I commented upon Scarce's article about Rachel Maddow, the "Smartest Woman on TV", and decided to expand my reasoning here.
The Senate Democrats are setting themselves up for failure and a resultant loss of seats in 2010 if they think by keeping Lieberman they'll get anything done they wouldn't have if they fired him from his Chair.
Here's what I see happening:
* They forgive and forget Joe's actions and let him stay.
* The Democrats somehow reach 60 seats with Joe included.
* Joe votes to torpedo any useful legislation by the Senate.
* Public opinion drops into the low-single digits.
* Every GOPer running for Senate wins in 2010.
* The 111th Congress becomes a sad footnote to the history of Democratic failure.
* Lieberman begins enthusiastically campaigning for Palin2012 starting on November 3rd, 2010.
You don't need a crystal ball to see how it's gonna go.
OK, now here's a different scenario that might happen if the Democrats have any (metaphorical) balls:
* The Democrats strip Joe of his chair and his seniority.
* Joe quits the Democratic caucus, and either goes GOP or retires and lets Rell appoint a GOPer replacement; it doesn't matter.
* The Democrats don't have enough seats to break the endless string of Republican filibusters that obstruct any useful legislation.
* Public opinion of the Republicans drops to zero as the world sees through their partisan chicanery and realizes they are bull-headed obstructionists.
* In 2010, every single Democrat running for Senate wins.
* We end up with a 60+ majority in the Senate and the GOP is irretrievably damaged.
* In 2012, Barack Obama wins on the strength of all the positive change that occurred during the 112th Congress as a result of the strong Democratic Senate.
I dunno about you, but I like the latter scenario better.