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Pushing for Filibuster Reform

By Matthew Yglesias  

"Pushing for Filibuster Reform"

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Peter Tenenbaum emails:

Earlier today [this was Saturday] I received a fundraising call from the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee. Can’t I help with some $$, they said, to keep the Republicans from retaking the majority in the Senate?

I told them the following:

As far as I can tell, the position of the Senate Democrats is that if they don’t have a 60-vote majority, then they might as well be in the minority. As far as I can tell, there is no chance whatsoever that the Democrats will have a 60 Senate seats in 2011; therefore, by their own logic, if I send them a check I’m wasting my money.

However, if the Senate Democrats will commit this year to doing away with the filibuster during the interval between this Congress and the next (when they only need a majority to make the change), then I might see my way to becoming more generous with the DSCC.

The caller replied, “I’m hearing that a lot these days.”

I have no idea if that’s really true, but it does highlight that political fundraising is a good place to be uncompromising. There’s no sense in “staying home” on Election Day or casting protest votes for can’t-win candidates. You look at the two candidates with the best chance for winning and you vote—enthusiastically—for the better of the two candidates. But money is different. You’re only going to give so much money away in a year, and you might as well hold out for politicians or political organizations or charities or advocacy groups or whomever who are really doing a good job.

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