February 22, 2007
Hit The Road, Joe
Joe Lieberman throws another veiled threat:
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut told the Politico on Thursday that he has no immediate plans to switch parties but suggested that Democratic opposition to funding the war in Iraq might change his mind [...]Thanks for nothing to the Connecticut voters who re-elected him and believed his empty rhetoric. I hope you like how he'll willingly switch alliances just so we'll get stuck in Iraq forever.
This is not the first time Lieberman played coy about switching sides; he clearly enjoys holding it over the Democrats' heads. As the Youtube video clip above shows, he even implied he would vote for a Republican in '08. "Independent Democrat" my foot.
Yet the Democratic leadership keeps enabling him:
So far, Lieberman is using his clout mostly in ways that discomfit his fellow Democrats, while his relationship with Republicans has involved more collaboration than coercion. When Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Bush's State of the Union proposal for a bipartisan terrorism panel was redundant, Lieberman, who supported the idea, privately sent Reid a letter saying he was "upset." Within days, Reid backed down and negotiated the panel's makeup with the White House. And last month, after Lieberman told Reid he had stopped attending the weekly Democratic lunch because he didn't feel comfortable discussing Iraq there, Reid offered to hold those discussions at another time. Lieberman has started attending again.For crying out loud, is it really that big of a loss to the Democrats if he walks? Not really:
If Lieberman were to caucus with the Republicans, they would still not take full control of the Senate, despite Vice President Dick Cheney's ability to break 50-50 ties. This is because of a little-known Senate organizing resolution, passed in January, which gives Democrats control of the Senate and committee chairmanships until the beginning of the 111th Congress.David Sirota elaborates:
Democrats control the House, and as we’ve seen on the Iraq debate, a narrow majority in the Senate effectively stops that institution from doing anything. Thus, we have basic gridlock right now. Additionally, most believe that President Bush will veto any good legislation that manages to get out of Congress right now - meaning this gridlock is extra guaranteed by the White House. Throwing the Senate to the Republicans by one vote (which, by the way, a Lieberman switch would not necessarily accomplish, thanks to gray areas in Senate rules) wouldn’t change this gridlocked situation at all. Democrats would still have the House and filibuster-ready Senators to stop anything awful from getting to Bush’s desk. Meanwhile, Democrats would still have investigatory/oversight power from their House chairmen [...]The truth is, Lieberman needs the Democratic Party more than it needs him. Not only will he lose his seniority and committee chairmanships if he switches, he would also become irrelevant in a Senate which, with 22 Republicans and just 12 Democrats up for re-election, stands a good chance of becoming strongly Democratic in '08.
I say call the bluff of this power-hungry, self-serving man. Don't let his narcissistic posturing hijack the important agenda of stopping the madness that is the Iraq war.
So go ahead, Joe. Hit the road and don't ever come back.
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