Posted by: pizzainmotion | December 3, 2008

The Significance of 60

Saxby Chambliss defeated Jim Martin this evening in the Georgia Senate run-off.

Read about it in the NY Times here.

Chambliss, a Republican, assured that Democrats would not reach a 60 member filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. I think it’s interesting to note that Chambliss won by 20 points tonight (or, at least that’s his lead at the time of this post). This race was razor thin going down the stretch before the run-off. Could the overwhelming victory be a statement by Georgia residents that they don’t want to see one party have a super majority of White House, House of Representatives and Senate majorities?

I can’t say I remember Walter Mondale saying too many intelligent things. I was fairly young when he was in politics, and most of what I read painted him to be a bit goofy. But, in a recent interview, he talked about the fact that during his political tenure, the Senate dealt with the reality of a 60 member majority.

He stated his position very well. 60 is more of a zone. 58 may be just as good as 60. 60 may be just as good as 62. It really depends on the issue.

My belief is that 60 Democrats is MUCH different than 60 Republicans. For better or worse, the Republicans circle the wagons much better than Democrats. So, even if the Dems got to 60, I doubt they would have that lock on a majority of issues.

Mondale’s point is that regardless of the number, consensus building is still the stuff of smart governing. Here’s hoping some of our current elected leaders were listening.


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