18 November 2008

Senator Stevens and Filibusters

Senator Ted Stevens showed up at the Senate today (which kind of surprises me, what with being a convicted felon and all, but I suppose the man has to see his term through to the end. At least until he heads to the hoosgow). There’s no word if he wore his Incredible Hulk tie or not.

Today is Stevens’ birthday, and the Senate decided to postpone a hearing on whether to expel him from the GOP caucus, but it’s only postponed for a few days and, according to Jim DeMint (R-SC), “it's clear there are sufficient votes to pass the resolution" (MSNBC).

Right now, it looks as though Stevens won’t be returning to the Senate. Although ballot counting continues in Alaska, Stevens’s Democratic opponent, Mark Begich, is leading by some 2,000 votes.

Alaskan officials anticipate that all votes will be counted between 5 and 6 PDT today.

If Begich wins, that puts Democrats dangerously close to the filibuster-proof number of 60-seat majority (they’re at 57 right now). And with Lieberman (I-CT) having saved his Homeland Security chairmanship today, we might expect that he’ll continue to caucus with the Dems. Add to this Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and, well, that looks like 60 to me. Truthfully, I'm not so sure this is a good thing. I'm suspicious of one-party rule (really--how ofen does it turn out well?).

Even so, I'd love to see Al Franken win in Minnesota (although it seems unlikely).

Update: Stevens has lost his bid for re-election.

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