You know, I'm all for starting a new era in American politics. Post-partisan or whatever. I get it that President-elect Obama wants to "change the tone," and I respect that. Partisanship has gotten out of control ever since the 1994 Republican takeover of Congress. But we still have parties, and theoretically, one joins a party because their political ideals and convictions most closely resemble that party. And the way it works in government (again theoretically) is that the members of a party work together toward achieving certain goals that match with those aforementioned ideals and convictions. In addition, one would join a party not only because of their convictions, but also because they believe the other party has the wrong approach or is just wrong. This all makes sense, right?
Then explain to me the logic of Joe Lieberman. Joe was once a Democrat. He was such a Dem that he even became the vice presidential nominee of the party in the 2000 election. He then ran for president as a Democrat in 2004. But after his primary defeat in '04, Joe decided to follow a different path. He grabbed for dear life to the Bush Administration and the increasingly corrupt Republican Congress. While Democrats were ascending in 2006, and the country was finally seeing the truth about the GOP and Bush, Lieberman grabbed them even tighter. He was so tight with his new friends that Democrats in Lieberman's state of Connecticut selected someone else to be their nominee for the Senate in election.
So, with the support of the Republican party and the strategy of Karl Rove, Lieberman ran as an independent. His campaign was funded largely by Republicans (a fact which angered the official Republican running). Lieberman won. But everywhere else, the Republicans lost. And both houses of Congress would be under Democrat control. So, rather than join his beloved Republican party, Joe decided he'd rather be a Democrat (having the majority has many more perks than the minority). Joe had some sway because his decision to caucus with the Dems helped them claim the majority. Joe took the spoils of victory and got himself the chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.
And as a "Democrat" with the ability to hold oversight hearings into the aforementioned Bush Administration, Joe did his due diligence and upheld his responsibilities as chairman of such an important committee. Oh wait...NO HE DIDN'T. He did not hold a single hearing on the failures of the Bush Administration, and did not exercise an ounce of oversight. He acted like a good Republican and did what he was told.
So, let's jump ahead to 2008 and the presidential elections. Joe the "Democrat" decides to back John McCain for president. He, of course, was the nominee for the Republicans. Joe not only backed McCain, but he campaigned with him for months, made international trips with him and his boyfriend Lindsey Graham, spoke at the Republican National Convention, and harshly criticized Barack Obama (the candidate from "his party"). Joe's guy lost - big time. And so did his adopted new party. Facing a dose of some harsh reality, Joe has now decided that he is a Democrat after all, and wants to remain in the majority and keep his chairmanship. And all of this without admitting he was wrong or apologizing. Pretty loyal, guy, eh?
Despite Lieberman's unwillingness to accept the consequences of his actions, he is now being rewarded by his short-term memory lacking colleagues with the ability to keep his chairmanship and position. I am flabbergasted. How can this guy be trusted? He sells out his party for political gain, and when he loses, he is rewarded. And the Democrats in the Senate somehow believe he can be relied upon to vote the way the party wants? What are they smoking?
Apparently, President-elect Obama himself wanted Lieberman to remain with the Democrats. He is practicing what he preached. Good for him. But Lieberman is a slippery one, and I would not put it past him to finally begin to do some oversight -- of Obama. Once Joe starts in on one of the Republican-style investigations into nothingness, it will be too late to get rid of him. The issue with Lieberman is trustworthiness. He lacks it. His word means nothing. He should not be allowed such a huge committee. Mark my words, this is a huge mistake.