What Next; Lieberman Edition

One of the undercurrents of this election was Joe Lieberman’s future. Democrats are livid overhis speech at the RNC, and for his attacks on Barack Obama on the campaign trail, and what blood, or at least his committee chairmanship. On the other hand, every vote counts, and Lieberman has a well known penchant for pique. So while he has long been a supporter of universal healthcare, cap-and-trade, labor rights, and other important issues to progressives, punitive measures could cause him to reverse those positions out of spite. So the dilemna for Harry Reid and Senate Democrats is how best to manage these competing scenarios.

My suggestion is pretty simple, good old fashioned blackmail. As long as there’s something in it for Democrats, thereshould be something in it for Joe, and vice versa. What Reid should make clear is that Lieberman can keep his chair, so long as he remains a reliable vote forthe Democratic agenda, at least in cloture votes, he can retain his chairmanship. If he goes off the reservation, and is no longer an asset to Democrats, then there’s no reason Democrats should keep him.

So Joe can decide how important his position is to him.

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