I don’t buy the necessity of Democrats having a 60 vote margin in the Senate. It certainly wasn’t necessary for Republicans to thwart filibusters when they had a smaller majority than Democrats have today. The agreement between “moderate” Republicans and conservative Democrats made in order to prevent filibusters when Republicans held a narrow majority in the Senate should be considered a contract and the obligation of the Republicans who signed on to it kicks in now. They can't support a Republican filibuster without exposing themselves as hypocrites and their Democratic allies in that contract have to hold them to it.
They can point to his year's election having turned out the last “moderate” Republican house member from New England. That should be a constant reminder to Senators Snowe, Collins and Gregg of who puts them in office and that Obama won all of New England so he could change things. The stand they took when the reactionary Frist was in charge of the Senate has to be brought up now so they can't forget it. Then they were against filibusters to put some of the most putridly reactionary federal judges in place. And they aren’t alone in the hypocritical blather that put some of the worse of conservative judicial activists on the bench. I think that kind of “principle” is useful only to show how unprincipled a lot of principle is.
It’s time to tell the “moderate” Republicans that their choice is to follow Chris Shays into forced retirement or to “moderate” their standing with regard to the worst of Republican duplicity and obstruction. Snowe and Collins are too conservative for the state of Maine, Gregg is likely too conservative for the New New Hampshire. Their party is lurching ever farther to the right, they’re either going to have to distance themselves from their party or they’ll go down too. They can certainly be embarrassed and exposed as hypocrites clinging to the practices of the dead end of the Bush regime, their political future can be made much more difficult for them.
Lieberman has got to be kicked out of his chairmanship, his kind of treason has to be punished as a warning to himself and others. Most of the people I’ve read on the subject expect that’s what is going to happen, I think throwing him out of the caucus is probably essential as well. There is no reason for Democrats to suffer his backstabbing and duplicity now that he isn't needed. Throwing him out could also make him far less useful to the corporate media since they can't claim that he is what he hasn't been in years, a dissenting Democrat. The TV time his hypocrisy gets him seems to be what he lives for, it's got nothing to do with principle.
If his constituents want to try to harness their conceited "independent" Senator and get him to work for them instead of promoting his media career, that's their job.