With the ruling of the Minnesota Supreme Court that Al Franken did , in fact, win the Minnesotan Senatorial election, the Obama Administration, as well as the entire Democratic Party, has entered a new era of government rule. And they have also entered waters fraught with danger.
With Franken’s entrance into the Senate, the President has the “magical” number of 60 Democratic Senators that should allow the President’s agenda a much easier path through Congress and into history. The 60 Democratic votes take away the Republican minority’s ability to effectively stop legislation through filibuster in the face of pure party line support. There is some argument that the strength of the Democrats may not be tight enough to maintain straight party-lines votes in sufficient quantities to realize the filibuster-proof majority. That remains to be seen.
Franken’s victory also becomes a watershed event for the President and his legislative agenda. He can no longer use the weak “fault of the prior administration” argument for today’s problems. Increasingly, as he uses the filibuster-proof majority to etch his vision on the American people, his use of that majority, as well as the items he uses it on, will determine the outcomes of the 2010 mid-term elections and his own re-election campaign in 2012.