>> Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I now admire Joe Lieberman in the way most people admire people who get away with everything bad they ever try. I wish i could escape punishment for half the number of transgressions that Joe Lieberman has made. Really is probably the best politician in washington right now. He can simply do whatever he wants. He fully understood the utter spineless nature of the Senate Dems. He must have realized that Senate Dems punishing Joe is like investment banks voluntarily regulating themselves, not gonna happen. Steve Benen makes a relevant post,
Second, let's pause to appreciate just how smart Lieberman is. In this case, I don't mean that as a compliment. It was inconceivable that if Obama won in a veritable landslide, while the Senate Democratic caucus grew by (at least) six seats, that Lieberman would not only get off scot-free, but would also be in a position to dictate to Democrats, without any leverage at all, which outcomes he found "unacceptable." If someone had predicted this scenario to me a month ago, I could have found it ridiculous. And yet, here we are.
Josh Marshall had a post back in June explaining, even before some of Lieberman's most outrageous conduct, that Lieberman was burning bridges that couldn't be rebuilt. "My assumption is that after the November election, regardless of the outcome of the presidential campaign, Joe will be stripped of his chairmanship," Josh said. I agreed wholeheartedly at the time. It was a no-brainer.
Except, it wasn't. Lieberman knows Senate Democrats better than Democratic voters do. My friend Matt told me via email yesterday, "If Lieberman ends up keeping his gavel on Homeland Security, I think we need to stop for a moment and recognize him as the smartest politician in Washington. He will have correctly made a bet about the fortitude of his Democratic colleagues in the Senate and he will have been right, against all apparent odds."
This is a decision, I suspect, that the caucus will regret in the not-too-distant future. It's predicated on the assumption that Lieberman really is a Democrat at heart.
Watch the dems give back a huge number of seats in 2010. People did not vote to strip lieberman but they voted for a change and part of that change was accountability and a spine. clearly the dems dont appreciate that.