By Thom Hartmann
"Sending Jeff Merkley to the U.S. Senate could give one party a blank check … again," says an announcer in an ad for Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon, a Republican in a close race with Merkley, a Democrat.
In North Carolina Sen. Elizabeth Dole is at risk of losing to Democrat Kay Hagan, and the announcer lays out, "Who's the Senate race really about? Hagan or Dole? Neither one. It's about liberals in Washington. They want complete control of the government … The left wants 60 votes in the Senate."
In Louisiana, another ad says "Landrieu votes with Barack Obama 81% of the time. Landrieu endorsed Obama. … Don't give Washington liberals complete control; don't give them a blank check."
Given the possibility that they can’t throw enough Democrats off the election polls to steal the election, Republicans are now trying to sell American on the idea that they have to keep at least 41 seats in the US Senate so they can block Democratic legislation with a filibuster. Don’t buy it.
Sixty Democratic votes (61 to mitigate the problems of Lieberman) will mean that the Employee Free Choice Act won’t again be filibustered. It means that Medicare negotiating discounts on drugs for seniors won’t again be filibustered. It means that repubidation of Alberto Gonzales and enforcement of subpoenas won’t again be filibustered. It means that moving $32 billion in oil-industry subsidies over to renewable energy projects won’t be filibustered. It means that fixing the Alternative Minimum
Tax won’t be filibustered – or any necessary tax changes (like rolling back the Bush tax cuts for billionaires) won’t be filibustered.
All of these were bills that would have passed the Senate with a majority vote (and fifty others) but were blocked with a Republican filibuster that can prevent a vote with only 41 (out of 100 senators) votes.
Preventing a 60-seat Democratic majority in the Senate is the last hope of the Republicans at preventing a President Obama from being effective. They’re selling it with the lie that Americans like “divided government.” The truth is that Americans like “effective government” -- and a Republican minority that brags about being able to obstruct meaningful Democratic legislation through the use of the filibuster is not that.
We all need to work hard to move every possible senate seat these next few days. The effectiveness of the next 4 years hangs on it. Get active--tag, you’re it!