If the Democrats add to their majority in the Senate in November, as widely predicted, they should invite Sen. Joseph Lieberman, the Connecticut independent, to step across the aisle. He should be far more comfortable on the Republican side.
Lieberman's unbending support of Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, must be galling to Democrats in Congress and beyond.
Lieberman may have reason to tweak the Democrats after losing the party primary in 2006 over his support of the war in Iraq. He was re-elected as an independent despite opposition from the state and national parties.
In the Senate organization, Lieberman remained on the Democratic side, providing the one-vote margin that put the Democrats in the majority. However, his voting record shows solid support for the president and the Republicans on multiple war-related votes.
Party loyalty has become stringent in a Congress where bitter partisanship has prevailed in recent years. The war has only increased the tension.
But Lieberman has thumbed his nose at Democrats, embracing George W. Bush as the president walked down the aisle in 2007 at the State of the Union address and supporting McCain with vigor at every opportunity.
Lieberman accompanied McCain and South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on a recent trip to the Middle East. He even helped McCain correct his rhetorical gaffe—that Shiite Iran was training Sunni al Qaeda—at a press conference.
Recall that Lieberman nearly became vice president in the controversial 2000 election, losing with Al Gore to Bush and Dick Cheney in the disputed vote.
When Gen. David Petraeus testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee this week, Lieberman scolded his old party for not admitting that progress had been made in the surge in Iraq. He said the facts were plain to see.
Here is another set of facts:
The war is into its sixth year. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Iraqi oil is not paying for the country's reconstruction. Our troops are largely regarded as occupiers, not liberators. There is scant movement toward a political settlement. Worst of all, the United States has sustained a huge loss in blood and treasure with no end in sight.
Those also are facts, Senator, and plain to see—even from the Republican side of the aisle.