compromise reached on organizing resolution
I didn't get around to commenting on the brewing dust-up over the allocation of Senate committee funding and office space in the closely-divided chamber. At long last rediscovering their collective spine, Democrats promised troublt for the GOP unless the latter agreed to the same allocations they enjoyed when the split was 51-49 in the Democrats' favor. This morning the GOP agreed to the arrangement, paving the way for the Republicans to attempt to enact their agenda.
This exhibition-round victory for the Dems is significant, though, in that it presages stiff opposition to the GOP's hopes to act as if they enjoyed an overwhelming mandate. Folk might whine about obstructionism," but by this time it's pretty clear that the public is quite comfortable with divided government, thank you, with plenty of skepticism of everyone's agenda to go around.
This brouhaha raises the interesting question of, now that the precendent has been twice cast aside, just when it might be re-invoked. For example, what if the Democrats gain a 52-48 majority in 2004? Or the GOP a ? Or would Congress eventually decide it's comfortable with a more balanced distribution of resources? I'd expect we won't see a return to the old system until one party obtains a filibuster-proof majority (not necessarily 60-40, if support on either side is wobbly enough).
But it is encouraging because, as Dwight Meredith points out, victory is a renewable resource.