Lieberman's Seniority - Updated

The Hill reports that Lieberman (I) has been promised that if he beats Lamont (D) he will retain his seniority:

"Lieberman said he assumed that would mean he would continue to serve as the top Democrat on the governmental affairs panel... That could create big problems with Democrats in Congress and around the country if their party takes over the Senate. The governmental affairs panel is primarily responsible for oversight and investigations of the executive branch."
This seems a bit strange to me. The Democratic Party has promised a candidate who lost his Democratic Primary and started his own party so that he could run for Senate gets to keep all the advantages of his years as a Democrat (good in quantity if not quality) even though he's no longer a Democrat?

So where's the repercussions for dropping out of the Party, ignoring the will of the voters in the primary, and the general anti-Democratic positions that Lieberman has taken? One would assume that by giving up his party membership he gives up the privileges as well.

I'm not demanding absolute party loyalty for politicians to receive chairmanships and other benefits. I just expect that Senior Democrat on any given Committee BE a Democrat. Is that so wrong?

UPDATE: More from The Hill article:
"Caucuses like to keep as many members as they can, not discourage membership," [said Lieberman] implying that leaders risk his defection to the GOP if they strip him of seniority.
So Entitlement Joe is blackmailing the Democratic Party into letting him keep his seniority?!?

Rage. Boiling. Over.

If Lamont doesn't win this thing, even if we pick up all the seats we need, Asshat Joe could switch parties and we still wouldn't get control of the Senate. And the people of Connecticut, who demonstrably don't want to elect a Republican, would have to wait six years to get rid of this guy?

The fact that Lieberman isn't a 'sure' member of the Democratic Caucus is reason enough for Dean and DNC to dump money into the Lamont Campaign. Lamont's ads have been good in the past. Hopefully his campaign will make something good out of this.

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