November 13, 2006

"We'd be very surprised if Lieberman switched parties."

"In fact, his refusal to take the option off the table makes it even less likely he will exercise it."

28 comments:

Sloanasaurus said...

Lieberman is a democrat for the most part. He jsut happens to strongly support the war in Iraq.

Lieberman's independent election victory in a blue state should serve as a reminder to all the anti-war New York Times readers that a pull out from Iraq is not in the cards.

Last June, the Senate voted on a phased withdrawl from Iraq. The vote was defeated 86-13. I have a hard time seeing how a change in majority of 6 seats, two which were decided by less than .5% equals a change in this policy.

The democrats will push for a "change of course," which they will get. Which will mean little in terms of the war.

The Drill SGT said...

Reid isn't yet the Majority leader.

Then the Majority leader makes committee and chairman assignments.

I'm sure Joe has gotten assurances that he'll get a good package, but it hasn't happened yet.

Till then, Joe has all the cards on the table.

There also may be some downstream promises that Joe was seeking on Iraq, or pork.

What was that Michael Corleone line from GF2?

Pop always said, keep your friends close and your enemies closer

Joe will stay a Dem unless he is publicly betrayed on some element of his package. He can't appear to welch on his promise to the voters unless a principle is involved.

Mike said...

Sloanasaurus said: "Last June, the Senate voted on a phased withdrawl from Iraq. The vote was defeated 86-13. I have a hard time seeing how a change in majority of 6 seats, two which were decided by less than .5% equals a change in this policy."

This tally would change dramtically the second time around if many of those votes were not votes of conscience, but rather were taken with an eye towards the upcoming election. This being the Senate we are talking about, I suspect that that is the case, but time will tell.

Comrade X said...

How funny is it that Rape Gurney Joe is now the most powerful Senator? How's that gurney feel Harry Reid?

Fritz said...

Joe's warning shot across the bow is welcomed. Just think what Reid will have to give socialist Sanders to keep him on board. This will be a very entertaining Senate. Democrats have a razor thin majority yet they are so drunk with power. Bolton is a no brainer for a bipartisan gesture and they can't even do that.

Eric Morley said...

With Leiberman and Sanders being independants the next Senate will be 49R-48D and 2I. This means that the Republicans will have a pluarlity while the Democrats will have the majority caucus. With the Republicans losing Chafee, expect the GOP caucus to be more unified as it has less diversity and fewer members running for President.

Steven said...

Certainly, Lieberman would switch if he were betrayed by the Democrats on something like a committee assignment or the like. That isn't the interesting question.

No, the interesting question is whether Lieberman would switch parties to preserve, say, a committment to Iraq. If there's a slight majority (most Democrats plus some Republicans) for a policy change, it's possible that a change in leadership could be enough to block the change, because control of scheduling and committees is significant influence.

Now, it all depends on how bad he considers a certain policy change and if the change in control would in his estimation shift power sufficiently to block the new policy. But it serves as a definite weapon in his arsenal for policy battles -- "stop this or I'll bolt and the Republicans will stop it."

Doyle said...

What would you people do without Lieberman and Heath Shuler?

Also: Eric Morley's math is off.

The Drill SGT said...

49-49-2

The Exalted said...

Bolton is a no brainer for a bipartisan gesture

high comedy

Joseph Hovsep said...

Its hard for me to imagine a scenario in which Lieberman would really benefit from switching parties. I'm sure the GOP Senate leaders would try to trump anything the Harry Reid offers him in terms of Senate chairmanships, etc., but it would be really risky for Lieberman considering the uncertain future of the resulting bare GOP control of the Senate, and he'd have the wrath of the party he grew up in to deal with, the wrath of the CT voters to deal if he runs again, and he'd be a member of a party that he disagrees with on most issues. The only reason I could think of for him to switch is if he wants to run for VP as McCain's running mate in 2008, which would realistically only be possible if Lieberman was a Republican.

The partisan moderate said...

Unless, Senator Lieberman is planning not to run again in 2012, it would be a poor move to switch parties. He is unlikely to receive a primary challege again and in a blue state like CT, his decision to switch would be unpopular (unlike Jeffords in VT) and make his chances of being re-elected less than 50%.

