Monday, November 13, 2006

Don't be coy, Joe

Some conservatives (including your truly) have been holding out hope that Joe Lieberman will change parties, and this exchange with Tim Russert certainly fuels the flames.

MR. RUSSERT: Jim Jeffords of Vermont crossed over and joined the Democrats.


MR. RUSSERT: And they gave—they gave him his committee chairmanship.


MR. RUSSERT: You’re, you’re not ruling that out at some future time?

SEN. LIEBERMAN: I’m not ruling it out, but I hope I don’t get to that point

It's gotten to the point where the Democratic party, at least in the Senate, is Joe Lieberman's bitch. And while many among us will have no shortage of glee at this situation, I'm not sure that this is a good thing.

Joe Lieberman, one Senator, now holds an inordinate amount of power. He says jump, and Harry Reid has to say "How high?" He's pretty much assured of any chairmanship he desires, and to an extent he can even manipulate the Senate's agenda to his liking. "Oh, so you want to pass that bit of legislation? Let me just get on the phone with Mitch here and . . ."

Any man in Lieberman's shoes can be forgiven for acting like a bit of a power hog, especially after getting thrown overboard. Unlike Lincoln Chafee, an ungrateful sniveling jerk who has cast aside the party that tried to help him, Lieberman owes nothing to the Democratic party, and in fact owes his re-election to Republicans.

That said, Lieberman should not become a one man sword of Damacles hanging over the Democratic party. Pick a party and go with it, Joe. I respect him for his principles, but he's starting to sound a little bit like a spoiled child upset because his mommy spanked him. Republicans were rightfully pissed when Jumping Jim Jeffords switched parties, and Democrats can be excused for casting a wary eye on Joe Lieberman's act.

The institutional design of the Senate encourages this sort of thing, so we do have to live with the fruits of our Framers' design. But no one man should become the locus of this much power. And if Lieberman jumps, will he just jump back once he's upset with the GOP leadership? Is he going to continue playing games for the entire length of the 110th Congress?

Again, while I have much respect for Joe Lieberman, he's starting to behave in ways that make it seem he feels he is entitled to power. Get over it Joe, and just pick a side already.


<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?