Wednesday, November 19, 2008

One more Democrat in the Senate

Convicted felon Ted Stevens lost his Senate seat. Mark Begich was declared the winner yesterday. Not all ballots have been counted but Begich is greater than the number of ballots that remain to be counted. Read more here in the Post.

I guess my first question is why it took so long to get the results. But I guess this is democracy at work. The story notes that:

The Democrat's lead thus far -- 47.8 percent to 46.6 percent -- puts him beyond the margin of victory that would allow Stevens to call for a state-funded recount of the ballots.
The Republicans caucused yesterday but decided against any comments on Stevens. One Republican wanted Stevens expelled from the caucus. It seems they were aware of the event going on in Alaska with the count and decided to let matters take there own course rather than taking any action on their own. Seems rather typical for Republicans lately.

As for the Democrats they decided to make nice with Trader Joe Lieberman. Obama had said that the Democratic Caucus should not strip Lieberman of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. It does seem that if the Dems are going to carry out the notion of bipartisanship they should begin at home. Punishing Lieberman although it would make many members feel good would be completely counter productive.

With this win, it means the Democrats now have 58 seats in the Senate and inch closer to the 60 need to end any filibuster. I think this is very much a careful what you wish for. I think it would be much better if the Democrats did not get to 60. Just because they have the 60 votes doesn’t mean they will get those 60 votes all the time. Also if they do reach 60, there’s no way they can blame the Republicans if important legislation is not passed.

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