Furthermore, the lesson of Jim Jeffords should probably weigh on anyone's mind thinking about switching parties. After the Senate switched back to the Republican Party in 2002, he seemed to lose all his clout but retained all the scorn from his colleagues. After his recent fairwell speech, only one Republican took to the Senate floor to praise him http://www.rawstory.com/news/2006/GOP_conspicuously_absent_from_Sen._Jeffords_0927.html
as he burned so many bridges. If Lieberman wants to work in the private sector lobbying after his term is done, obviously being disliked by 50 other Senators would not be particularly helpful.

Furthermore, as a so-called moderate from CT, he can be a dealmaker as an independent caucusing with the Democrats, if he becomes a Republican he becomes just another Republican who bucks the party line and earns the scorn of his party.

http://holdthesenate.blogspot.com/

Cedarford said...

The Exalted said...
Bolton is a no brainer for a bipartisan gesture

high comedy


LOL! Bolton has done an excellent job as UN Ambassador, but he is one of the last neocons still in a position of power.

He is thought to be prone to tilt too much to Israel and is thought to be the wrong guy for ME issues on that basis by many.

For his role in PNAC and in neocon think tanks crafting the Bush Doctrine of a series of major wars aimed at regime change starting with Iraq? He's toast.

Another difficulty Bolton has is with a large number of Senators, including farm state Republicans as well as old bulls like Biden and Dodd - who favor ending the failed embargo on Cuba. Bolton is among the staunchist embargo defenders, and got in trouble back in 2002 for his lobbying efforts to add Cuba to the "Axis of Evil" with some dubious allegations that Cuba was contemplating aiding bioterrorism.

Again, highly capable individual, but politically unacceptable as a Head Neocon, to be confirmed.

******************

Liberman switch? Only if the Dems were stupid enough to make him an outcast and strip his power in conference. The guy has a 90% ADA liberal rating. A higher "liberal voting rating" than Kerry's. If you want partial birth abortion, gun bans, activist judges, tax increases, criminal rights, Open Borders, certain affirmative action, gay rights - Joe's your guy.

My guess is Lieberman, as long as Israel is protected, is about as likely to bolt the Democrat Party as the other independent - Socialist Bernie Sanders - who also has some conservative quirks that mask an otherwise Left-leaniing body of voting. Bernie opposes most gun control - saying States should decide. Not Feinstein and Schumer.

Steven said...

Lieberman's career-long ADA average is 77.82, which is still solidly liberal, but is definitely to the right of Kerry.

The partisan moderate said...

Cedarford said, "Bolton has done an excellent job as UN Ambassador, but he is one of the last neocons still in a position of power."

One thing that always amazes me is the people who use the word neo-con incorrectly or use it somehow as a slur against jews or supporters of Israel. A neo-con. is someone who once was liberal (or in some cases socialist) who has become more conservative (With the extent of how conservative varying as liberals like Moynihan were called neo-conservatives). The original neo-cons were mainly concerned with domestic affairs although some like Bill Kristol and Francis Fukayama focused on foreign policy.

That said, Bolton is not a neo-con. but a traditional conservative who has never been liberal. His foreign policy instincts are hard core realists ones in the mold of Henry Kissinger not in the mold of Robert Kagan or Bill Kristol. He has never been considered with the spreading of liberal democracies but has always focused on what he sees as protecting American interests.

As for previous comments which denounced his strong support for Israel, I would love for Democrats to use that as an excuse not to confirm him but unfortunately they are much too smart for that as a good deal of their donors and the American electorate share similar views on Israel policy.

Bolton probably won't be confirmed but Democrats will not never use that as an excuse even if that factors into the equation.

Bruce Hayden said...

I think that the big thing here is whether the Democrats strip Lieberman of his seniority. If they do, and the Republicans are willing to give it to him, then he might jump.

But realistically, I think that he is playing chicken with the Democrats. Do they want to be a majority in the Senate enough to go back on their threat to strip him of his seniority? I very definately think so.

But ask yourself, why would he caucus with the Democrats (as an independent) if they aren't going to give him the seniority that he has earned? It is not like he is switching parties, but rather just throwing his vote in that direction in order to retain enough power to better represent his state.

Bruce Hayden said...

While I agree to some extent with partisan moderate about the origins of the neocon movement, I think that he misses its central tenets, which is that mostly through the law of unintended consequences, government programs almost always fail.

