Josh Marshall at TPM is reporting that President-Elect Obama wants to keep Joe Lieberman in the Senate Democratic Caucus.
I can hear the screaming from Hawaii.
To be honest, I dislike Lieberman as much if not more than most people on this planet. I didn’t like him during the Clinton Impeachment, nor during the 2000 campaign, and since then, he’s done just about everything he could to continue to piss me off. I say kick him out, but it’s not up to me, really.
From the perspective of Obama, it may be hard for him to push for any kind of sanction against Lieberman when he’s calling for a “post-partisan” political climate. Political retribution and “post-partisanship” don’t really go hand in hand.
Further, this could be an example of “keeping your enemies closer”. Lieberman hasn’t demonstrated much government oversight in his role as the chair of the Homeland Security Committee, perhaps Obama thinks this trend will continue if he cuts him some slack.
On the flip side, Lieberman is cutthroat, for all his public posturing as the Senate’s own Droopy Dog. I doubt that Lieberman would feel any sense of loyalty to Obama’s olive branch. I’m sure he wants to kick the butts of the people who are even thinking about putting him out, and that may include Obama, despite any posturing.
So the reality goes like this. Obama has done his part to posture in Lieberman’s favor. “Post-Partisanship” saved. The Democrats would do well to just shut up about this until the new Congress is sworn, lest Lieberman jump ship now allowing all kinds of hell in the Senate. Once the new Congress is sworn in, they can marginalize him all day long, and he can jump ship if he wants to, or get in line and try to redeem himself.
For now, we need to let this one go. We need to have something to be pissed about in January. /snark