It only took 239 days, but Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenShould the Rob Porter outcome set the standard? Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees Sen. Gillibrand, eyeing 2020 bid, rankles some Democrats MORE is finally and officially the new Democratic senator from Minnesota.

And now comes the moment of truth for Senate Democrats: Are they willing and able to lead?

For too long, Democrats have been hiding behind the lame excuse that they needed 60 votes to get anything done in the Senate.

Of course, that was not true. But that flimsy excuse no longer exists. Now, in fact, there are no more excuses. With Al Franken, Democrats have 60 votes. They’ve got the power. And they’ve got the support of the American people.

So Democrats need to seize the power and run with it. Forget about bipartisanship. Who needs Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleyPavlich: The claim Trump let the mentally ill get guns is a lie Congress fails miserably: For Asian-Americans, immigration proposals are personal attacks Grassley, Dems step up battle over judicial nominees MORE? Who needs Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellLawmakers feel pressure on guns Bipartisan group of House lawmakers urge action on Export-Import Bank nominees Curbelo Dem rival lashes out over immigration failure MORE? Who needs John McCainJohn Sidney McCainLawmakers worry about rise of fake video technology Democrats put Dreamers and their party in danger by playing hardball Trump set a good defense budget, but here is how to make it better MORE, Jon Kyl, John CornynJohn CornynLawmakers feel pressure on guns Kasich’s campaign website tones down gun language after Florida shooting Murphy: Trump’s support for background check bill shows gun politics ‘shifting rapidly’ MORE or Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamCongress punts fight over Dreamers to March Pence tours Rio Grande between US and Mexico GOP looks for Plan B after failure of immigration measures MORE?

Senate Democrats should forget those Republicans even exist — and get on with the program: Pass the energy bill. Pass the Employee Free Choice Act. Repeal “Don’t ask, don’t tell.” Repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act. Enact comprehensive immigration reform. And, most importantly of all, deliver universal healthcare complete with a public plan option and with no tax on healthcare benefits.

That’s the agenda. Democrats need not even ONE Republican vote to pass that agenda. All they need is backbone. Or, as Madeleine Albright might say, all they need is a good set of cojones.

There’s no excuse for not acting now. Democrats have the power. They will use it — or they will lose it!


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