Sunday, January 4, 2009

Will Republican Senators Fillibuster Al Franken? Should Senate Democrats Let Them?

From Talking Points Memo:

As we reported last night, the Minnesota recount is now complete. And Al Franken won by 225 votes. The Canvassing Board is slated to meet tomorrow when they're expected to certify the result. Sen. Schumer (D-NY) just released a statement in which he, not surprisingly, said Franken is clearly the winner and that he should be seated -- notwithstanding whatever post-recount legal challenges outgoing Sen. Coleman (R-MN) might attempt. That sets up a probable fight with the Republicans since Sen. Cornyn (R-TX) has promised to filibuster any effort to allow Franken to take his seat.

Just as corporations that no longer run a profit have been known to resort to innovative financial instruments to hobble along in the absence of a working business model, it seems the woebegone Senate Republicans are looking to pioneer a novel and ingenious use of the filibuster to compensate, at least in part, for their present inability to win actual elections. Sen. Cornyn (R) of Texas is the head of the Republican senate campaign committee. And if he follows through on his promise, his caucus will actually use the filibuster not to stymie legislation but to prevent the Democrats from adding another senator (Al Franken) to their ranks.

With such innovations the possibilities really are endless.

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