Thursday, November 16, 2006

Agenda? Schmagenda! How Many Votes Does It Need To Over-ride A Veto?

Two-thirds of BOTH Houses, is how many...
That, in case you're mathematically/arithmetically challenged, is way more than 51 seats the Democrats and their putative allies hold in the Senate, even if one could count on every single soi-disant Democrat to hold the line and maintain Party discipline (I'm looking at YOU, Joe Liebershitz).
Which means, if my trusty calculator hasn't failed me, 16 GOPukes'd have to cross the aisle. Are there 16 GOPuke Senators who would buck 'their' Preznit?
Lemme put it to you this way: Is the moon made of green cheese? Please, if you dare, name even five?
And if the Senate looks unlikely to override a veto, in the House, the number's even more daunting. Again, two-thirds is the number required; ergo, Democrats in the House, to move a veto-proof agenda item--oh, I don't know, how about repealing the Military Commissions Act, or the Bankruptcy Bill from last term; or passing the minimum wage, or electoral reform, or something simple like preserving Net Neutrality, much less something really contentuious, like ending the Iraq ICORP--would need 291 votes. Out of 435.
So, the Democrats in the House--who hold approximately 232 (+/-)seats at this date--would need to convince upwards of 60 GOPukes to vote with the Dems to over-ride a veto.
And, to coin a phrase: tha na ga na ha pun...
Which means, it seems to this (admittedly jaundiced) observer, that all this talk about moving a Democratic 'agenda' is utter, total, hype and hogwash, a pipe-dream, the product of delusionally wishful thinking.

And it means, too, that the Dems' chances of being anything more than unwilling (at best) accomplices in the last two years of the current Junta are minimal.
Which, if I were planning for a lame-duck presidency, would be just about what I'd hope for: enough Demcratic presence to appear to have some power, to deflect criticism, to absorb responsibility, but not enough to actually accomplish anything.

(Ed.: Addendum) It's just sheer coincidence of course: the apparent fact that the Democrats have won exactly enough power to embroil and encase--entomb?--themselves in responsibility for and the recriminations around the failed, disasterous, murderous, criminal Bushevik policies over the last 6 years, without actually having won or otherwise garnered enough power to change ANY of them.

1 comment:

ronan said...

The Dems will have a chance to pass legislation that Bush will be very hesitant to veto (like a minimum wage hike). They will also pass popular legislation that he does veto, where his veto further hurts the Republicans in 2008.

The Dems can also hold-up funding bills. They could either under-fund the DoD (which could be vetoed), or they could simply not fund the DoD. At some point, the defense contractors and the soldiers (unfortunately) will simply stop receiving checks. That is the only veto-proof way that the Dems can force our military out of Iraq.

You're right that the Dems can't push-through sweeping changes. But I will be satisfied if they simply block the Bush agenda, and stop our headlong rush to disaster. That they can do.