Joe Lieberman has been disloyal to the party he caucuses with, to the point of campaigning for the other guy in the presidential race, speaking at the GOP convention, and bashing their nominee.
Because of this, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vigorously shook his finger at him, and wants to give him the chair of Veterans Affairs instead of Homeland Security. Brutal!
This chairmanship of what is apparently a minor league committee isn’t nearly grand enough for our Joe, so now he’s threatening to go join the Republican caucus, where he can then be chair of absolutely nothing. Makes sense.
It would actually be nuts for him to officially join the GOP caucus. Right now, he doesn’t break any ties. He’d be just another Republican, and the Democrats would drop from 57 seats to 56 (or however many they end up finally getting, a few elections are still outstanding). Worse, he’d have to line up behind all the other Republicans for committee spots, and, yes, he’d lose all hope of ever being chair of anything, ever again. Lastly, he’d lose the only power card he has left to play. Right now, people are catering to him because they don’t want him to bolt. If he does bolt… what happens to him then?
And yet, there’s a certain logic to it all. Lieberman must know that, barring appointment as Ambassador to Paraguay by the Obama Administration, that this is the end of his political career. It seems almost impossible for him to be re-elected in 2012, since there’s sure to be a raft of Democrats who would be more than willing to take him on–especially if Dodd stays put in 2010. These facts won’t change if he joins the GOP caucus. He’ll just have thumbed his nose at the people who he believes have treated him incredibly unfairly, and he’ll be making another stand on principle.
What was the principle again? Iraq? …Is there actually anything else he agrees with the GOP on? Oh, well, I’m sure that doesn’t matter.
In any case, be sure to tune in a few weeks from now as the Democratic caucus gets together to decide what to do with Joe Lieberman. I’m wondering just how long he’ll be able to drag this out.