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The Democrats and Lieberman
What to do with an ally who backed McCain over Obama
D

ealing with Joe Lieberman will be "tricky," said Michael Tomasky in Britain's The Guardian. The former Democrat, who was Al Gore's running mate in 2000, "crossed a line you don't cross in politics," without repurcussions, when he endorsed Republican John McCain. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid is considering stripping Lieberman of his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship—"can you blame him?"

In a word, yes, said the New York Post in an editorial. Expelling Lieberman—who still votes with Democrats on everything except the war on terror—"would be an act of mean-spiritedness that runs sharply counter to the kind of bipartisanship upon which Obama campaigned." And it was Lieberman's vote that gave Democrats their razor-thin majority for the last two years, so dumping him now "would be a tad ungracious."

No, said Jane Hamsher in The Daily Beast, it was ungracious for Lieberman to deliver a "sanctimonious rebuke" of Bill Clinton on the Senate floor. It was ungracious for him to promise not to attack the Democratic ticket, then "deride Obama" at the Republican convention as unqualified to be president. It's common sense to strip a guy like that of the subpoena power that comes with chairmanship, so he can't use it to be "a thorn in Obama's side for the next four years."

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