Friday, October 17, 2008

That's Quite An Interesting Thought

The folks over at, one of the best election tracking sites on the internet, made an interesting observation:

The likelihood (according to, my other top recommendation for election tracking) of the Democrats getting 59 Senate seats this year is currently at about 42%. If the Democrats wind up with 59 seats in the Senate, that is only one Senator short of a filibuster-proof majority — an almost unstoppable majority.

[In order to get from 59 to 60, after the election,] President Obama could appoint Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) or Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) to the cabinet, thus demonstrating his bipartisanship and also flipping a seat (the governors of both states are Democrats).
Interesting thought, eh? I wonder if either of those Senators would take that kind of offer, knowing what would happen?

I suppose first off, it is a question of knowing which "ranks higher" in American politics: A position like Treasury Secretary or that of being a senior Senator. Then second, if Treasury Secretary were higher, it would have to be so much more higher and powerful that either of those Senators could be convinced to throw their fellow Republican Senate minority entirely under the bus.

Well, there is currently a 30% chance that the Democrats will win 60 seats outright in this election. Then, the above-mentioned theoretical Obama cabinet appointments might not be necessary... except to finally get rid of Joe Lieberman.


Chief said...

What is wrong with Joe Lieberman? He is one of the few politicians with any integrity and intelligence. I think many people dislike him (daily kos wing nuts hate him with a passion) because he places more emphasis on what he believes is best for the country - not what is best for his political party. Although I am not saying he is right on all the issues.

He is no bootlicking lap dog for his political party - which is one of the things I like about him. I do not respect any politician who thinks "towing the party line" is essential.

I just wish the Republicans had a guy like Lieberman who would stand up to the Republican leadership and bring back the Goldwater conservative movement. We need a Goldwater conservative to stand up against this 2008 New Deal 700 Billion (plus much much more) bailout and the Republican Christian Right.

Glad to see you are back posting. Hope you are enjoying the married life.


Chief said...

I can think of nothing more scary then any political party having the Presidency and a filibuster proof majority in congress. I like the minority party to have at list the filibuster to place the majority in check. Fred Barnes wrote an article about what he feels the Dems would do if that worst case scenario happened.


Chief said...

Did you see the video of Obama talking with Joe the plumber? What the F%^& us up with Obama saying "we need to spread the wealth around"? I believe that is called wealth re-distribution (and Socialism).

Chief said...

Another chilling moment with Obama was when he was talking about the Supreme Court. He was babbling on about how a judge needed to be "fair". Really? Apparently Obama does not know what the Supreme Court looks at when it reviews a case. Jill, I bet you are smarter then Obama and you know what the role of the supreme court is (hint - "fair" has nothing to do with what the court looks for).

He came very close to defining the role of a Judge is to legislate from the bench.

I, along with many people, really want to believe Obama is different and he really is has good has he appears. I really want to believe in Obama. But when he makes comments like this - it scares me.


Jungle Jil said...

Chief, thanks for the well-wishes.

Regarding Joe Lieberman having integrity, there is one perfect screaming example that goes against that: When Joe Lieberman was facing a tough primary against Ned Lamont 2 years ago, Barack Obama backed him... a bunch. When it came time for Joe Lieberman to return the favor, he went straight on to endorse (and, what's more, even campaign for) John McCain.

You might be able to say that he was just "doing what's best for his country", but you certainly can't say that that is anything resembling integrity.

As for the filibuster, I'm inclined to agree. Unfortunately, the Republicans used the filibuster (or threat thereof, actually) more times in the past 2 years than it had been used in the 50 years prior to that. (And, don't forget, it was the Republicans who were the ones who were threatening to get rid of the filibuster (remember "the nuclear option"?) before they lost their majority in 2006.)

I didn't see the actual Joe The Plumber video, but that certainly wasn't the smartest thing for Obama to say: It's one thing to do it ("spreading the wealth around" is obviously what taxes are for, more or less), but it's another thing to say it.

I don't remember the "fair judges" comment, but it seems to me that you are overreacting a bit. After all, the term "fair and impartial" is kind of the leitmotif of the judiciary in our country.

Chief said...

Jungle Jil said...

Good article about what "previously-filisubstered" legislation might be enacted with 60-plus Democrats in the Senate, Chief.

Some of that legislation I most certainly don't support, like the "windfall profit tax". Some of them I would have to have better knowledge of specific details, such as "bar funding for the Iraq war".

I don't support full-throated prescription drug controls, but I do believe that Americans should be able to order their medicine from whatever country on earth they want, as long as it is the same drug they can buy in the United States.

I really don't know a lot about unions, and don't have a fully-formed opinion about them one way or the other, so I can't be certain. But in general, I'm pro-business, and unions most certainly aren't 100% beneficial to business success.

Representation for the District of Columbia seems like a no-brainer to me. Republicans don't like it because it would add more Democrats, but other than that, why not?

The ability to renegotiate mortgage contracts in bankruptcy? Seems fine to me. As long as mortgage lenders aren't forced to accept any old offer they are given, and can negotiate in good faith, it seems like a perfectly good idea.

Eliminating the statute of limitations on workplace discrimination suits doesn't seem like the worst thing in the world. I can certainly see examples where discriminatory actions can take years to come to light, and I don't think that people shouldn't be able to file suit on those.

"Healthcare for all": Today, everybody in America can walk into a hospital and get at least (but usually more than) stabalizing medical treatment for a critical, life-threatening, or acute medical condition, with or without insurance. Might as well try to put some controls and processes in place to handle that. (Additionally, getting people into clinics before they become critical cases saves huge amounts of money.) I'm not saying that "healthcare for all" is the best solution, and obviously some details need to be worked out, but the current situation isn't really that great either.

"The business climate": We do have some harsh decisions to make. We can use our tax dollars to invest in Wall Street's stupid gambles and save ourselves from an economic China Syndrome, or just let it happen. I'd rather not regulate Wall Street, but the bus has already been driven into the ditch. First, it needs to get towed out, and then we can figure out what to do to keep it from winding up there again.

"Taxes will rise substantially": Yup. Damn right they will. Bush and the Republican Congress spent massive amounts of money we didn't have on the Iraq war and tax cuts, and now we have a budget deficit and national debt that needs to be fixed. If anyone has any better ideas on how the federal government can cough up an extra $400 billion every year, other than collecting more taxes, I'd be interested in hearing it.

"The green revolution": You know me.

"Free speech and voting rights": I'd love to see election-day voter registration. In this day and age, voter logs should be networked and put in a database, and those databases should be accessible from polling stations not only to confirm a registration, but to add registrations as well. As for free speech, obviously any loss of free speech is wrong. I obviously would oppose The Fairness Doctrine on talk radio.

"Special interest potpurri": "End of Guantanamo", "net neutrality"? Those are bad? The only specific item I could be against is tort reform, and I don't know all the details of that yet.

Again, thanks for the link.