Filibuster is Out — If the Dems Govern from the Center

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), fresh off pounding Democrat Jim Martin in their runoff election Tuesday by 20 points, is promising Republicans they can return to their core principles to find electoral success once again.

"The basic principles that Ronald Reagan talked about in the ’80s are just as important today," Chambliss said. "If we return to those basic core values we can continue to be successful in future elections."

No matter that without Barack Obama, who lost Georgia anyway, the challenger wasn't going to beat Chambliss in a race where he had originally gotten close to the required 50 percent anyway.

Chambliss ran as a firewall between President Obama and the Democrats having a 60-seat, filibuster-proof majority in the United States Senate. He told those voters they needed to send him back to Washington to balance government. Sure, he has deprived the Democrats of their 60-seat majority and that is probably a good thing, but Chambliss knows well that Obama will likely have his 60 votes on plenty of critical debates in the months to come.

In my column this week, I listed the Republicans most likely to cross the aisle to work with Democrats; the list starts with defeated presidential nominee Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). He is running for reelection to the Senate in 2010, a year in which Democrats are likely to pick up the actual 60 votes they want, and it is my bet McCain will be running as the former bipartisan dealmaker and not the more recent tax-cutting savior of Joe the Plumber.

Should the Democrats overreach, they won't get near 60 votes, but if not, they are likely to find that a filibuster-proof majority — at least on a number of key votes — is already in the bag.


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