Thursday, October 9, 2008

Whither Lieberman?

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Although I really, REALLY want Obama to win, I'd like to take a look down into Congress. Even if Obama loses, we're picking up major Congress coin. First up...the Senate.

Ezra Klein and Steve Benen (at the Washington Monthly) are posting about the possibility of 60 votes. Fivethirtyeight shows the chances of that occurring at roughly 25%.

I just don't see call is +7 at this point. I think Stevens in AK goes down, along with Gilmore in VA (to Warner), Pearce in NM (to Udall), Schaffer in CO (to the other Udall), Sununu in NH (to Shaheen...again!...and won't THAT piss him off), Dole in NC (to Hagan) and, the wild card is...Coleman in MN (to Franken!!) rather than Smith in OR. I think Smith stays alive to fight another day. Although it wouldn't shock me for that to break the other way

The pickups necessary to get to +9 are too outlandish. In addition to Smith, you'd need to pick off: one of Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky or Texas. Rii-iiiight.

But even if we get +9, that leaves Lieberman the filibuster killer. Now in the unlikely event that we do get to +9, I think Reid leaves Holy Joe unmolested. I think that would be a mistake. Yglesias makes what I think is a valid point: 57, 58 is as good as 60. If you can get to 58, you can pressure a couple moderate Repubs to vote for cloture. WHICH Repub depends on the issue being voted on, but on almost anything you can cherry pick a couple to carry you over.

Besides I really, really want to screw Lieberman over. But not in that crude, "get the fuck out," way you might be thinking. No. Here's what my twisted vicious brain has cooked up: regardless of how the Senate ends up, I think we pull Lieberman out of EVERY committee assignment he has. We stick him in inconsequential and entirely domestic committees and subcommittees. Agriculture. That Little Tag On New Mattresses Subcommittee. That sort of thing.

Make Holy Joe painfully aware that, as long as he's a Senator caucusing with Democrats, he will never, ever, ever have access to a committee responsible in even a tangential way for Israel. He would be told to not even slow down and listen to Foreign Affairs or Defense hearings. He would be utterly impotent to affect how the Congress funds aid to Israel. Cooperates (or not) with Israeli Intelligence. Provides military equipment and assistance to the IDF.

My retribution for Holy Joe's perfidy? Make HIM make it clear why he's now caucusing with Republicans: because Israel is 100 times more important to him than Connecticut. Whom he at least nominally is supposed to represent.

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