Right on cue, we have thinly veiled threats from Holy Joe (Sen-Lieberman for Lieberman) about caucusing with the republicans if he doesn't get his way. And as kos points out on the front page (as well as what we all somewhat expected), this isn't too surprising.
At the risk of adding yet another diary to the "Joe Lieberman tag", I want to make a point that I haven't really seen hit upon here. And if I may be so bold (for all you "Joe is too powerful worrywarts") as to say that Joe Lieberman and his threats are irrelevant - not just because of the 2008 Senate map but even over the next two years.
Here's why - this will piss off not just Democrats, but everyone outside of those who voted for Joe, and the die hard republicans who will soon be irrelevant as well. Not only that, but it will no doubt only make the country more pissed off if Joe switches sides on votes where the republican position is not supported by We the People. And frankly, how many republican positions ARE widely supported, let alone those which Lieberman would "jump to the dark side to support"?
Despite Karl Rove's latest attempt to spin the republican massacre of last week, the fact remains that the Democrats scored a huge victory and have a true mandate (as opposed to that crap mandate that Bush thought he had after 2004). Even if you don't give the Democrats any credit for this slaughter, you would then have to assume that Americans were overwhelmingly pissed off enough at the republicans to throw their asses out of BOTH the House and the Senate - things that were impossible thoughts only a few months ago.
And it is overwhelming in so many ways and on so many levels. The botched invasion and illegal occupation of Iraq. The job market. The corruption. "Family values". Homeland security. Out of control spending. Earmarks, pork and governmental waste. "Out of touch" with the American people. Stem cell research. Petty partisanship. Corporate tax breaks at the expense of the middle class. Divisiveness and a lack of dialogue. The environment. Education. Right track/wrong track. You name it - the republicans were on the wrong side of pretty much every single issue.
America voted for a new direction - for change. To change their current thoughts that the world they leave for their children will not be worse than it is now. And despite the media's "Democrats have no ideas or plan" meme, more than 50% of Americans are happy that the Democrats took control of Congress. They want progress and laws which will move the country forward.
Since Lieberman has taken every conceivable position on every issue, let's just assume for a second that we don't know what his true positions are on anything. Couple that with the fact that his campaign was run like a republican campaign - complete with dirty tricks, lies, smears and questionable (to say the least) use of campaign funds and who knows if he would even take the same positions that he took in the past when it comes to Democratic Party ideals and values. So if he stays with the Democratic caucus and votes our way, great. If not, then he and the republican will bear the wrath of the voters even more.
I can see the headlines: Democratic turncoat gridlocks the Senate, or Former Democratic Senator votes with republicans, blocks bill for troop withdrawal. Yeah, that will play well with voters.
And if he switches sides - that would go against the now 51% of the voters who want the Democrats to control Congress. I would think that number would rise when the agenda of minimum wage increases, stem cell research, homeland security and the like are brought to the House and Senate floors. So Joe - you want to threaten to switch in an attempt to get more attention or to "get your way"? Fine--
You want to vote with republicans against stem cell research?
You want to vote with republicans (and against the more than 60% of Americans who want out of Iraq?
You want to vote with republicans against the morning after pill?
You want to vote with republicans against raising the minimum wage?
You want to vote with republicans against global warming initiatives?
You want to vote with republicans against privacy rights?
You want to vote with republicans against open source and transparent voting?
You want to vote with republicans against a free and open internet?
You want to vote with republicans for torture?
You want to vote with republicans against restoring the Bill of Rights?
You want to vote with republicans against implementing REAL homeland security initiatives?
You want to vote with republicans against middle class tax cuts?
You want to vote with republicans for a Constitutional amendment which discriminates against a whole segment of the population?
Fine. Go ahead. In fact, I DARE you to. That will not only expose you as the charlatan that you are, but would also serve to further underscore the difference between Democrats - winners who want to move this country forward, and republicans - losers who want to bring this country back to the early 1900s.
Sorry, Joe - either way, the Democrats win. Markos says that in 2008 your choice would be irrelevant. Not only do I agree with that, but I think that you are already irrelevant.