Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Lieberman Dilemma

I have to admit that I don't really get the whole Lieberman thing. It just doesn't make sense to me from two perspectives. I don't get why he would want to stay in the Democratic caucus and I don't get why the other Democrats would want to let him. Yet, according to CNN's sources, that seems to be what's happening.

First, for Lieberman. He spent the last however many months vigorously campaigning for the Republican presidential candidate. This wasn't an issue of a non-endorsement of Obama. He was out there actively working to elect the other guy. To his credit (or not), I think that Lieberman was doing that because he thought it was the right thing to do. I mean, the signs were pretty clear that the Republicans weren't going to win back a majority of the Senate so it's not like he was seeking out their favor so he could keep his committee posts. He was campaigning for McCain because he honestly thought the Republican nominee would be better than the Democratic nominee. Usually that's a pretty good sign that you're a Republican. So why does he want to stay with the Democrats?

And why would the Democrats want to keep him? Here's a guy who they nominated to be vice president eight years ago now running around campaigning for the other side. I get that you don't want to punish someone for acting in their conscience, but is it really punishment to suggest that someone join the party they should probably belong to? Obama has said that he wants to work with both sides of the aisle. This would be a great opportunity. He can work with Lieberman on the other side of the aisle. Everyone wins. Except Lieberman, that is, who would lose his committee chairmanships. But you've got to figure that's what happens when you lose the election.

I don't think the Democratic caucus should punish people for acting their conscience. I just don't think they should reward party rebellion either.

1 comment:

Jeremy said...

At first, when thinking about Liberman, I want to banish him from the caucus. However, President-Elect Obama has campaigned for the last 21 months for Americans to rise above the politics of the past. I think this is a moment where President-Elect Obama showed that new political leadership that he has promised.

Jeremy J. Ly
Chicago '06

jeremyjly@gmail.com