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Friday, December 24, 2010

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Lisa?

She's "going rogue."  She's broken Mitch McConnell's "iron grip" on his caucus.  In the lame duck, she was Obama's best friend.

She was permitted to keep her committee assignments and seniority when she lost the Republican primary and ran in the general election as an independent, in exchange for her promise to continue caucusing with Republicans.

She has said she will caucus with Republicans in the next Congress.

So what to do about a problem like Lisa Murkowski?

We don't need her vote to maintain a filibuster.  That is the beauty of 47 versus 41. 

Going rogue doesn't work anymore, because a rogue vote doesn't help either party meet a benchmark.  While I'm sure the Democrats would welcome her in, they don't really need her.

Lisa Murkowski is no Joe Lieberman.  Her vote really doesn't get anyone anywhere now.

Is it better to keep her on board the Republican caucus with her seniority or committee assignments intact, so that she has an incentive to vote with the caucus most of the time?  Or make her put her rogue where her vote has been, and set her free?  Or some combination, in the caucus but without seniority or plum committee assignments (which means she'll probably leave)?

What do you say? 

Poll open through Sunday, December 26.

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  1. I say freeze her out totally. Rather than supporting the Republican that the people elected fairly in the primary, she threw a giant hissy fit and whined until she got what she wanted. She's simply a RINO, no better then Grahamnesty or McCain, and her shameful behavior doesn't warrant any committee assignments whatsoever.

    Course all of that's just wishful thinking. I'm sure the Republican "leadership" just about nutted in their pants and ran out of the room screaming when they heard she'd continue to caucus with them.

  2. No, LM is no Joe Lieberman. As much as I may disagree with Lieberman on any number of issues, I do get the sense that he is motivated by a sense of fairness and principles. LM? She's motivated by spite and pettiness. Loathe her.

  3. You are making an iffy assumption that all members of the Gangs of McCain are known. They always seem to assemble just enough votes to defeat conservative efforts to defeat landmark liberal legislation. All this means is that the Gang needs more members to expose themselves.

    It's all part of the kabuki we know as the Senate. We saw how far that "pledge" got us. It had a shorter shelf life than all those promises that Obama makes. The entire Republican party is suspect, even our new "Tea Party" candidates. Tough talk is not the same as fighting. So far, they have been all talk followed by squish.

  4. Here's a question related to START treaty. The Russian Duma just tabled ratification until January 11 which can be taken as an insult to Obama. You would think that they would ratify this treaty ASAP before we change our minds with a new Congress that might not have ratified it. Can the new Congress withdraw the previous Congress's ratification?

    It is important to recognize that but for us Tea Partiers "melting the phones", the GOP would have approved ALL of Obama's bills in the lame duck Congress. MOST of these Republicans are coming back. Given the unknowns about the true breadth of the Gangs Of McCain, is it wise to assume that we have made any progress at all?

    Put me in the "highly skeptical" category. I just don't trust politicians. Any politicians.

  5. She is not loyal to the Republican Party or the Republicans in Alaska who elected another candidate to represent them. She did not win her seat as a Republican.

    The Republican Party owes her nothing. I say she deserves to get the boot.

  6. Tell her that she'll have her committee assignments stripped in four years if he's not a good girl. Leave the axe hanging over her head.

    Then do it anyway in four years.

  7. How do you solve a problem like Murkowski ... scans better with the tune. Sadly the solution used by the Mother Superior just won't work here.

  8. This is why it's not enough to vote for people who are "electable." What good would a thin majority have done with people like her around? I'd rather have a slight minority with strong conservatives than a majority-in-name-only.

  9. Sigh.

    I know this is in the minority viewpoint, but as one who used to have to deal with the types of Sen. Murkowski on the state level, it's this simple:

    It's better to have her pissing on the inside of the tent than pissing on the outside of it.

    I know. It stinks. But that's the politics of it.

  10. Since she did not run or win as a Republican, why should she get any goodies as a Republican? Treat her like a freshman.

    When you have enough people pissing inside the tent, the outside gets wet too.

  11. Two commenters on here have said that Murkowski did not run as a Republican, which is not true. She did not win the Republican nomination, so she did not run as the Republican nominee. But when filing write-in papers, she did file as a Republican candidate. Here's a supporting link for those who don't believe me:


    Having said that, she clearly did not act honorably in choosing to mount a write-in campaign. Yes, yes, she had the LEGAL right, but that doesn't mean she was right. I say keep her in the caucus, but monitor her carefully. At the first sign of unacceptable deviance from the party line, strip her assignments. Let her leave on her own, then hammer her as a traitor, and challenge her in the primary at the earliest opportunity. Meanwhile, perhaps the Alaska State Legislature would care to take some time over the next two to four years to close that little loophole which she took advantage of?