Debate over Lieberman’s future in the Democratic caucus and as chairman of the Senate Committee on homeland security and governmental affairs has puzzled many in the blogosphere. Not only did Lieberman make deplorable statements about Obama during the campaign–painting an Obama presidency as a potential threat to the United States and claiming right-wing talking points about Obama’s ostensible Marxist leanings were legitimate–he failed to follow through on his campaign promise to investigate the government’s response to Katrina. So why keep him around? And what are the risks of keeping him where he is?

Rachel Maddow posed these questions to Democrats during her show Thursday, explaining that even though they fear a Republican filibuster in the senate if they abandon Lieberman, Democrats should recognize that Lieberman’s recent past suggests he may vote against Democrats’ interests anyway. His previous statement describing Republicans’ ability to filibuster as “key” to America’s security provides the evidence. “Listen Democrats,” Maddow said. “You have lost Lieberman…If you boot Lieberman out of his chairmanship, I know you probably won’t get your 60 votes, but you do get a guy who politicized national security…in a disgusting fashion during this election. You do get him out of one of the most important security jobs in the government.”

Erica Landau

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