One of the interesting secondary plotlines playing out in Washington is the fate of Joe Lieberman. After his vocal support for John McCain, will Lieberman be allowed to stay in the Democratic caucus? Does he want to?
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said, he wants Lieberman to stay in the partyâ€™s caucus but that decision is ultimately up to the party itself. Reports are that, if Lieberman stays, he will be stripped of his powerful chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and given Veteran Affairs instead. Liebermanâ€™s people have labeled such a proposal â€œunacceptable.â€
Unfortunately for Lieberman, he doesnâ€™t have a lot of bargaining chips. This is politics and, if you choose to speak at the opposition partyâ€™s convention, it doesnâ€™t matter if you were your partyâ€™s vice-presidential nominee eight years ago. Youâ€™re going to suffer consequences. I respect Lieberman for sticking with his conscience and going with the man he thought best for the job. In a perfect world, politicians wouldnâ€™t be beholden to party. But we donâ€™t live in a perfect world and Lieberman knew full well his actions would anger his party.
At this point, he either remains with the Democrats but has to accept less authority or he caucuses with the Republicans and has to deal with not only being in the minority but being that partyâ€™s most liberal caucus member who will undoubtedly infuriate Republican operatives on numerous occasions.
Yes, itâ€™s hard out here for an independent. But once you choose to play the game, you have to deal with the consequences.