Traitor Joe’s special

I and many others came around on Hillary Clinton, because she and her husband came around at the Democratic National Convention, delivering two knockout speeches. I won’t hold my breath for Joe Lieberman to do the equivalent in the wake of his reaffirmation by the Senate Democrats to keep his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship — from what I’ve read, he’s been defiant and not quite apologetic, somewhat snarky (Washington Monthly via the NY Times), and bullying, not-so-subtly threatening to run to the Republicans if his chair was taken from him.

But Howard Dean makes a good point at FiveThirtyEight.com (via The Daily Politics):

“If you get a mandate for reconciliation … is your first act going to be to kick him [Lieberman] to the curb?”, Dean said. “If you’re in my generation you say, ‘yeah, damn right we should.'”

But, Dean claimed, the younger generation’s tone and strategies are different. “The younger generation’s message is, let’s put aside something that we can’t agree on and do something about the things that we can agree on.”

I’ll admit, booting Lieberman was potentially dangerous. For all the platitudes of this being a “New Day” with Obama’s election, expelling Lieberman could have been read as the same old partisan politics (though the mob-mentality in me really wanted to see it happen anyway).

And by keeping Lieberman, you can still appeal to the center and part of the Right, while only temporarily pissing off the Left (what, are we going to abandon the Democrats now, two weeks after the election?).

Or perhaps it’s what one Talking Points Memo commenter said, quoting The Godfather Part II (and others, of course): “Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.”

Still, and damn the seniority traditions and rules, but how does Traitor Joe Lieberman maintain a committee chairmanship and Hillary not have any (this discussion of Secretary of State aside)?

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