Despite the historically obstructionist Republican minority, control of the Senate is still vital. This hit me when I realized that climate change denying dipstick James Inhofe is poised to regain his chairmanship of the Environment Committee and McCain is all ready to bomb Iran from the head of the Armed Services Committee.
When the Republicans were in charge of the agenda in the Senate, they weren't just obstructionists. Granted, they were mostly rubber stamps for the horrendous policies of the Bush administration, but they were thoroughly pleased to do all they could roll back environmental, labor, and consumer protections at every turn.
Here's the thing: If the Republicans gain control of the Senate now, it will be worse. While the Democrats have failed to rein in the filibuster because of respect for comity and tradition, the Republicans have already dropped comity in the crapper through their obstructive abuse. In fact, the last time the GOP were in charge they threatened to blow up the filibuster with the nuclear option and that was just for court appointments. The Democrats can count on having as much effect on a Republican majority's actions as they currently have in the House- none whatsoever.
What would a Republican majority with the brakes off look like? How about Chuck Grassley chairing the Judiciary Committee? How about Pat Roberts setting the agenda on food stamps?
The scary thing is the number of ranking committee members that have already announced retirements or been primaried. The shakeup to replace Lugar, Hatch, Hutchison, and Snowe is not going to be pretty. If the Republicans regain the Senate, it will be because of some incoming frothing Tea Party nutters. At the very least, McConnell (assuming he isn't deposed for somebody more conservative) will be looking to guys like DeMint and Coburn for important spots on Commerce, Foreign Relations, and Finance.
We need to re-elect Obama. It would be nice to regain control of the House. It would be a nightmare to lose the Senate. Either enabling a Romney administration or obstructing an Obama administration, the Senate could make the viciousness since 2010 look mild.
However the election goes, I do have one unadulterated joy.
Joe Lieberman will no longer be a United States Senator