Of Course You Need 60 Votes–for Now

It’s striking how the coverage of the Republicans’ gaining a 41st vote in the Senate accepts without question the idea that there is nothing unusual or objectionable about a majority party needing 60 votes to pass any legislation there. This normalization of the filibuster, as I wrote in the December 2009 issue of Extra!, amounts to a radical change in the U.S. political system–but expect this change to be temporary. You can bet that the next time the Democrats are in the minority, and the Republicans don’t have 60 votes, corporate media will not consider it normal and natural for the minority party to dictate what the majority party can and cannot do.

About Jim Naureckas

Extra! Magazine Editor Since 1990, Jim Naureckas has been the editor of Extra!, FAIR's monthly journal of media criticism. He is the co-author of The Way Things Aren't: Rush Limbaugh's Reign of Error, and co-editor of The FAIR Reader: An Extra! Review of Press and Politics in the '90s. He is also the co-manager of FAIR's website. He has worked as an investigative reporter for the newspaper In These Times, where he covered the Iran-Contra scandal, and was managing editor of the Washington Report on the Hemisphere, a newsletter on Latin America. Jim was born in Libertyville, Illinois, in 1964, and graduated from Stanford University in 1985 with a bachelor's degree in political science. Since 1997 he has been married to Janine Jackson, FAIR's program director. You can follow Jim on Twitter at @JNaureckas.