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(The New) Civics 101

It's become so common in media coverage that I should probably be over it by now, but I found this passage, in a WaPo article on health care reform over the weekend, utterly infuriating:

Some Democrats are urging Obama to cease courting Republicans and to attempt to pass a Senate bill solely with Democratic votes, to preserve the public option in its full form. But that would require Democrats in the Senate to use a legislative maneuver known as reconciliation. A reconciliation measure cannot be filibustered, so the Senate could approve health reform with 51 votes, rather than the 60 usually necessary to pass legislation in the chamber. [emphasis mine]

Ah, yes. Who can forget that constitutional supermajority requirement, which can only be overcome by the extraordinary "maneuvers" of partisans intent on subverting the process and inflicting socialist ideas such as majority rule upon the nation.

No one expects the Post to offer as much context as, say, this Norm Ornstein article on the Senate's increasing dysfunction from back in the spring, but a few words clarifying that "usually" is shorthand for "since Republicans found themselves in the minority and decided to filibuster pretty much everything" would be nice.

If anyone ever remakes the Schoolhouse Rock videos, they'll have to upgrade this "sad little scrap of paper" to suicidal: