Thursday, November 19, 2009

Leiberman Redux

Quick thought: Reid's payoff for having Lieberman in the party is n(v)-c where:
n= frequency he votes with the party from 0 to 1
v= value of Lieberman's votes
c= opportunity cost of giving the Homeland Security committee chairmanship to someone else.

As the Democrats approach 60, v increases. At the same time c might be rather small because it is good for the Democrats to have a hawk chairing HS. If v is high and c is low, n can dip and Lieberman will keep his chairmanship.*

I was wrong. He's not nuts. And he gets money from the insurance industry.

* We had a separate argument in the department about the utility Lieberman reaps by keeping his chairmanship. I don't think he needs it as much as others do, and even if he did, he seems to benefit by signaling that he will defect.

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