Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Great Moderator: 56 to 44

The Senate appears to be at 56 Democrats, and it could potentially reach 57 once the Minnesota race is sorted out. Georgia might be going to a special election, so they will hold another race in December (which odds are will favor the Republican), and amazingly enough Ted Stevens appears to be winning in Alaska. Is your candidate convicted for seven counts of bribery and as a result is facing up to thirty five years in jail? No problem! He has an 'R' next to his name... Stevens will be ejected from the Senate when they get back in session, however that just means that Alaska will have to hold a special election to fill the seat. If Ted Stevens could get reelected in the "Year of Change", then the special election would exist for figuring out which Republican takes the seat. Honestly, I'd be curious to see if Palin decides to run for it...

Anyway, the Democrats aren't reaching 60 seats. Odds of it reaching 58+ is very slim, but within the realms of theoretical possibility.

While Democrats might be saddened by this news, I think that's a good thing. Regardless of what I think of the current crop of Republicans, our system is based on checks and balances. If you go too far, there needs to be someone else with the power to reign you in. I argued against the nuclear option back when the Republicans tried to shut down the Democrats back in 2005. Blocking the Republicans from fillibustering in 2009 is would have the same stifiling effect.

I want Obama (and the congress) to govern from the center and focus on being non-partisan, so naturally I don't want one party stonewalling the other, regardless if it's fillibustering or preventing the minority party from expressing their concerns.

Sounds like Democracy in action.
(Although, I'm really looking forward to seeing what the Democrats do about Leiberman's committee chairs. The guy endorsed McCain and spoke at the RNC for christ's sake. I understood why the Democrats tolerated him to get the 51-49 Cheny-proof seats in the Senate, however the Democratic gains in the Senate eliminates the need to treat Joe Leiberman like "one of the guys". My guess is that other Democrats are going to enjoy being the chairmen of several commitees he was in charge of.)


Rev. E said...

If Stevens' wins and is forced to step down, couldn't Palin simply appoint herself to the position?

Reverend Keith said...

Not according to the font of all knowledge, Wikipedia:

While the seventeenth amendment provides that "the legislature of any State may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct." some states provide a special election to fill a vacancy. Alaska, Arizona, and Massachusetts do not authorize the Governor to make temporary appointments.

Rev. E said...

What were the odds that Alaska was one of the states that requires a special election? :)

Of course, her political capital is at stratospheric levels in Alaska right now.

BTW: The captcha that I have to enter to post this message is 'moronic'. Fantastic.

Reverend Keith said...

If Alaskans will elect a Republican convicted of seven felonies, then odds are pretty darn good that the next Senator for Alaska (after Stevens is expelled) will be a Republican. :)

I expect Palin to run during that race, however I wonder if there is going to be a primary? If there isn't and more than one Republican runs for the job and splits the vote, then the Democrat actually stands a chance of winning...

I couldn't resist using the photo with that quote. Priceless!

Rev. E said...

No chance of a vote split in a primary. She has too much mojo in that state right now.

Of course, the primary is not being held right now and anything can happen!

Reverend Keith said...

I know, I'm holding out for a dream... but wouldn't it be glorious for there to be a schism in their state party though? My understanding is that when she left, she was popular in the state but disliked by a number of the big wigs in the state GOP establishment. Heck, the ethics investigation wouldn't have happened if she didn't have enemies, because there aren't enough Democrats to force the issue.

All it takes is a spoiler, who is willing to drag out all the crap used against her during the general election (like her response during the Katie Curic interviews, or what nations make up NATFA, or her wardrobe, or...) and you have a sliver of hope for the lone Democrat.

What can I say? I'm a dreamer. :)