Why Not Clean the Slate?

NYU Local’s National Editor-Elect Charlie quotes Howard Dean on the benefits of being magnanimous towards Lieberman:

My point of view is that Barack won. He can afford to be magnanimous. And if we happen to win both recounts and Georgia, Joe is the 60th vote. And…the fact is, he does vote 90 percent of the time with the Democrats. And no, he shouldn’t have said all those things. But why not clean the slate? Why not start all over again? Why not allow him to vote with us on the 90 percent of the stuff?

And yeah, I’m sort of inclined to give people the benefit of the doubt the first couple of times they screw me over, but by now that should have gone out the window with Lieberman. He’s been sabotaging the Democratic agenda at least since his hectoring speech during the Clinton impeachment hearings. And despite what Charlie says, I’m pretty sure Lieberman will continue to be a threat in his current position. I mean, if he does decide to start an anti-Obama administration witch hunt from his position as chairman, what does the Democratic leadership do? If they strip him of his chairmanship, it will look like they’re doing that just to protect the president from a fair investigation.

On the other hand, if Lieberman does decide that he owes Obama a few favors, that might compel him to do basically the same thing he did during the Bush years: namely, sit on his hands and refuse to hold oversight hearings when they’re actually needed.

Either way, the Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is going to be a bad joke for at least the next four years.

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