Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is warning fellow Democrats that even though they now have a filibuster-proof majority to not expect any dramatic changes.
From the Politico
Oh, the burdens of a Democratic supermajority.
After eight months in limbo, Al Franken is poised to be sworn in as the 60th Democratic senator — cause for celebration among party activists, the lefty blogosphere and his fellow Democrats planning to give him a hero’s welcome at Tuesday’s caucus lunch.
But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) isn’t feeling especially giddy — and he’s trying to bridge the gap between his herd-the-cats daily reality and rising expectations that he’s just been appointed overlord of a filibuster-proof Democratic kingdom.
“What’s really changed for us?” asked a leadership aide, hours after former Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) capitulated to Franken.
“Nothing, really. Except there’s a lot more pressure.”
For his part, Reid is doing his best to tamp down expectations that Franken’s seating gives him license to trample the 40 Republicans in the upper chamber.
“We have 60 votes on paper,” he told The New York Times on Thursday. “But we cannot bulldoze anybody; it doesn’t work that way. My caucus doesn’t allow it. And we have a very diverse group of senators philosophically. I am not this morning suddenly flexing my muscles.”
Nice try. But that argument isn’t likely to assuage hungry progressives who have found their agenda stymied by left-right infighting among Senate Democrats and Reid’s old-school consensus-driven management style.
Reid who has been criticized by many in his own party for his leadership is facing a tough re-election campaign next year and may be purposely trying to lower expectations so that any defeats the Dems may suffer won’t look so bad and the victories will look all that much better. Sounds a little like Wall Street where companies lower earnings projections only to exceed them and see their stock rise.