Rachel Maddow has had it with Republican obstructionism, and I can’t really blame her.
Obviously, the Franken-Coleman lawsuit is part of this strategy: simply spend enough time denying Franken the seat in order to make filibusters more effective. When Norm Coleman took the job as a lobbyist for the loathsome Republican Jewish Coalition, many saw it as his acknowledgement of a loss. It was nothing of the kind: essentially, it was a form of money laundering, paying Coleman to keep the lawsuit going and giving him an income in the process.
If anything, the Senate GOP’s strategy resembles North Carolina coach Dean Smith’s old Four Corners Offense: make it take so long for the other team to do anything that it can’t do anything. (I say this as a UNC fan and acknowledging that Smith himself is a progressive Democrat: hmmm….maybe there’s an ad in that somewhere to take out Richard Burr next year.).
But the NCAA banned the Four Corners by instituting the shot clock, and the Senate can do the same.
As soon as the Minnesota Supreme Court rules Franken the winner and orders the Secretary of State to give him an election certificate, Senate Republicans will filibuster. (In contrast to others, I believe that the Minnesota courts are doing the right thing here: go through the entire contest process, turn square corners, do everything right. THEN tell Norm that he’s a loser anyway.)
Then it is Joe Biden’s turn. For reasons already explained in this space, he is on strong grounds to rule the filibuster out of order. Franken will be seated, bringing the Dems to 59.
There is little doubt at this point that everything else needs to be done through the budget reconciliation process. Any objection to including items in reconciliation via the Byrd Rule should be ruled out of order. They want to play games, we’ll show them how.