The Senate is made up of 100 Senators, two from each state.
Yes, there are only 49 Republican Senators left in office after the 2006 mid-term election but there are also only 49 Democrat Senators as well.
Two Senators are what is known as "Independent." What that means is that these two Senators do not belong to the Republican or Democrat party.
Joe Lieberman, who was a Democrat in the past, chose to run as an independent after losing his parties primary to a man on his Left: Ned Lamont. Knowing that the voters of Connecticut would much rather vote for him than Lamont he dropped out of the Democrat party and ran as an Independent.
One thing needs to be understood about Connecticut, there are far more registered Independents in the state then registered Republicans or Democrats. It's also true that the primary was held during prime vacation time and only the most loyal party types would be there to vote. So Lamont, running solely on the Iraq issue, beat Lieberman at the primary.
Shortly after Lieberman announced his desire to run as an Independent some folks went so far as to request he be removed from the roles of registered Democrats!
Bernie Sanders of Vermont is our other Independent. He took over the seat left by "Jumping" Jim Jeffords, the man who torpedoed a Republican majority in the Senate a few years back by "jumping" out of the Republican party and becoming an Independent.
Yes, Senator Sanders is to the left of even the Democrats, but he is not one of them.
For the media to be fair they should report this situation exactly as it is, a "coalition" between Democrats and Independents have control of the Senate.
Yeah, some folks will say, "you're just being a pain 'cause your party lost," but they would not be correct. I'm just one of those people that calls a shovel a shovel, not a "hand-powered soil displacement device."
All it would take is one of those two Independents to get angry and leave to join the Republicans. When there is a tie in the Senate the Vice President gets to have a vote to break that tie.
Either way, I feel good things will begin to happen now that the Senate is in the hands of the Democrats. Why on November 9th USA Today posted an interesting article on how much better life is in Afghanistan! Wow, not even on the job for a full day and the world is a better place! Highlights include:
77% said they were satisfied with the way democracy is working in Afghanistan.
87% said they trusted the Afghan National Army.
86% said they trusted the Afghan National Police.
I can't wait to start reading the news out of Iraq next week! Will we hear the same thing?
Probably not right away, but I do predict that with the Democrats in control of the legislature we will be hearing news reports showing a safer Iraq that no longer needs our troops. We may start reading the reports of schools, hospitals and roads being built and less about them being destroyed.
Perhaps I am just a cynic, only time will tell.
-- Danny Mc Guire