Yes, the Democrats lost their mythic 60 vote plurality in the US Senate on Tuesday when Scott Brown, a Republican, defeated his Democratic opponent, Martha Coakley, rather easily. Maybe even before the election results were known, Democrats started the blame game on “who lost the sixty vote majority.”
Of course, fingers were pointed at the White House, the Democratic candidate, and any other moving object with the label Democrat on it.
Yet, I’m of the opinion that this is a good thing for the Democrats inasmuch as they can now throw Senator Joe Lieberman, so-called Independent from Connecticut, out of the Democratic caucus and strip him of his prized, but little used, Homeland Security Committee chairmanship. Senator Lieberman almost single handedly stopped Health Care Reform legislation in its tracks. (Ben Nelson, Evan Bayh, Mary Landrieux, and Blanche Lincoln didn’t help much either.) But, the biggest obstacle was Joe Lieberman only because he could be the biggest obstacle when he was thrust into the role of “king maker” being the 60th Democrat (DINO – Democrat in name only).
The Democrats now have a more manageable 55 or 56 majority in the Senate. Now they can push back without fear of “losing” the mythical or magical 60 votes. They can play the parliamentary game of a large plurality without having to beg Joe Lieberman to stay with the party plans and agendas. Recent history, pre-2006, showed how the Republicans and George W. Bush got their agendas passed with only 52 or 53 Senators.
It’s time for the Democrats to pull out that play book and tell Joe Lieberman to take a hike because they don’t need him any more.