The Fate of American Government Could Rest in Joe Lieberman's Annoying Hands

While Democrats seem likely to lose the House this November, the race for Senate control is close as the dickens. What if it splits 50-50? Joe Biden's tie-breaking vote would preserve Democratic control — until Joe Lieberman joins the GOP!

Lieberman, who would have a tough time winning reelection without complete support from right-leaning independents and at least tacit support from Republicans, may just find it easier to join the GOP and position himself as a moderate Republican for a 2012 primary.

But more importantly, Joe Lieberman would get lots of attention by publicly weighing his options before reaching a decision. Joe Lieberman, in his permanent quest to feel "relevant," has never — not once in his life — turned down an opportunity to milk political leverage for attention and irritate basically everyone. So it's not unreasonable to think that he'd spend a month or two negotiating with Republicans until they finally offer him the chairmanships of every committee, $100 trillion, and a crown, and he reluctantly accepts.

And if he did stay with the Democratic caucus in a 50-50 scenario, Lieberman would still be well-positioned to demand fealty at every turn. From The Hill:

If Lieberman decides to stay in the Democratic caucus next year, he could become one of the most powerful swing votes in the Senate.

"Lieberman and [Nebraska Sen. Ben] Nelson would definitely be the most pivotal" in a closely divided Senate, Ladewig said. "It could come up pretty heavily after [the election]."

It's 2010. What cruel universe still allows Joe Lieberman to hold all the cards during every political impasse?