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Why Won't the Democratic Leadership Punish Lieberman?

The Democratic leadership seems determined to keep Joe Lieberman in the fold -- so that he can depart from it whenever he pleases.
 
 
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I swear,  this is their logic now:

Sen. Joe Lieberman (ID-Conn.) is unlikely to face retribution if he votes to filibuster the Democratic health care bill, despite renewed calls from outraged liberals for party leaders to punish him by stripping him of his committee chairmanship.

Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) “needs his vote,” one senior Senate Democratic aide said. “It would be counterproductive.”

They've descended into parody: Reid can't punish Lieberman because he needs his vote, which he won't get. This is nonsensical, even by the baroque standards of the United States Senate. Here's some more nonsense:

A great majority of the time, Sen. Lieberman votes with his caucus,” Manley said. “This may be one time they disagree.”

The one time, huh? What is it about the Senate that makes people descend into such pits of absurdity? At least one staffer tells the sad truth:

 

 

 

 
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