Markos Moulitsas, founder of the Daily Kos, and Bill Press, a syndicated radio host, were guests on "The Ed Show" tonight to discuss the political implications of Norm Coleman conceding to Al Franken in the marathon Minnesota Senate race after the State Supreme Court ruled in favor of Franken.
Despite the fact that Democrats will have a so-called 'super majority' when Franken is seated now that their number has reached 60 in the Senate (with two independents regularly voting with the Dems), these two progressives did not sound confident that the Democratic party and the White House would become more aggressive with their agenda.
Moulitsas rightly points out that the Bush administration did not have nearly as large majorities as the Obama administration will, and yet they still considered that a mandate to push through Congress controversial policies such as the Bush tax cuts. Both Press and Kos believe that Harry Reid has been using the lack of a 60 votes as an excuse for not being assertive enough in passing their legislation.
Kos told Shutlz:
I think to a certain level we're a little cynical hearing Harry Reid use that 60 vote crutch as an excuse for not getting things done... Now we have this incredible reversal of fortunes in the Senate, the American people have spoken very, very loudly, very, very clearly, that they want Democrats in charge. And yet for some reason, Democrats still think they need Republicans to sign on when the American people have so clearly rejected them. And if you look at the polling to this very day, they still continue to reject Republican governance. So let's do it, let's do what the American people have asked Democrats to do, and let's not use any excuses like this 60-vote nonsense, which is now obviously longer an issue.
If this is any indication, progressive pressure will ramp up on the Democrats and the Obama administration to sideline Republicans if they obstruct Democratic priorities (something sure to happen on health care reform, especially regarding a public option) since they ostensibly no longer have to rely on attracting Republican votes to pass legislation in the Senate (something many progressives didn't believe was valid in the first place.)
Whether Democrats can keep wayward members of their own party from straying remains to be seen.