It's Time to Face Facts about Joe Lieberman
There are two facts that Democratic leaders are going to have to come to terms with.
1. Joe Lieberman will do whatever is necessary to retain his hold on his Senate seat.
2. The only way Lieberman can win in November is to attack the Democratic Party as a whole.
The first point is proven by Lieberman's independent run. His assertion that his candidacy is based on a fight against partisanship is laughable on its face, since he has consistently adopted Republican partisan attack points as a way to advance his cause (namely, himself). He is the very definition of a partisan politician. It's just that his partisanship is all about himself.
The second point is only slightly less obvious. Lieberman cannot win by simply appealing to independents (who, by the way, dislike Bush and his war about as much as Democrats do). He has to win over Republicans. But he can't do that if he is seen as making nice with Democrats. In order to win Republicans he MUST attack Democrats.
And just attacking Lamont won't work. Every time Lieberman tried that in the primary Lamont's positives went up. In fact, Lieberman's attacks on Lamont were the vital oxygen that gave Lamont's campaign the chance it needed. If Lieberman had simply ignored Lamont he probably would have won by default.
Lieberman, in order to win, has to push the narrative that the Democratic Party, as a whole, has been taken over by raving lunatic lefties who want to surrender in the war on terror and turn our security over to al Qaeda. He has no other choice. It is the only avenue of potential success he has. He is already doing it.
Which means that all the Democrat's attempts to play nice with Lieberman behind the scenes will be for naught. Lieberman will stab them in the back the first opportunity he gets. He will do as much as he can to disrupt the Democratic narrative on Bush, Iraq, and the War on Terror because that narrative will weaken his chances of getting re-elected. And he will do it behind enemy lines (within the Democratic Caucus).
I can appreciate that a lot of Democratic leaders don't want to go on the offensive against Lieberman. He is there friend and colleague. What's more, they don't want to risk alienating Lieberman if he should happen to win in November and they need him to caucus with the Democrats in order to get the majority.
But let's be realistic here okay? Lieberman will stab the Democrats in the back the first chance he gets (I'd argue he has already done so with his comments about the London bombing plot). This is virtually guaranteed. Furthermore, no amount of nicey-nice from the Dems behind the scenes will win Lieberman over to their caucus if we end up with a 49R-50D-1Lieberman result this Fall. The Republicans will be able to offer Lieberman so much more than the Democrats could ever realisticly give him. And Lieberman, being Lieberman, will take it.
Lieberman is a lost cause. The best the Democrats can hope for is that he doesn't bring down the party with him. He will do just that if Democratic leaders don't wake up to this reality.