I have to clear the air about something that's been bugging me lately. The Democrats and their pals in the media are saying about the makeup of the Senate (And I'm not talking about the makeup being used to make Robert Byrd look like a living human being, either!) that Democrats hold a majority in the Senate. After Election Day, the Democrats had won 49 seats, Republicans had won 49 seats, and 2 Independents (Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Joe Lieberman of Connecticut) had won seats. Sanders is an avowed socialist, so more than likely he'd vote with the Democrats. And Lieberman tends to vote Democrat 90% of the time, so it's easy to think the Democrats have 51 seats.
Let me make this perfectly clear: Independents are NOT Democrats by default
But I can understand why the Democrats and the media are acting like they have 51 votes. It's to rub it in the face of Republicans and give the American people the impression that they're in control of Congress. The fact is they're not. They are going to have a hard time governing to keep their base happy because not everyone with a D behind their names is a Nancy Pelosi clone. Let's not forget many Democrats who won did so by appealing to the moderate to conservative voters. Now that they're in office, those voters are going to be expecting the people they voted into office to act on their promises.
With the Senate, Joe Lieberman won't vote straight ticket Democrat because he sees his former party as going in the wrong direction on many issues. Plus, there's that whole kicking him out of the party and labeling him everything from a traitor to a Republican to contend with... Anyway, the 49-49-2 split gives Lieberman the ability to make or break a Democrat proposal in the Senate. After all, when there is a 50-50 tie in the Senate, guess who gets the tie-breaking vote.
That's right. Vice President Dick Cheney.
Kinda takes the blush away from the Democrats' "victory" in the Senate race, doesn't it?