The Senate is always described as a "chummy" place, a haven for those most adept at inside baseball. That's sometimes a good thing, like when you need to set aside political differences to implement important policy; and sometimes it's a bad thing, like when you collude to defraud American taxpayers and undermine the Constitution. Either way, the Senate is an exclusive club.
This week will see the club review membership for a couple of outcasts. One is Joe Lieberman, a lapsed Democrat and newly registered Independent who nonetheless still caucuses with his former party and, for the most part, is still voting with them. But he campaigned for Republican candidate John McCain and said some disgraceful things about Democrat Barack Obama. Should he really be allowed to keep his plum committee seats, including his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee? Old Joe has threatened to bolt to the GOP if he loses his chairs but I say good riddance. The Democrats picked up enough seats that it's not imperative they keep him. His stance on Fourth Amendment issues is enough for me to give him the bounce, but Democrats are in a forgiving mood having stomped the Republicans on November 4 and Obama himself has said bygones should be bygones.
Then we have Alaska Republican Ted Stevens. Old Ted was convicted of seven felony counts last month for lying on his financial disclosure forms to conceal more than $250,000 in gifts from in gifts and home renovations from an oil field services company. Some Republicans, surely hurting from an especially tough two election cycles that focused on corruption and incompetence, want to give him the heave ho! But Senate Republicans have decided to wait and see if an ongoing recount will do their dirty work for them.
We'll see if either of them survive but membership clearly has it's privledges.
Today during a press conference with Lieberman and other Democrats, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (NV) claimed that he was "angry" by Lieberman's actions, but said that "we're looking forward, we're not looking back."
Angry, eh? So what?