A Few Consequences of the Jeffords Switch

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  • Cheney Can Chill: The Vice President won't have to stay in town to break all those ties in a 50-50 Senate. Less time in the Senate dining room means healthier eating too. Downside: Fewer trips to the Hill means less exercise.

  • Changing the Tone: With Jeffords jumping and Ashcroft over at the Justice Department, the "Singing Senators" can finally be declared dead. What might be greeted with much rejoicing in elite music departments is a real blow to Republican clubs and Shriners everywhere who are now scrambling for replacement acts. But the passing of the a cappella group that also included GOP Senators Trent Lott and Larry Craig offers huge upside potential for Orrin Hatch: The Utah Senator was never invited into the quartet, but his dreamy spiritual hymns can now fill the vacuum of the post S-Squared age.

  • Quirky Vermont Independent Legislator Caucus Doubles in Size: Congressman Bernie Sanders no longer has to serve as recording secretary, treasurer, president and vice president. Jeffords initiation hazing will probably be light, consisting mostly of the public recitation of notable events in the history of maple syrup production.

  • Give 'em Zell: a rash of babies born to Republicans in wake of Jeffords' decision are named Zell in a cheap attempt to lure Georgia Democrat Zell Miller over to the GOP. The clumsy effort will backfire in 2019 as the "Zell vote" consistently goes Democratic in an effort to balm years of psychological damage caused from being stuck with such a name.

  • Same Whine, New Bottle: New Gingrich now has competition for title of "Politician Who has Made the Most Impetuous Move after a Perceived Snub." The former Speaker said he'd shut down the government after getting a bad seat on Air Force One. Jeffords changed the power structure of the Senate because he wasn't invited to a teacher of the year ceremony.

  • Schumer Pads: Protective gear has been ordered for new majority leader Tom Daschle to protect him from New York Senator Chuck Schumer. More opportunities in front of the camera as the new majority leader means bumps and bruises from Schumer, whose rapacious appetite for the cameras can mean contusions for anyone standing in the way.