The Corner

Kos v. Reid

Words to remember:

With 50 votes and Vice President Dick Cheney’s tiebreaker , Republicans strutted around the Senate as if they had a national mandate. Democrats, given a 60-vote supermajority by voters, do little more than make excuses for failure.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is the chief culprit, routinely citing the need for that magical 60-vote margin as his answer for his chamber’s ineffectiveness. Indeed, the Senate is where good legislation goes to die, much to the chagrin of the more activist House. Reid’s Senate watered down President Barack Obama’s stimulus package, and now the Senate is attempting to block additional money for the wildly successful cash-for-clunkers program that is revitalizing the domestic auto industry. And it’s the Senate that’s currently providing the biggest roadblock to effective healthcare reform.

The magical 60-vote margin seemed a plausible — if lame — excuse when the Senate was stuck at 57 Democrats and two Independents in the Democratic caucus, but the swearing-in of Al Franken should have laid that alibi to rest. With 60 votes, the Democrats now own the chamber. Any failures are theirs alone.

Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor of National Review and the author of Suicide of the West, holds the Asness Chair in Applied Liberty at the American Enterprise Institute.

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