Yes, the original neocons came out of the progressive movement. But what happened is that they discovered realism, versus the utopian view of the world that they had had as progressives. It is not good enough that you have good motives. Indeed, motives are irrelevant, if the results are bad. It is the results that count, and not the motives.

Moynihan I think was at best a luke warm neocon. Before his political career, he did some interesting work (I am reminded of reading his seminal "The Negro Family: The Case For National Action" as a freshman in college). But later, he seemed to hew pretty closely to the Democratic line. What is interesting about that work is how prescient it was as to the effects of LBJ's War on Poverty on the African-American family, and, thus, was instrumental in the situation that we found outselves in when Clinton signed Welfare Reform - that poverty programs rewarded fatherless families, but the more it did this there (in particular), the more the Blacks fell behind and suffered economically.

And with the Moynihan Report in hand, the War on Poverty, as waged, was inexcusable. Good intentions trumped reality. The program was fated to fail, by its very design, and we spent a trillion dollars proving it.

I should note that some of the earliest non-former-progressives in the neocon movement were Cheney and Rumsfeld. Neither one had come up through the progressive movement, only to be disillusioned by the fact that government programs almost always make things worse, but rather from the traditional conservative movement.

But that brings me to part of the difference between traditional conservatives and neocons. The traditional conservatives distrusted government, esp. at the national level, because they believed it evil and susceptable to abuse. The neocons accept the abuse side, but typically don't take the view that we shouldn't use government to improve society, but rather, if we are going to, we should make sure that the proposed government actions are going to help matters, not make them worse.

The problems that neocons had though when they finally ventured into the international realm is that instead of finding reasons why some policy or another is liable to fail, they ended up proposing solutions. And, thus, found themselves in the same position as the progressives from which they sprung - that of unintended consequences. And, thus, while the idea of countering militant Islam through democracy makes logical sense as an ultimate solution, it hasn't worked out nearly as well as anticipated.

That said, Bolton did bring a breath of fresh air to our presence at the U.N. Instead of a talk, talk, talk, for talking sake, as is typical of the State Department, he threw in some realism and use of American power. And, for that, I will suggest that he has been more effective than his predecessors.

The partisan moderate said...

Bruce you are incorrect. when you said "I should note that some of the earliest non-former-progressives in the neocon movement were Cheney and Rumsfeld."

Cheney and Rumsfeld were never part of the early neo-con movement. Cheney and Rumsfeld have been realists throughout their respective political careers. They served together for Ford and Nixon and Cheney served as defense secretary for Bush I. The neo-cons opposed both Nixon and Ford and didn't become Republicans until Reagan. Cheney was part of Bush I's inner circle and while he was more hawkish than some of the others like Powell, he was always considered a realist as was this President at the beginning of his administration.

I really would hope that people would do more research before reciting tv talking points. If you want to argue that Rumsfeld or Cheney have now become neo-cons, that may or may not be true but if you are going to argue that they are part of the early neo-con. movement than you are incorrect.

Palladian said...

Cedarford seems to think that the nefarious Jews are ruining our country, so when he says "neocon", I think we know what he means. Given that he also dislikes gay people, I would think it's a safe bet that somewhere in his driveway is an early 90s model (American) car with a faded "Go Pat Go" bumper sticker pasted on its rusting bumper.

altoids1306 said...

As pleasant as it is to think about Lieberman switching parties, he won't, and the Democratic leadership knows it.

Lieberman is a fine politician, but like all politicians, I'll be damned if he actually places policy before re-election. He won't become a Republican, because he wants to be re-elected.

The best we can hope for from him is a few spoiler votes that will block far-left initatives. He'll vote the party line on most issues.

Cedarford said...

Palladian - Cedarford seems to think that the nefarious Jews are ruining our country, so when he says "neocon", I think we know what he means.

Bolton is not Jewish. Neither are others like Cheney, Rumsfeld, Steyn, Victor Hanson. Nor is it required that a neocon be the child of a Trotskyite who went the other way later in life - though many did.

Given that he also dislikes gay people, I would think it's a safe bet

I don't mind gay people at all, as long as they refrain from pushing the gay agenda in others faces, refrain from "you all are bigoted"! hissy fits when they don't get their way, act responsibly and don't spread disease, and avoid preying on underage boys.

If you refrain from acting in such a repulsive manner - I'm sure we could get along fine.

that somewhere in his driveway is an early 90s model (American) car with a faded "Go Pat Go" bumper sticker pasted on its rusting bumper

What is it with faggots and American cars? If you are seen in one, do you lose style points from your peers?

