Chris Cillizza reports:

Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman (I) will not seek a fifth term in 2012, according to two Democratic sources familiar with the decision.

Lieberman’s office did not offer any comment on his plans, saying only that he would make an announcement tomorrow in Stamford, Conn. “The Senator’s remarks tomorrow will stand on their own,” said a Lieberman spokeswoman.

It seems the niche for centrist Jewish lawmakers from the Northeast has been eliminated with the loss of Arlen Specter and Joe Lieberman. I can’t say they will be especially missed, but they have served a purpose, mainly as bridge-builders to the other side. It was not their religion but their lack of fidelity to their respective party’s ideology that made them unacceptable candidates and ended their careers. In 2006, the Democratic voter finally got serious about purging warmongers from their party. In 2010, the Republican voter got serious about purging their party of anyone who wasn’t on board with the Party of No Strategy. Their next target will be the immensely popular Dick Lugar (and, perhaps, the equally popular Olympia Snowe). If they are successful, they’ll be almost no roads remaining from the right of the Senate back to the left. The same worry cannot be said to exist in reverse. There are no shortage of Democrats who are willing to work with Republicans, and if we are successful in the 2012 Senate elections, there will be several more roads from left to right.

It’s a structural problem, and I have no solution for it. I don’t even have a proposal.

I will not miss Lieberman. But I will enjoy it very much if we can elect a progressive replacement for him. I am tired of living in a country where bipartisanship always means the Democrats are the ones to extend the hand of compromise. One more seat from Connecticut will be a step in the right direction.

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