With some buzz about Joe Lieberman switching teams, I’ll just state my opinion that he won’t do it. Not necessarily because he’ll be screwing himself in the short and long term, as he’s never been one to avoid taking a losing position. But because it will totally screw him in Connecticut and he’ll never win office there again.
In 2006, he ran as a Democrat that was too mainstream for a Democratic primary. It was the whole Zell Miller thing of him not leaving the Democratic Party, but it leaving him. And it looks like a lot of people bought it, as he was able to pull-in 33% of the Democratic vote; while his Republican adversary could only manage 2%. And while Lieberman clearly benefited from his strong support from Republicans, without whom he couldn’t have won the election; he was much more heavily reliant on the Democrats.
And without a doubt, many Dems and independents would surely avoid him, were he to confirm everything the liberals have been saying about Joe being a Dem in wolf clothing. While he may enjoy his independent status, he clearly needs the Democrat after his name. As things are, I’m sure there are quite a few Connecticutians already feeling burned by Joe’s rightward pull after the election; and a full-on move to the Republican side would surely seal the deal.
Besides, Joe already got 70% of Republican voters in 2006, crushing the actual Republican by a margin of 49%; so there’s no real advantage to him getting the R after his name. Of course, all bets are off if he’s only worried about the presidential race, where he might try for a VP slot. But I don’t see why anyone would have him. His only real function is as the Dem Who Won’t Come Out of the Rain; and he’d lose that were he to switch sides, and be reduced to being no more important than the rest of the bums in the Bush Loyalist Scrapheap. Bush Loyalists are a dime a dozen in the Republican Party, but Joe stays a rarity as long as he has the D after his name.
And in that regard, I certainly hope he does switch sides. That’s assuming that Atrios’ analysis is correct and we wouldn’t lose the Senate. It’d make it easier to beat him in 2012, and get him out of our hair until then. As I said, he’d stop being a Lone Maverick attacking the Dems from the inside, and look like all the other dumb schmucks supporting Bush. So I say, thanks for playing and good riddance, Joe. Unless, of course, we do still need him, and I say thanks for staying and glad you could join the team. What can I say, I’m a whore for Democratic oversight.