'Move on' is good advice

Ed Kilgore mentions something that hadn’t occurred to me. The junior senator from Connecticut is an Independent.

The other irony, of course, is that Democratic control of the Senate now depends on Joe Lieberman. Nobody has any reason to think he won’t do what he promised and caucus with Democrats, but there may be a little bit of uncomfortable crow-eating among those who have spent months arguing that Lieberman’s not a Democrat anymore, and should be stripped of his seniority.

For the next two years, the words “What if Lieberman does a Jeffords?” should be sufficient to freeze the heart of any Democrat.

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8 Responses to 'Move on' is good advice

  1. Michael Moriarty says:

    A mild digression any one want to have a stab at how many independants will be elected in the next Australian Senate ? 7-10 ?

    Greens Democrats and Family First. I think we can count on two from Tasmania at least one from each of the other states. Then depends on the preferances. Im betting the Libs will preferance The ALP over the Greens. ALP should certainly preferance the Libs over Family First.I think our Senate will be much more interesting this time around. I read something today that allocated 18% to the minor parties.

  2. Sinclair Davidson says:

    I had been wondering about this – it does undermine the “this is all about Iraq” interpretation of the election. I had also wondred how he’ll vote.

  3. Sinclair Davidson says:

    My stab on the Australian senate is no Democrats and no Family First.

  4. Mork says:

    I dunno: while I have no doubt he’d do it if he thought it would best serve his interests, there are a few practical reasons why he won’t. First, he strikes me as one of those guys who likes power too much ever to willingly relinquish it, and he’d never win re-election in CT as a GOPer. Secondly, as has been pointed out on a few of the political junkie sites over the last couple of days, the Senate election landscape in 2008 is actually very favorable to the Dems in terms of the seats that are up, and so barring a radical shift in public mood, you would expect them to consolidate their hold on the Senate then. So any Lieberman-caused GOP majority would be very short lived. Finally, there’s the committee system, which is based on seniority, and under which as a Dem, Lieberman gets a chairmanship, which is not small potatoes. While the GOP could always offer him the same deal (as the Dems did with Jeffords), that requires someone to forego their own ambitions, potentially indefinitely, which can’t be assumed, even with the majority at stake.

    There’s also the fact that he promised he wouldn’t in the campaign, but given the extent to which he lied about his own record on Iraq, I don’t place too much store in that.

  5. JW says:

    Andrew, I think that’s why we are reading this in the Times today

  6. Geoff R says:

    Lieberman is an un notable individual who has received too much attention from both sides in this silly Democrat culture war, but his voting record places him squarely in the Democrat camp, well to the left of even Specter, Snowe and Collins. Even on foreign policy he is slightly left of centre. He would be ideologically out of place in the Republicans.

  7. Lieberman switch to the GOP? And sign his own political death warrant? I doubt it.

    Geoff R, you’re basically correct on Lieberman’s general voting record. Aside from his slavish (and increasingly idiotic) support far all war, all the time, he’s actually a down-the-line Democrat.

  8. Mork says:

    Aside from his slavish (and increasingly idiotic) support far all war, all the time, he’s actually a down-the-line Democrat.

    I disagree. He has a long track record of white-anting Dem positions when it counts and then casting meaningless symbolic votes when it’s too late. For example, he voted for cloture on the credit company handout known as the Bankruptcy Reform Act and the nomination of Alito to the Supreme Court, where filibusters were a realistic possibility so the actually could have made a difference, and then cast meaningless votes against. He did a similar job with Bush’s plans to privatize Social Security, for a long time trying to position himself to be part of a “bipartisan solution” that implicitly accepted the Administration’s transparently false framing of the debate, and only declaring himself against privatization once the real Democrats had won the debate.

    He has a long track record of carrying water for corporate interests on subjects as diverse as corporate disclosure, health care and corporate tax breaks, where the mainstream Democratic position is different.

    And over the last five years, he has consistently played the role of “Fox News Democrat”, providing rhetorical cover for the worst smears of the Administration against anyone who questioned its national security agenda. Who can ever forget “we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril”?

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