Home > Uncategorized > To Connecticut Democrats Who Voted for Lieberman: Do You Feel Stupid Yet?

To Connecticut Democrats Who Voted for Lieberman: Do You Feel Stupid Yet?

November 14th, 2006

This just in:

Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut said yesterday that he will caucus with Senate Democrats in the new Congress, but he would not rule out switching to the Republican caucus if he starts to feel uncomfortable among Democrats.

At the very least, Lieberman is using this as a power play, telling the Democrats in no uncertain terms: treat me like a prince, or I’ll pull a Jeffords and hand control of Congress over to the Republicans. At the most, Lieberman is setting the stage for a defection he plans anyway at some point. Either way, Lieberman is playing this game for Lieberman, not for the Democrats and not for the people of Connecticut. You do have to admit, it’s a good setup for him: if he can blackmail the Democrats, he can steer the party like a tail wagging the dog; if he defects to the GOP, he could gain a position of power in the party and get almost as much from them.

Connecticut Republicans, who were Lieberman’s main voter base, will get the most from this. Connecticut Democrats come away looking like the dumbest fools on Earth.

Of course, there is one mitigating factor that Kos points out: in 2008, Democrats stand to pick up even more Senate seats; while this is not a foregone conclusion, it is a solid probability. If and when this indeed happens, Lieberman’s power suddenly evaporates. If he stayed with the Dems but blackmailed them for every last bit of power he could, then he’ll likely get an instant demotion and will be sent to the doghouse, where he can caucus with the Republicans all he wants. If he defected to the Republicans, he’ll be just as powerless. And if he does either one, he’ll probably alienate so many Connecticut Democrats that he’ll never be able to get elected there again, no matter what he runs as. So if Lieberman plays his hand too hard, he’ll have two years of glory and then his career essentially ends.

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  1. Me
    November 15th, 2006 at 05:54 | #1

    There are few I despise more than Lieberman, and the myopic view he presented last Tuesday that his victory was the crucial development in the election (instead of… oh, I don’t know… growing disaffection with the war in Iraq, maybe?) is only one of many reasons why. And yes, he’s always bashing Democrats, he’s always threatening the party, he’s always whining, etc.

    But I think everyone’s making way too much of a fuss over Lieberman, and for precisely the reasons you state in the final paragraph. Joe may be shooting his mouth off, but I can’t imagine even someone as self-absorbed as he believes he has any significant leverage. Can he? Maybe he’ll be quiet if the Democrats just give him a chair. I’ll happily keep Lieberman in the party – at least for two years – in exchange intelligence oversight and approval of judges.

  2. Paul
    November 16th, 2006 at 10:16 | #2

    I say ignore his more histrionic statements like this. The Republicans would be delighted if he switched, but if he did it’s easy enough to deal with- just filibuster everything possible, and make Cheney appear to break a tie on EVERY single floor vote.

    And in two years, when the Dems grab the Senate, kick Lieberman out to the curb like yesterday’s trash. What a useless jerk.

    (The first draft of this had a much less nice word than “jerk”.)

    Seattle, WA

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