If it's a progressive issue (such as Health Care, Wall Street Regulations or a Consumer Protection Agency) 60 votes are needed in the Senate. IF it's for a conservative or corporate cause--confirming Wall Streets Inside Man, Ben Bernanke--only 51 votes are needed.
This double standard is not just obvious in the Congress. Obama's promise of giving everyone a seat at the healthcare table was glaring in not giving a single seat to a progressive advocate of single payee and allowing Big Pharma and the Health Insurance Industry to buy seats and pack the healthcare debate. The writing is on the wall. Progressives should be creating a new party or making a bee line to the Green Party ASAP.