As everybody's seen, Sen. Joe Lieberman's antics have escalated pretty dramatically over the last few weeks and appear set to keep escalating over the course of what promises to be a vicious election season. But what happens after November?
At the moment, because of the Democrats' razor thin margin in the senate, Lieberman has it within his power to turn the senate upside down. If Lieberman switched to the Republican caucus, it wouldn't automatically switch the leadership. The parliamentary ins and outs are complicated. But basically the current organization lasts for the whole Congress unless they decide to reorganize. And since the Dems control the body the Dems would have to agree to do that, which seems unlikely. But Republicans would start pushing for it at every turn. And they'd have the precedent of 2001, which is not an exact parallel but close enough.
In any case, after November.
Five months is a long time in politics. But there's a very strong consensus that Democrats will pick up seats in the senate -- the question is how many. But any pick up would take away almost all of Lieberman's remaining leverage, though he might have some thin remaining leverage on cloture. But whatever. Then, if Obama beats McCain, there's also a Democratic president who's really not favorably inclined toward Joe.
So if you're getting more and more pissed at Lieberman's antics, just a wait a few months.