How Harry Reid is about to kill our 60-seat majority

We tend to be big Harry Reid fans here at AMERICAblog.

Today, not so much.

Harry Reid is about to kill any chance Democrats have at getting a 60-seat majority in the Senate. The irony is that Reid is accomplishing this by ensuring that Joe Lieberman stays in the Democratic caucus. How’s that? Conventional wisdom might dictate that you WANT Lieberman in the caucus to help get our numbers ever close to the magical “60,” at which point (and this is quite a leap here) all Democrats will join together in a newfound spirit of love and comity and miraculously vote in unison whenever we need to break a Republican filibuster.

Never gonna happen. And Harry Reid is on the verge of making sure it never does.

Reid has the power to remove Joe Lieberman’s committee chair and/or kick him out of the Democratic caucus. Yes, Lieberman has to be put up to a vote before the full Democratic caucus. But if Reid were a real leader, he could get his way in a snap. No one is going to challenge their leader if he says that he absolutely wants Lieberman out. At least that’s the way it works on the Republican side of the aisle. There, discipline matters. And it shows in how they vote.

But Reid won’t say that. And now we have Durbin and even Obama coming up with reasons to keep Lieberman in the caucus AND to keep him as a committee chair. And what’s more, they’re all trying to spin Lieberman’s crimes as some kind of high school stunt – you know, you stuck a girl’s pigtails in your ink well and, sure, it was a very bad thing to do, but we’re not going to ruin your entire life over a stupid prank, or a youthful indiscretion.

Only problem? Lieberman did far more than a high school prank. And charges against him are far more than a simple “grudge.”

Joe Lieberman, as a member of the Democratic caucus, publicly endorsed and campaigned for the Republican presidential candidate – knowing full well that his status in the Democratic caucus was exactly the reason McCain wanted him (watch Lieberman’s hateful statements about Democrats and Obama here). McCain wanted to inflict maximum damage on Obama using Lieberman, and he did. Lieberman accused Obama of hating the troops. Lieberman accused Obama of being in cahoots with terrorists. Lieberman said that Barack Obama was a “celebrity” who would “compromise our security” as president. Lieberman said that the Democratic party was no longer representative of mainstream America.

That’s not a grudge. It’s political treason.

But Democrats aren’t going to punish Lieberman because Democrats don’t do “mean.” Well, Democrats other than Joe Lieberman. He’s a certifiable ass. But he seems to be the only ass in town. All the other Democrats, Harry Reid included, it now seems, are willing to let anyone walk all over them, and stab them in the back, repeatedly, all the while politely asking for more.

The Democratic cave on Lieberman is about far more than one traitor. It’s about the Democrats’ overall lack of backbone. It’s about, as one swing voter said to me in 2004, if the Democrats aren’t willing to defend themselves how are they going to defend my kids. And the thing is, I’m not sure I have an answer any more. Democrats aren’t willing to defend themselves. A lot of them really don’t have a spine. Don’t like to fight, even when the cause is just. Even when the cause is necessary. You can walk all over them, beat them silly, and they’ll come back for more, with a big stupid grin on their faces.

Kiss the 60 vote majority goodbye. I hate to say it, but it appears that no Democratic Senator has anything to fear from Harry Reid or any other Democratic leader. Do whatever the hell you want, is the message Democrats are sending out today. Join with the Republicans, vote with the Republicans, plot and participate in our downfall with the Republicans, and we’ll welcome you back, no questions asked. Screw us to your heart’s desire and everything will be okay, and then some. There is simply no reason that any Democratic Senator should worry ever again about voting with Harry Reid and their fellow Democrats. It simply doesn’t matter. The Democrats have no spine. You won’t be punished, ever.

It’s a horrifying and saddening thing to admit, but our party, at its core, may actually not have a spine. Our fear of confrontation, our vacillation in the face of obvious truths, is the root of so many failures in the past. I used to always think it a lie when Republicans would say that Democrats are weak on defense. But the truth is, Democrats certainly are weak on defending themselves.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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