Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Joe the Chairman

So, the Democrats in the Senate have obliged Barack Obama and kept Joe Lieberman in his chairmanship and in the caucus. This is probably for the best. Keep your friends close and your enemies closer...

Seriously, Joe Lieberman will be a useful vote on energy, health care, and education. That's where he's needed. Bush has now set a timetable for Iraq withdrawal (Dec 31, 2011), mooting the Lieberman/McCain position. This means that there are now 57 votes for the Dems in the Senate to break a filibuster. Assuming Begich wins Alaska, which looks likely, that will be 58. Then it's down to Minnesota (too close to call) and Georgia (leans R). Even if it's 58-42, this leaves the GOP in a difficult position to block legislation. Much more likely is that a couple iffy GOP senators (possibilities from blue states or moderate backgrounds: Voinovich, Specter, McCain, Snowe, Collins, Gregg, Coleman, Martinez, Grassley) make deals and the legislation goes forward.

6 comments:

Raised By Republicans said...

I fear this will prove a mistake. Lieberman as chair of committees dealing with the issues LTG mentions is one thing but he will be the committee chair on Homeland Security where he disagrees with the Democrats and agrees with the Republicans. They might just as well appoint John McCain to chair that committee.

This will bite the Democrats in the butt sooner or later.

The Law Talking Guy said...

The question is whether Lieberman's influence as chair of the Homeland Security committee outweighs the possibility of him throwing in with the GOP on filibusters. I think the balance tips in favor of retaining Lieberman.

bell curve said...

The real question is, was he bluffing when he suggested that he would leave the caucus if he was stripped of his chairmanship? I don't know the answer to this question but I do know that it's no fun to be in the minority.

Valar Morghulis said...

Clean house people, get rid of the guy, he is a cancer and he has been for 8 years!!!

Raised By Republicans said...

Another question is what kind of Republican Lieberman would make? Would he stop voting the way he always has on economic issues even if he left the caucus? Or would he be a Republican along the lines of Lincoln Chaffee or Arlen Spectre? I think the Democrats should have offered him the chairmanship of another committee on which he agrees with the caucus and called his bluff.

The Law Talking Guy said...

I think the choices were either to alienate Lieberman or embrace him. Doing a little bit of both is the worst of both worlds: you still have him in the caucus, but he's less helpful. I think the closed-door session (which apparently involved 'atonement' by Lieberman) turned out well. I don't think the Harry Reid "caved" on this - I think he got what he wanted: another real vote against GOP filibusters.