Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What If Joe Lieberman Is Number Sixty?

Just a quick post. As we get closer to election day activism must take priority over blogging. Hence, it's been awhile since I've composed a thoughtful essay. I wanted to pose this question however. Suppose the world we wake up to on November 5th is fifty-nine Democratic Senators excluding Joe Lieberman? Like many liberals I am disgusted with Lieberman. He's taken delight in questioning the patriotism of those who have dissented against our military occupation of Iraq. As a secular Jewish American I am especially dismayed by Lieberman's pandering towards the Christian Right. Hence, I'm hoping an enlarged Democratic majority means Lieberman can be removed as Chairman of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee where he's been a disaster.

Yet what if Democratic Senator leader Harry Reid wakes up on November 5th with fifty-nine Senators and needs Lieberman to ensure a filibuster proof majority? Certainly I would not put it past Lieberman to cynically leverage himself as a player in exchange for supporting the Democratic caucus.

My own view is Lieberman should be jettisoned regardless because he'll only stab the Democrats in the back as soon as it becomes expedient. Better to reach out to specific Republicans for the sixtieth vote on an issue by issue basis such as Maine's Olympia Snow instead.

I suspect however that Harry Reid would rationalize that Lieberman is a "reliable" vote on many domestic issues and overlook the past. And Lieberman would then retain the threat of denying Democrats their filibuster majority. So instead of being marginalized Lieberman could remain relevant. A sideshow issue in the scheme of things but something to ponder.

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