Sen. Ben Nelson (D., Neb.) reacts to the Massachusetts election in a statement (emphasis added):
“Clearly, the vote showed that people are frustrated with Washington…and I am too. That frustration will likely register across the board for all incumbents. The overriding message from yesterday is that people are upset because Washington is dysfunctional and not working together for them.
“The Massachusetts vote should be a wake-up call for Washington. Republicans now have 41 votes in the Senate, Democrats and Independents have 59. The 60/40 split that took us too far down the road to partisan gamesmanship is history.
“The vote should end the situation where one side thinks it doesn’t need the other, and the other thinks there’s no need to work together for the good of the nation.
(The rest of the statement is pap. Nelson, facing tanking approval numbers back home, proceeds to use the words “bipartisan” and “bipartisanship” a half-dozen times in the span of as many sentences.)
But the upshot is clear enough: Now that the Democrats lack a supermajority in the Senate (and, more importantly, now that Ben Nelson is no longer its 60th vote) it is time to stop all the odious quid pro quo, special favors, and backroom kickbacks it took to keep that caucus together.
Well, he should know.