Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Getting to 60

Nate Silver keeps pointing out that it doesn't really matter whether Judd Gregg's replacement in the Senate is another Republican. After all, several Republican senators, notably Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, have demonstrated more loyalty to the Democrats this session.

While true, this ignores an important point. We haven't had a cloture vote yet this year. That is, the ladies of Maine have not cast a pivotal vote -- the roll calls on which they voted with the Dems would have gone in the Dems' direction no matter how they voted.

In a cloture vote, with all 58 or 59 (assuming Franken gets seated) Dems voting aye, would Collins or Snowe really stand against their party? The cross-pressure would likely be terrific, with their increasingly liberal constituency pulling them toward the Dems and their increasingly disciplined party pulling them the other way. I'm not sure if the party leadership can offer anything or make any threat that would seem as credible and tangible as voters kicking them out of office, which has happened to many Republicans in New England of late, but they can sure try.


Anonymous said...

If they somehow get to 60, Lieberman switches parties anyway the same day, right?

Seth Masket said...

Yeah, and he does it live on Fox.

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiosity, do you think Joe Lieberman campaigned for McCain with the intention of getting revenge from the Democrats?

In 2006, Joe Lieberman lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont, and was forced to run as an independent. In the meantime, leaders such as Howard Dean and Hillary Clinton endorsed Lamont, and urged Lieberman to withdraw from the senate race. Lieberman was able to win by gathering support from Democrats and Republicans.

In any case, Joe Lieberman is an unpredictable person.

Seth Masket said...

I'm not sure what you mean. Are you suggesting that Lieberman campaigned for McCain to get back at Dems for not standing with him in '06? That's possible, although Obama actually campaigned for Lieberman, if memory serves. I'm guessing Lieberman did it out of a combination of personal friendship with McCain and a constant desire to mess with the Democratic Party.

Or are you suggesting that Lieberman campaigned for McCain so that the Dems would over-react in response and force him to join up with the Republicans? I'm not sure about that one.

Anonymous said...

I agree with you that Lieberman supported McCain with a constant desire to mess with the Democratic party. He did abandon the Democratic party's platform many times to support Bush on Iraq, which was just plain wrong. That's why he deserved to lose the primary.

Nevertheless, Lieberman did specifically state that he was "personally hurt" when Democratic members threw their support for Lamont and urged him to withdraw. Obama did support Lieberman during the primaries. I was just wondering that from this comment of his, did Lieberman become a staunch supporter for McCain to "rub it in" for 06'.

In any case, Lieberman should understand that he did betray the Democratic party for Bush policies which was wrong. He also should understand the game of politics that it would be awkward for Democratic leaders to support him as an Independent, against the person who actually won the Democratic nomination.