An article today from the Associated Press (hat tip: James Taranto) addressed the idea of Senator Lieberman switching parties.
Lieberman on Sunday repeated his pledge to caucus with Senate Democrats when the 110th Congress convenes in January, but refused to slam the door on possibly moving to the Republican side of the aisle.
Asked on NBC’s “Meet the Press” if he might follow the example of Sen. Jim Jeffords of Vermont, who left the Republicans in 2001 and became an independent, ending Republican control of the U.S. Senate, Lieberman refused to discount the possibility.
“I’m not ruling it out but I hope I don’t get to that point,” he said. “And I must say–and with all respect to the Republicans who supported me in Connecticut–nobody ever said, ‘We’re doing this because we want you to switch over. We want you to do what you think is right and good for our state and country,’ and I appreciate that.” (emphasis added)
Senator Lieberman recognizes, as this blog has pointed out numerous times (here, here, here, and here), that he was elected over Lamont because of his ongoing support for the war in Iraq. People in Connecticut were given a choice between two candidates who are about equally liberal with the only discerning disagreement between the two being the war. Connecticut is a liberal state that was won by John Kerry. And they voted for a Senator who supports the war. We repeat again because some of you aren’t listening: last week’s election was not a call to bring the troops home. It was a justified reaction to corruption and perhaps mismanagement in Iraq. But it was not a call for immediate withdrawal.
If, as voters left their local polling places in Connecticut, they told interviewers that the most important issue driving their vote was Iraq and they voted for Lamont, we would be discouraged. This would have signaled that voters were electing people they thought would bring our troops home immediately.
But that wasn’t what happened. They left their polling places, and told exit poll workers that the most important issue was corruption. Iraq was a close second. So, Republicans lose because of corruption and mismanagement. Liberal, pro-war Democrats like Lieberman beat liberal anti-war Democrats like Lamont and signal to us and everyone else that Americans want a change in Congress, but they recognize the importance of winning in Iraq.
And we hope that now Democrats will engage the war in a constructive way rather than the critical posture they adopted once things started looking bad. With any luck, dems follow the example of Joe Lieberman, rather than opportunists like John Murtha.
It’s unfortunate that good men like Senators Santorum (a particularly outspoken leader in the War on Terror) and Talent and Senate hopeful Michael Steele lost, but we are relieved that it wasn’t because Americans want to leave Iraq ASAP.
Even then, the numbers weren’t that much of a landslide, as Time magazine blogger Mike Allen pointed out on the 10th of November (hat tip: Taranto, again):
The Republican National Committee has been pointing out that a small shift in votes would have made a big difference. A shift of 77,611 votes would have given Republicans control of the House, according to Bush’s political team. And a shift of 2,847 votes in Montana, or 7,217 votes in Virginia, or 41,537 votes in Missouri would have given a Republicans control of the Senate.
But you wont find us shrieking for a recount a la Angry Left circa 2000, 2004, et al.
It’s enough to know that the election wasn’t the tsunamitidalwavemassiveshift of a vote as sold by the spinmeisters in the MSM.
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