Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Congressional majorities

The rout of the Republicans was pretty much total at the Federal level. The Democrats have 255 seats in the House to the Republican's 175 (5 seats are still undecided). That gives the Democrats a pretty solid majority (the Republicans have to convince 37 Democrats to vote against their party to block anything). In the Senate the only thing the Republicans can say is that the Democrats don't have a veto-proof majority. The Dems control 58 seats right now to the R's 41, with 1 seat still undecided. The Rs will probably crow over this, but it means any filibusters they try will be hanging on by a hair. All the Dems have to do is convince 2 Republican Senators (and possibly only 1, depending on how that last seat goes) to vote to end debate and the filibuster is over.

What's worse for the Republicans is they've run out of steam. They've gotten their base (the Religious Right) out to vote nearly 100%, and it's not enough. And in the process they've alienated the social moderates with their social policies and the fiscal conservatives with Bush's reckless spend-and-borrow policies. Right now the only way for the Republicans to reduce their losses next election is for Obama to screw up even worse than Bush. And if the Republicans try to paint social-support spending as a failure, the gods have mercy on them 'cause the voters won't.

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