A guest post by Sam Adams
(the following is a response to the comments listed under my original post)
Stefan makes the most substantive points and I'd like to address them. He asks what's special about Joe Lieberman. I'd answer: in and of himself nothing more then any of the other 99 Senators. If you look at the Senate rules (as opposed to those in the House of Representatives) Senators have a tremendous amount of power, even
acting alone. There are many possible scenarios where the Congressional Democratic leadership and/or the Obama administration would benefit from extra support. The point is to build bridges, not burn them.
And as I wrote, while you might despise Lieberman, and some commentators here clearly do, there are some - I think many - that admire and support him. So-called 'Lieberman Democrats.' They were driven to the sidelines of the party over foreign policy concerns but that argument is over. Why spit out a group over a moot issue? It may make the Democratic majority feel good but it'll also hurt them when the national mood shifts, as it inevitably will. Obama has already shown his ability to be cool under fire, and being dispassionate about what's in his own benefit (as well as for the benefit of his agenda) can only help him.
Stefan also asks how campaigning against one's own party is an 'invisible line.' My response is that the Democratic basis for Lieberman's removal from his chairmanship as publicly stated is not his support for a Republican administration but because of his public slighting of Obama. In other words had he not bashed Obama but lauded McCain and had McCain won the election, the Democratic position supposedly is that they'd not punish Lieberman (right). Even though in that scenario for all intents he campaigned (successfully)against his own party, and conceivably cost them the executive branch.
Rather then focus on an irrelevant line ... irrelevant because the Democratic Party also uses negative advertising such that it can't claim clean hands on the matter, and because no one faulted Powell for bashing McCain ... focus on self-interest. This 'reason' of the Democrats is nothing more then the victors interpreting history or a pretext. Again, hurt feelings are irrelevant.
Raymond MacDonald feels Lieberman is a lair and a con man for not reflexively backing the Democratic Party. To that I say, Congress is essentially the Board of Directors of the United States and no person should want an unthinking individual in that office overseeing the enormous issues facing our country. Lieberman is a Democrat because, other then Iraq, he votes as a Democrat and thinks as a Democrat. To him though that and certain related issues were significant enough issues to back McCain. But an old election is moot.
Mr. Mephistopheles does not trust Lieberman for various reasons that to me seem petty or forced. I respond that trust or lack thereof is irrelevant. Lieberman is in office for 4 more years at least and its best - for Democratic purposes - to work with him. Making it in Lieberman's interest to stay loyal from here on out is good politics. I would presume that Lieberman is not blind to his status amongst his
Democratic Senatorial peers and a kind hand to lift him up is classy
and not only good politics.