lieberman still counts as a Democrat. Senators don’t always vote in partisan lockstep; President Obama could succeed in recruiting Republicans on some issues with a 58-seat Democratic majority, and he could find himself stymied by defections on some issues with a 62-seat Democratic majority. In the Senate, even one determined naysayer is capable of grinding the institution to a halt.
And that’s why the Martin-Chambliss race actually is a big deal: Chambliss is a textbook Bush-Cheney Republican — and every vote counts. Sixty seats would be better for the Democrats than 59, which would be better for the Democrats than 58. Six years is also a long time. In fact, Georgia is still an extremely conservative state, so if Chambliss can win at a time when the Republican Party is at its lowest ebb, he can probably hold his seat as long as he wants — which would be good news for Bush-style Republicans and bad news for Obama-style Democrats, no matter who is in power.
They shoulda quit while they were ahead.
Ain’t a whole lotta difference between 57 and 59.
If the mojo is workin…the 60 will come. There aren’t enough wack jobs left to really hold up progress (although Chambliss is pretty much King of the wack jobs on the senate side)
There just aren’t enough Black folk in GA to turn it blue…or is it that there are too many? Black folk?
THIS is why Obama didnt do much more than spit a lukewarm 16…while everyone except Barry Goldwater is on the stump for Chambliss.
They cannot afford to lose, while Obama doesnt NEED it…and can do without the negative momentum that would come with a big effort followed by a Martin loss.