The Republican SuperminorityS

With Scott Brown's stunning, come-from-behind victory over the boring lady who hated baseball in Massachusetts, the Democrats must admit defeat. Please welcome our new unstoppable Republican Superminority.

The Republicans now hold 41 seats in the US Senate. As we all learned in Civics class, Glenn Beck's Secret Mormon Founding Fathers always intended for the party that controls slightly more than two fifths of one house of the legislature to have complete control over the government. It is in the Constitution! Our finest Democratic Senate leaders have honorably admitted that this brief experiment in Majority Rule was a horrible failure. Like Joe Lieberman:

"The independents are speaking loudly around the country today and they're telling us, one, to get together here in Washington," he said. "The second thing really is to do something about the economy and move to the center and worry about things that [independents] are worried about."

And Evan Bayh, who weighed in even before Scott Brown won:

"The only we are able to govern successfully in this country is by liberals and progressives making common cause with independents and moderates," Bayh said. "Whenever you have just the furthest left elements of the Dem party attempting to impose their will on the rest of the country - that's not going to work too well."

Yes! The far left reign of anti-abortion Nevada Mormon Harry Reid is over. Radical revolutionary Marxist Max Baucus should probably be jailed, for the good of the country.

Insane gun-toting Virginia Senator Jim Webb went even further: the Democrats must not pass the bill both houses have already approved in some form until the minority party seats its newest member:

It is vital that we restore the respect of the American people in our system of government and in our leaders. To that end, I believe it would only be fair and prudent that we suspend further votes on health care legislation until Senator-elect Brown is seated," Webb said.

Oh, sure, you may hear someone say that "Democrats are back to a majority in the House, control of the White House, and 59 Senate seats" and "the Democratic Party continues to be more popular than the Republican Party" and "the President's approval rating continues to be over 50 percent," but none of that matters. The Republican Superminority completely controls the legislative process and they have veto authority over the president's appointees. Mid-January special elections in individual states are actually stand-ins for public referenda on whatever issues are before the congress. A Republican victory means that Democrats must act like Republicans and either kill their health care bill altogether or scale it back considerably, because that is what the public wants, even though they keep claiming they want to bill to "go further" or "include a public option," which 60% of Americans and 51% of Senators (a "traditional majority") support.

A Superminority does not need to propose or craft legislation; in fact that is more or less forbidden. Their responsibility is primarily to prevent any legislation from being voted on at all, even if they actually support it. Use of arcane parliamentary rules to obstruct uncontroversial and vitally necessary legislation is, of course, democracy at its purest and more inspiring. And the Democrats agree! Because people expect and demand that Democrats do actual liberal Democratic things in a crisis like this, which is why they voted them into office in the first place, it is the responsibility of the Democrats to become spooked and refuse to do anything else for the rest of the year in the hopes that somehow this will pacify the people who are angry that Democrats can't do anything.

This is the opinion you will see echoed by our finest political minds in the newspapers and on the TVs from now until November. The Democrats were fools to attempt to make progress on one of the fundamental tenets of their platform. They should've focused on "jobs" instead, though there is no chance they will actually be able to do anything about "jobs," this year, because of the Republican Superminority, which is the fault of the Democrats.

Here is another good example of the power of the Republican Superminority: one crazy person who not even other Republicans like, Senator Jim DeMint, put a hold on Barack Obama's nominee to run the Transportation Security Administration, because this would-be TSA head refused to promise to forbid TSA employees from engaging in collective bargaining. Then there was that Christmas bombing thing, with the underwear! It seemed like maybe it would be nice if we had a TSA Director, around then. In a traditional democracy, the majority party would use this as an example of dangerous obstructionism and use some frame like "politics getting in the way of our security" or something, or at least maybe they would make any sort of noise about this at all. In our system, the Republican Superminority wins this nominee's withdrawal from consideration.

The message from Massachusetts is clear: the public is holding congress accountable for its failure to do what we elected them to do. It would be a political disaster if Democrats responded by attempting to do what they were elected to do. That's why God invented the Republican Superminority.