Okay, now that I posted a non-political story, I can get back to politics. (But I swear, I'm not going to turn this into a political site. Just one more post...for now.) And this story deals with Joe Lieberman and what the Democratic Caucus in the Senate should do with him.
Let's get one thing out of the way first. Joe Lieberman is definitely a traitor to the Democratic Party. You can come to no other conclusion if the guy endorses the opposition party's presidential candidate, actively campaigns for that presidential candidate, speaks at that party's convention, and then levels not so veiled threats about leaving his own party and defecting if he doesn't get his own way.
Joe Lieberman did all of those above things. He chose the losing side, and rather than displaying any contrition, he comes wielding empty threats. There is a very simple way that Democrats should handle Lieberman, notwithstanding President-Elect Barack Obama's opinion that Lieberman should stay in the caucus and retain his committee chairmanship.
The Democrats should say, "Joe, you can stay in the caucus if you'd like, but you're not keeping your chairmanship. Those are the terms and they are non-negotiable." If Lieberman reacts like a spoiled brat and goes off to join the Republican caucus, who cares?
If the Democrats needed Lieberman to remain in the majority (as they did the last two years) or if they needed Lieberman to maintain a sixty vote filibuster proof majority (which it appears they won't reach even with Lieberman), then this issue might be a bit more complicated, but neither is the case. Why would the other Democratic senators allow themselves to be worked over by a traitor to the party like Joe Lieberman? Joe Lieberman has precisely zero leverage in this discussion to make demands.
Let's say Lieberman does decline such a gracious offer and goes to the Republicans. Is Joe Lieberman now all of a sudden going to vote with the Republicans on domestic issues on which he used to vote with the Democrats? Is he going to vote in the opposite way as he used to vote purely out of spite? Honestly, I wouldn't put this past Lieberman. I do so hope that we get the chance to find out.
Lieberman has been extremely arrogant in the way he has carried himself over the last couple of years. He should not be allowed by the entire Democratic caucus to come with his threats. Give him the non-negotiable terms described above and see if he is foolish enough to switch to caucusing with the Republicans. If he thought that his re-election bid in Connecticut was tough in 2006, then he is in for a very bruising experience in 2012.