I wish I could say that I'm surprised that the Dems decided to keep Lieberman not only in the caucus, but at the head of the Homeland Security Commission, where he's been complicit in malfeasance in New Orleans, Iraq and elsewhere by not investigating any wrong-doing after Katrina, or by Blackwater, or indeed seemingly anything.
But if history has shown us anything, it's that the Democratic Congress and House of Representatives seems to have little to no balls at all. I mean, the Republicans may be the enemy of almost everything I stand for, but Jesus, at least they have the cojones to stand up and fight for what they believe. All too often, the Democrats have just knuckled under, calling it "compromise" and "bi-partisanship."
So in that spirit, let me just ask: What do we, the Democrats, gain by having Lieberman there? Was it so important to keep him in the caucus that they couldn't risk him getting mad and bolting after pulling his chairmanship? Is he so convincing a figure that his vote actually equals a half-dozen votes or more? Does he always bring the best potato salad to the Democratic/Connecticut for Lieberman two-party barbecues?
The talking points against this have been "We shouldn't be seeking revenge, it goes against the message." But this was never about revenge. Sure, some of us (OK, me) who have always disliked Lieberman's censorship happy, pro-Iraq War, right-leaning version of Democratic policy were incensed by his actions during the Presidential election. But... we won. His smears against Obama didn't work, and he was ultimately as helpful to John McCain winning the White House as he was to Al Gore in 2000.
But I've seen lots of arguments that we *shouldn't* strip him of his chairmanship, that we shouldn't kick him out of the caucus... can anyone tell me why? What exactly does he bring to the table? Is it just a matter of "We're showing that we can be the bigger person?," which is childish and naive political policy? Is "Because Joe might get mad at us?" really enough to make the Dems back down? And if so, just what is it going to take for Senate and House Dems to grow a pair? I don't want a replay of the last 8 years, where the Republicans controlled all three branches of government and still complained about being the minority party. The Dems won. They've got Executive and Legislative Branches all but sewn up. But if they're going to act like the Republicans and their allies (which Lieberman is, let's be honest) are still calling the shots, then what was the point of the election?