Joseph Lieberman is currently Chairman of the Senate Government Oversight Committee. Responsible for oversight of the executive branch. Remember, Lieberman made a name for himself in 1998 by being "disappointed" in Clinton, giving crucial bipartisan cover for the Republican witch hunt.
There is no doubt in my mind that Lieberman will do the same again, regardless. But there are other factors which make it worse. One is his reelection in 2012. I am not sure if he will officially become Republican or if they will refuse to run a nominee. But those are his votes and he knows it.
In addition, if Republicans take the House, the Chair of the Government Oversight committee (whose counterpart in the 90s fired a shotgun at a watermelon to prove that then-First Lady Hillary Clinton could have murdered Vince Foster) will go to town. Darrel Issa has admitted as much, and Lieberman could issue the same subpoenas, and the media, who always toe the wingnut line anyway, will gladly report congressional investigations as wonderfully bipartisan.
Considering the tenor of previous witchhunts, I imagine we will see investigations of the identities of those attending Malia Obama's sleepovers. This is not a feel-good punishment thing to make liberals feel better - this should be about self preservation for the Democratic Party as a whole.
I would also like to point out another person who should be denied his Chairmanship. Max Baucus. We know his Gang of Six negotiations were not only a waste of time (valuable time, as it turned out) but also counterproductive. He also supported Bush's tax cuts. He also supported Bush's medicare expansion, which was 100% increase in the deficit. He did not have a problem waiving the Budget Act for it, but was sooo upset at the possibility that the Affordable Care Act might increase deficits (it didn't, though nobody seems to care).
Ted Kennedy originally supported Bush's Medicare reform because of a specific promise, then the Republicans stabbed him in the back:
In the prescription drug legislation that passed the Senate last summer -- with the support of key Democrats like Kennedy -- there was an explicit requirement that every cent of the savings achieved via bulk purchasing must be passed on to beneficiaries. However, when the legislation was twisted into a partisan pretzel with Bush's support in negotiations with the House, that requirement had been removed. To state the obvious, the only reason to remove the pass-through requirement was to increase the profits of the benefit-managing businesses.
Max Baucus was still willing to work with them, and was offered a seat at the conference negotiations.
He also gave the appearance of "caving in" to Joe Wilson, when it wasn't even necessary, even though undocumented immigrants were already denied the opportunity to participate in the exchanges (as if the swine flu checks papers before infecting).
Although Senate Chairmanships are awarded by seniority, that is simply a Democratic caucus rule. It can be changed within the caucus by a simple majority, presumably 26 or 27. Once the Senate begins and passes its Organizing Resolutions, we will be stuck with them.Even if the Republicans win the Senate outright, they do not deserve to hold the ranking positions on these committees, because at the first available opportunity for self aggrandizement they will throw everyone in America overboard.