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Up All Night With Harry


This is a really, really stupid stunt, and I’ll tell you why: It can all be over in 15 minutes, unless the anti-war Republicans decide to cooperate — and why should they?

Right now, there are only 50 working Democratic Senators (Tim Johnson D, S.D. hasn’t cast a vote yet this year), and there are only 49 if you don’t include Joe Lieberman (who I hear isn’t really up for this sleepover, whether you want to count him as a Dem or not).

You need 51 senators for a quorum, in the event that someone makes a quorum call — which any senator can make at any time. So all it takes is one Republican to stay in the chamber, object to anything the Democrats try to do, and then note the absence of a quorum. When the quorum is called, and only 50 senators are present, the Senate adjourns (or at least it can’t come out of the quorum call without unanimous consent), and the whole stupid stunt is over before Senator Byrd can even begin his outraged four-hour speech.

Any parliamentarians out there can correct me,  but I’ve checked with two Senate sources and I’m pretty sure I’m right about this. I can’t even imagine what Reid is thinking.


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