Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Quotation of the (long Senate) night

From the man who is perhaps the favorite Senator around Montana Headlines:

Added Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., of his Democratic colleagues: "I bet I can stay up longer than they can."

And so he did, speaking on the floor after even Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had retired, a little after midnight, to a cot set up in a parlor adjacent to his office.

Coburn, of course, in the course of a career as a physician delivering babies, has pulled more all-nighters than the rest of his Senate colleagues combined -- and he actually has had to do something real, unlike the bad theatrics of last night, when Sen. Reid courageously filibustered his own bill.


Jay Stevens said...

Just a quick correction: Reid did not filibuster. The GOP filibustered, and Reid just let 'em.

Montana Headlines said...

The GOP didn't need to filibuster. They (including the Maine Senators and Hagel), plus Lieberman, would have hung together in absenting themselves from the chamber if that is what McConnell had decided to do.

That left the Dems with 49 votes, and it takes 51 for a quorum. The night would have been over if the GOP had left a solo Senator in the chamber, calling for a quorum anytime the Dems tried to do something.

Reid knew that he didn't have the votes, so the whole thing was a stunt.

The GOP was wise not to do the quorum call maneuver (some say that Reid was actually expecting the GOP to do it -- and when they didn't, that's why he didn't call for the threatened middle-of-the-night votes, and instead went and took a nap.

He had failed to draw the GOP out into ending the night with a procedural motion.

Even if Reid had convinced two or more Republicans to stay in the chamber for a quorum call, he didn' have the votes to override a veto, so the whole point was moot.

There is nothing wrong with having to have a supermajority of votes to do something as momentous as having Congress usurp the President's constitutional role as CIC.

If Reid was trying to scare up another handful of Republican votes, he failed -- probably quite the opposite.