Not So Fast

If you believe the so-called liberal media, you might think that the Democrats just won control of the Senate. This is not true.

Assuming the current projections hold, including Webb‘s win in Virginia, that only gives the Democrats 49 seats, which makes them tied with the Republicans, who also will have 49 seats. That’s not even a plurality, let alone a majority.

But what about those other two seats, you ask? One will be held by Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, an independent, self-proclaimed socialist. It’s probably safe to say he’ll be more likely to side with the Democrats than the Republicans, which would make it effectively 50-49 in favor of the Democrats.

And then there’s Joe Lieberman, who everyone seems to keep lumping in with the Democrats, just because he was a Democrat before ditching his party after losing his primary to Lamont. But consider the following.

First, even as a Democrat, Lieberman has largely been a conservative anyway, siding with the typical Republican position on many issues. A particularly cynical person might even say he’d be a Republican if he weren’t Jewish. [Editor's note: lest someone somehow misinterpret this, this is a slam against the Republicans, not Jews.]

Second, Lieberman’s support in the election came from the Republicans, not the Democrats (much to Schlesinger‘s dismay, I’m sure).

So, considering that Lieberman was hardly a liberal to begin with, and his newfound power base lies in the Republicans, it’s foolish to just assume he can safely be counted with the Democrats. (And that’s not even counting whatever bad blood may now exist between Lieberman and the Democrats thanks to beating Lamont, plus whatever wooing the Republicans start throwing at him, assuming woo can be thrown.) In fact, it may prove more accurate to consider his voting to lean towards the Republican side, which would give you a 50-50 split in the Senate.

And since ties in the Senate are broken by the Vice President, who last I checked is very much a Republican, that means that any votes essentially along party lines will still go to the Republicans. That’s not what I’d call Democratic control.

(If my reasoning seems a bit precarious, keep in mind I haven’t also factored in the fact that several of the seats taken from the Republicans in this election were won by conservative Democrats. Social conservatives need not worry about having insufficient strength in the Senate to push their agenda, unfortunately.)

In fact, I’ll go one further. I predict that Joe Lieberman will speak at the 2008 Republican National Convention. You can write that down.

[Editor's note: the author lacks any qualifications for making any of the above statements.]

One Response

  1. Hmm… looks to me like the thing to do is be of one party and then vote across party lines, and then become independent. Lieberman got 33% of all Democrat votes, 70% of all Republican votes, and 54% of all Independent votes.

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