I'm not quoting any of the news sources on this one because of one fact: they're all going psychotic. Because the Dems won't reach 60 seats, everybody's suddenly believing they'll never break a filibuster. Well, I've got news: that "filibuster-proof majority" was a total myth to begin with.
Steve Benen provided the voice of reason a few weeks ago:
So stop acting like Chambliss is "a firewall" who's stopped Dems in their tracks. All he's doing is reinforcing my belief that the Deep South is still light on sanity and heavy on buffoons.
Whether the caucus has 57 seats, 60, or somewhere in between, matters -- every vote counts, and Republican obstructionist tactics are a given -- but now's probably a good time to reemphasize that 60 is not exactly a Holy Grail here.
Every vote on major initiatives brings it own challenges, and there's never a guarantee that everyone in the Democratic caucus will vote together -- Lieberman is, after all, part of the caucus. For that matter, there's no reason to believe that every Republican is necessarily going to back their party on cloture votes.
In fact, the real fun of the next Congress will be how center-right Republicans from "blue" states -- Snowe, Collins, Voinovich, and Specter, I'm looking in your direction -- respond to popular policy proposals launched by a popular Democratic president.
A 60-seat majority would be a milestone for the party, but it's hardly a green light to problem-free governing. Something to keep in mind.