Wednesday, November 19, 2008
the weasel-rat keeps his cheese
So holy Joe gets to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee. In a secret, and frankly shameful ballot, over 40 senators voted to let him stay, while only 13 voted against. You have to keep in mind too that the way things work in Washington, the ones who voted against did so knowing full well what the outcome would be, that their votes were largely pointless.
We have to remember also that Obama himself put it out there that this was the result he wanted. Now, it's hard to say what kind of White House he is going to run, but based on his campaigning, we have to assume that he isn't the type to be easily led by advisors. He is decidedly a hands-on kind of politician, and he must have known full well what he was doing when he let it be known that he wanted Lieberman to retain his chairmanship.
Not to paint lipstick on a pig, ha ha, but in looking at the brighter side, one commentator on Countdown last night pointed out that what Obama has done is to collect a huge freakin' IOU from Lieberman. I imagine a 'Godfather' type of scenario (even though reports say no such conversation took place between the two men; reportedly Obama didn't even return Lieberman's calls) in which Obama says, 'One day I may ask a favor of you in return...' Time magazine also has an article outlining this view.
Now, as to whether a smackdown was called for, or even if Joe the Weasel-Rat can be trusted to do the right thing is an open question. I think my feelings are known on that subject, not that they are important. But as the article says:
That lingering resentment should help guarantee his cooperation. "It is the iron law of reciprocity. He will remember and help those who helped him at a critical time in the future," says James Thurber, director of American University's Center for Congressional and Presidential Studies. "It is politically smart. The President and the Democrats will need him in the future. It is part of building bipartisanship and political capital."
If nothing else, all eyes will be on him, and the knives shall remain sharp in Washington, as they are wont to do. He shan't betray the dems a second time without unleashing ten kinds of hell upon himself.
And as the Senate moves closer and closer to the magic number of the 'filibuster-proof' 60 blue seats, each vote counts. I hesitate to get all gooey over the 60 number though, as some pundits more attuned to the horse-race aspects of politics tend to do. Frankly it doesn't mean shit. As Lieberman has proven, the only thing these guys ever consistenly support is saving their own asses. Senate Dems are not likely to vote in lockstep as the Republican-controlled House did prior to 2006, and there are likely to be Republican defections to the Dem side on big votes as well, what with the way the wind is blowing.
Ultimately, though, the more probable blue votes that are out there, the better. Senator Intertubes has been flushed, with Alaska booting out convicted felon Ted Stevens in favor of a democrat, so 58 seats are held by Dems with two more races up for grabs, in Minnesota and Georgia. One can only surmise that Obama knows what he is doing--revenge might be sweet, but getting shit done is important too.
As Time pointed out, Lieberman has thus been effectively 'defanged.' Better to have the rat at least pretending to be on our side, rather than running amok and deliberately fucking shit up out of his own petty bitterness at being given the boot.