Democrats Should Toss Joe Lieberman

If he speaks at the GOP convention, so long and good riddance to the controversial senator.

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In quashing speculation that he would be Sen. John McCain's running mate, Sen. Joseph Lieberman told a home-state newspaper in Connecticut: "I'm where I want to be."

Of course, the Democrat, who was Al Gore's running mate in 2000, means the United States Senate. But he really belongs on the other side of the aisle with the Republicans.

Lieberman has been McCain's shirttail for months. They have traveled together at home and abroad, with Lieberman voicing strong support for McCain's views on the war in Iraq. Lieberman may even wind up speaking for his pal at the GOP convention in the Twin Cities.

On July 20, Lieberman said he would speak at the GOP convention if asked. He added that he would only praise McCain and not rip Obama. He will certainly be asked.

Lieberman is only kidding himself. His appearance alone will serve to embarrass Obama, and viewers will not be fooled about Lieberman's intentions.

That should be the final act in the Democratic caucus. His fellow Democrats should strip him of his committee assignments, thus urging him to join the Republicans.

A move by Lieberman, who calls himself an independent Democrat, would switch control of the Senate to the GOP by one vote. But what would that margin mean with only a few months left in the session? Nothing of any real consequence.

Besides, the Democrats are likely to pick up three to five seats in November, assuring them control again.

Party loyalty in Congress isn't the end-all, but it should count for something. Lieberman has already tweaked his party enough with his fawning over McCain.

The Democratic leaders in the Senate, mainly Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, should give Lieberman ample warning about possible action in the caucus. Democratic senators need not wait until after the election.

If Lieberman speaks at the convention and then supports McCain in the general election, as he has already indicated he will do, he must be happier with the Republicans.

So long, Joe, if that's your plan.