With the possibility that Democrats might soon gain a filibuster proof majority in the Senate, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) has been openly flirting with thoughts of voting with his conservative colleagues. Last week, ThinkProgress noted that prominent conservatives like Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) said he would welcome Lieberman “with open arms.”
Today, in an interview with right-wing radio host Glenn Beck, Lieberman made clear that he firmly opposes Democrats gaining 60 seats in the Senate, saying that the survival of the country is in doubt if Democrats break the filibuster threshold:
BECK: But do you agree that Senator Hatch said to me that if we don’t at least have the firewall of the filibuster in the Senate that in many ways America will not survive?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I hope it’s not like that, but I fear.
Lieberman also hinted that next session, he would be supportive of conservative efforts to filibuster progressive legislation. Lieberman said that the filibuster is a “key” to stop such “passions of the moment”:
LIEBERMAN: And I think the filibuster is the key. You know, it gets a bad name, but it was really put there, a 60-vote requirement, to, as somebody said to me when I first came to the Senate, stop the passions of a moment among the people of America from sweeping across the Congress, the House, through the Senate, to a like-minded President and having us do things that will change America for a long time. So the filibuster is one of the important protections we have.
Lieberman then left the interview to return to campaigning with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), telling Beck, “I’m real proud of you. I remember you back when.”