Pure Political Muscle
I guess you've got to give him credit. Tomorrow is the big vote among the Democratic caucus about what to do with Lieberman, and according to a number of sources, he's essentially going to be let off the hook. The Democrats will provide some sort of vague slap on the wrist, and Lieberman will act vaguely contrite, and that's that. Not exactly a standing ovation, but not a bad little demonstration for basically betraying his party.
I'm not sure how it happened, but if this is how it goes down, Lieberman won this by framing the debate as one of retribution versus forgiveness. Since when is punishment for wrongdoing strictly a matter of retribution. Do we punish criminals because of revenge or because actions have consequences. When a child is bad, do parents punish them just to get back at them for whatever it is that they did? Or is there something about learning responsibility mixed in there, too?
Among the various other things that Lieberman has done during the campaign, just two weeks ago, Lieberman discussed his "fear" of the Democrats gaining a 60-seat "veto-proof" majority in the Senate. That was on election day! After he was already trying to make amends with Democrats. What better response could the other Democrats have but to make Lieberman part of that majority? How else could he sabotage it from the inside?
Sorry to milk what's quickly becoming a tired punch line, but that's not change we can believe in.