WASHINGTON (CNN) — Sen. Joe Lieberman retained his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Tuesday following a lengthy and often heated debate over what — if any — price the Connecticut Democrat-turned-Independent should pay for his vocal support of Republican Sen. John McCain's presidential bid.
The Senate Democratic caucus, meeting behind closed doors, voted 42 to 13 to allow Lieberman to keep the high-profile chairmanship…
"It's all over with," Majority Leader Harry Reid said at a news conference following the vote. "Joe Lieberman is a Democrat. He's part of this caucus."
But Joe isn't a Democrat, Harry. The Democrats of the state Joe Lieberman represents voted to not return him to the Senate. Joe only returned to the Senate because Republicans voted for him. And now Joe is an Independent Democrat, which is something else entirely different from being a Democrat. It's something that allows you to campaign against other Democrats in the Senate and speak at the Republican National Convention on behalf of a Republican presidential candidate.
Reid dismissed vehement criticism of the decision from elements of the party's more liberal base, which has insisted that Lieberman be punished for failing to support President-elect Barack Obama's campaign…
The party's more liberal base! There it is! The hippies, and the nutroots, and the potty-mouthed bloggers! The wild eyed lefties! Reid dismissed their criticism! Because they are crazy! And they're out of synch with the more centrist mainstream American!
The numbers are worse for Lieberman, a self-described "independent Democrat": 53 percent disapprove and 41 percent approve of his performance. Lieberman could not be reached for comment.
Fifty three percent of the people in Joe's own state disapprove of Joe's performance. Okay, but it's been a tough year to be in gubment. What does that really mean?
Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination, then won re-election as a petitioning candidate. He remains a registered Democrat — though not in the eyes of voters. Fifty-two percent consider him an independent, 22 percent a Republican and just 15 percent a Democrat. Seventy-one percent of Republicans approve of his performance, and 76 percent of Democrats disapprove.
Fifteen percent of all voters in Connecticut, the state Joe represents, consider him to be a Democrat. A whopping seventy one percent of Connecticut Republicans approve of his performance. And a monstrous seventy six percent of Connecticut Democrats disapprove of Joe Lieberman's performance.
Speaking at the same press conference, Lieberman called the resolution allowing him to keep the Homeland Security chairmanship "fair and forward leaning."
Well, we can all hope Joe Lieberman appreciates it as much as he appreciated Barack Obama campaigning on his behalf in the Connecticut primary.
"It's a resolution… of reconciliation and not retribution, and I appreciate it," he noted.