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March 8th, 2012 6:41 pm
When Losing 56-42 is a “Win”

Today, the United States Senate voted 56-42 in favor of building the Keystone XL pipeline terminated by President Barack Obama in January.  But unfortunately, since this is the U.S. Senate, losing 56-42 is actually a win for the Democratic Senate Leadership whipping votes in opposition, since the proposed law needed 60 votes in order to pass.

Sure, there’s reason to bemoan the artificially high number of yes votes needed to get legislation passed – or judicial nominees confirmed – but there is a silver lining here for conservatives.  Every Republican Senator present voted for the pro-Keystone bill, and the two that were absent, John Thune (SD) and Mark Kirk (IL), would have been yes votes.  That puts the real tally at 58-42.

But wait?  Are there 58 Republicans in the U.S. Senate?  No, 11 Senate Democrats also voted for passage.  That means that the replacement of only two ‘no’ Democrats with ‘yes’ Republicans in this year’s election would get the necessary 60 votes.  Of course, conservatives should go after as many seats as possible since at least a few of the Democrats that voted for the pipeline probably did so knowing the bill would fail, and used the vote to shield themselves from a political challenge in November.

In the meantime, Republicans in Congress should press ahead with another vote to make Keystone XL approval a 50 vote simple majority, instead of the 60 vote supermajority.  Whichever of the 11 Democrats balk can rightly be seen as using today’s vote for electoral window-dressing.

H/T: Politico

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