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Friends Close, Lieberman Closer

Disappointed that Joe Lieberman has retained his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee? Me too. But, could this seeming capitulation by the Senate Democratic Caucus actually be a GOOD thing? Here’s my take.

It is pretty much common knowledge at this point that Joe has long ago given up his intention of serving CT. He is serving the right wing of the Israeli government and right wing Jewish hawks, the AIPAC/Neocon/Likud contingent.

By keeping him at the Senate foreign policy oversight position Obama is sending a strong signal that the group which once ran Bush’s entire foreign policy will be placated with some sort of proximity to power, but at the same time they will be marginalized to a far less influential role than their inexorable influence over Bush — or what might have been if Lieberman was promoted to Secretary of State under John McCain.

I would have much preferred if he was rejected outright, but to me it gives clear indication that Obama is holding to his commitment of changing the tone of politics in D.C. from partisan warfare to civil discourse. And that includes placating the Jewish hawks on the right who should now be significantly more inclined to think that Obama will be a pro-Israel President than if he had banished Lieberman to the wilderness with his Neocon Republican buddies. Allaying those fears with a simple act of contrition in this instance could go a long way towards mitigating the outright assault on President Obama’s Middle East policy that we expect from the right.

And for the wonks who can distinguish between policy and politics… When it comes to domestic politics, this is another exercise of the old adage:

Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.

Interested in your thoughts…

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