Dems' Supermajority: Be Careful What You Wish For

Sixty-senator caucus makes Reid hostage to any naysayer
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2009 5:46 PM CST
Updated Dec 14, 2009 5:52 PM CST
Dems' Supermajority: Be Careful What You Wish For
Sen. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. walks on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Harry Hamburg)

The convergence of events that led to the Democrats getting 60 senators in their caucus must have felt like fate to Harry Reid, a sign that health care reform was meant to be. But as negotiations drag on, lucky No. 60 feels more like unlucky 13, because Reid must do anything to preserve it. If Democrats had started out with a lower number, like 58 or 59, their proposals might have been more modest, writes David Herszenhorn.

But, emboldened by 60, the Dems went for it, public option and all. Now they are at the mercy of any malcontent in their ranks—namely one Joseph I. Lieberman. “There are not 60 votes for health care reform in the Senate now," Lieberman said this weekend. It remains to be seen how far Democrats will go to appease the Connecticut independent. But it's clear, Herszenhorn writes for the New York Times, that "controlling 60 votes in the Senate is a lot nicer in theory than in practice." (Read more Joe Lieberman stories.)

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