I haven’t written here in a while because I am so burned out on the despair and hopelessness I feel every time I read Memeorandum or go through my Google Reader feeds that writing feels like an impossible task. Especially when I’m not getting paid to make myself depressed. But this short piece by James Fallows cries out to be given as much play as possible:
The subhead and the rest of the article make clear that more Senators voted for the bill than against it — 50 to 49. It would have been 51-48 except for a parliamentary ruse by Majority Leader Harry Reid, who switched to a “No” vote so that he would later be able to call it up for reconsideration.
We have gone so far in recent years toward routinizing the once-rare requirement for a 60-vote Senate “supermajority” into an obstacle for every nomination and every bill that our leading newspaper can say that a measure “fails” when it gets more Yes than No votes. …
The acceptance of the obstructionism as so normal that the New York Times and other major news outlets no longer question it is more depressing than the obstructionism itself. Indeed, it’s a large part of what makes the obstructionism successful.