Everyone knows made-in America pickup trucks (also a big gay no-no!) or made in America Japanese carmaker products are the way to go.

As for Pat, I assume you mean Buchanan. Guy has never had a lower elective office or executive leadership experience. Making him as unqualified to be President as Obama, Jesse, Pat Robertson, Kucinich, Rice, George Clooney He is a 1st rate thinker and writer, though. His books are the ones that leading politicans & academics of all persuasions in Europe, Asia, and America do not have on their coffee table - but are marked and annotatedand on their desks or bookshelves or bedroom studies. Few books of the last 50 years have had the impact in Europe that Buchanan's "Death of the West" did.

Serenity Now said...

This link to the Best of the Web post cited by Prof. Althouse should still work after 11/14.

Zeb Quinn said...

Lieberman is a democrat for the most part. He jsut happens to strongly support the war in Iraq.

It runs deeper than that. Lieberman has positioned himself to the right of the mainstream of the Democrat party for years on a range of issues. In just one example, he castigated Clinton as severely as the Republicans during impeachment, leading some to speculate that he might vote to convict. But he didn't. In the end he hung with his Democrat cohorts. And he will now too. Besides, yeah, he's got a fresh 6 years now, but it'd be political suicide in the long run to switch. Connecticut ain't Utah.

Revenant said...

What is it with faggots and American cars?

Classy, Cedarford. Real classy.

Gary Rosen said...

The partisan moderate said:

"One thing that always amazes me is the people who use the word neo-con incorrectly or use it somehow as a slur against jews or supporters of Israel."

Shouldn't be amazed when it's Cedarford. Like Jew-haters everywhere he's incontinent, his sole purpose in life seems to be to post antisemitic comments on the Internet and then try to weasel out when he's called on it.

Cedarford:

"Few books of the last 50 years have had the impact in Europe that Buchanan's "Death of the West" did." Right, that must be why Europe is rushing headlong to become Eurabia bwahaha. Then again maybe they *were* influenced by Buchanan - after all he is all too happy to perform journalistic fellatio on Islamofascists from Ahmedinenutjob to Sheik Yassin as long as they are mortal enemies of the Jewish people. In reality (not Cedarford's long suit) of course Pat has even less influence in Europe than he does here, where his 2000 vanity "Presidential" campaign ended up scrapping for votes with the kookaboos from the, uh, "Natural Law" party.

It's not surprising, though, why Cedarford admires Buchanan. Pat has spent his entire life as a pundit, rhetorician, polemicist, media jockey and political groupie - in short a loser who's never created, accomplished or taken responsibility for anything of value in his life.

tjl said...

"Everyone knows made-in America pickup trucks (also a big gay no-no!)...are the way to go."

I guess Cedarford has never seen the parking lot of a gay C&W club.

Cedarford said...

Gary Schmosen -

Laugh away at Europes Muslim predicament. It is funny, in a way....the sophisticated hydrogen bombs and missile subs of France's Force de Frappe will in Muslim hands in a generation, as you laugh.

Yep, laugh away.

Expect no sympathy from me.

BTW, did you hear about the nuclear announcement?

It might have been lost since it was on Nov 4th, right before the election.

Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, and Algeria announced they are forming a cooperative pact to develop nuclear power.

Shouldn't be a problem as long as certain people work harder at making friends...

Constant said...

Cedarford,

"Only if the Dems were stupid enough to make him an outcast and strip his power in conference." [ 6:07 PM, November 13, 2006 ]

Indeed, civility is appropriate; however, the important issue, above and beyond Joe's transitory feelings and insecurity, is how the DNC treats the GOP. If the DNC leadership were to offer a guaranteed Chairmanship to a disaffected GOP Senator who left the Republican party, Lieberman's veiled threat would be meaningless.

Based on Sen. Chafee's [R-RI] comments about the GOP, he doesn't appear to be the only person who might change Party affiliation. Indeed, Chafee lost his re-election bid and is considering joining the DNC; however, it's up to the GOP to treat their Senators with as much respect as the DNC "should show" Lieberman. Whether the DNC is or isn't stupid is only half the problem: Whether Lieberman and the GOP realize they've shown their colors, and may push more GOP Senators out. Stupid is as stupid does.