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Blog Buzz: Lieberman, earmarks and Bristol

A few names are surfacing in the blogosphere today on some wide-ranging topics: will Joe Lieberman go red? Was Jon Kyl's home-state project request an earmark? Did Bristol Palin's loss on Dancing With the Stars give the lie to a Tea Party conspiracy?

On Sen. Lieberman, the left and right both responded to a Politico item today on his 2012 prospects.

The Connecticut senator and Democratic exile hasn't made up his mind whether to seek a fifth term, Lieberman and those close to him say. But if he does, the GOP ticket appears to offer his best shot at reelection.

Writers on both sides of the spectrum concluded that if he does switch, he should do it soon.

Liberal blog Balloon Juice's John Cole:

Knowing Joe, he would not be content to switch to the GOP without a grand pronouncement that the party left him, so if he does switch, it will probably be early next year, and he will just cherry-pick some issue that he knows the Democrats are going to win on, whine about it, and then announce that he can in good conscience no longer remain a Democrat. The only question is what the issue will be…

Conservative blogger Jim Geraghty at NRO:

Would Connecticut Republicans even want another six years of Joe Lieberman? They may have embraced him in 2006 against vehemently antiwar Democrat Ned Lamont when their own nominee was a long-shot also-ran, but that was a stimulus, a TARP, and an Obamacare ago. Republicans are in a different mood now, and the issue matrix motivating the public has changed.

Considering how many were willing to embrace Linda McMahon, how many of Connecticut’s GOP primary voters would prefer a genuine Republican, and urge Lieberman to hang up his hat after a long and distinguished career? (Lieberman is 68.)

If Lieberman is going to switch parties, probably better to do it sooner rather than later.

On news that Jon Kyl received $200 million to settle an Indian tribe's water rights claim against the government, Liberal bloggers like Daily Kos' Susan Gardner expressed mock surprise that the much-touted conservative earmark ban is already showing cracks.

Prediction: The next two years are going to see endless disputations about what the word "earmark" means. It's going to look like a convention for the Oxford Freakin' Dictionary in Republican congressional press offices, and it's all going to be staged in order to convince the Tea Party gang that no, really, this particular goodie brought back home is most definitely NOT a dreaded "earmark." It's an … um … "project" or "expenditure" or "investment"….

Both Gardner and the Washington Monthly's Steve Benen point out that the spending would seemingly benefit the state's economy. According to the AP, the project "in Kyl's measure would be used to construct and maintain a drinking water project on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, including a dam, reservoir, treatment plant and delivery pipelines."

But, Benen concluded, that's not the point.

Kyl just threw his support to a sweeping moratorium on earmarks, which apparently didn't quite last a week. And the larger point is that we're likely to see this quite a bit.

And conservative blogs paid lip service - sometimes reluctantly - to the outcome of last night's Dancing With the Stars finale.

Hot Air blogger Allahpundit's post, which he called "Sadly Obligatory," last night (before the results came in):

I don’t want to post it, I have to post it. For three reasons: (1) After multiple HA items about the idiotic excesses of anti-Bristol sentiment, you deserve closure; (2) the prospect of war on the Korean peninsula is attracting a few dozen comments per post while the prospect of war among DWTS voters is attracting a few hundred, in which case let’s go where the traffic action is; (3) the possibility of Bristol winning and ushering in some sort of media/liberal rage apocalypse is real, and therefore newsworthy. Anything could happen if she pulls it off — Twitter crash, major metropolitan riots, maybe even an impromptu White House presser in which The One calls for calm and proposes a beer summit between Bristol and Jennifer Grey.

And NRO blogger Katrina Trinko led her post with this headline - giving voice to rumors that Tea Bag/Sarah Palin supporters were voting in droves to keep Bristol in the competition: "Rightwing Conspiracy Fails to Give Bristol DWTS Win."