Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 5, 2008

LIEBERMAN AND BYGONES.... Joe Lieberman's office issued a statement this morning on the election results.

"I sincerely congratulate President-elect Obama for his historic and impressive victory. America remains a nation of extraordinary opportunity and the American people are a people of extraordinary fairness. Now that the election is over, it is time to put partisan considerations aside and come together as a nation to solve the difficult challenges we face and make our blessed land stronger and safer. I pledge to work with President-elect Obama and his incoming Administration in their efforts to reinvigorate our economy and keep our nation secure and free."

I think it became apparent to Lieberman, about a week or so ago, that he bet on the wrong horse. He is, however, about two years too late.

I loved the line about putting "partisan considerations aside" now that the election is over. Remember when John Cleese's Sir Lancelot stormed a castle, sword in hand, murdering most of a wedding party? The castle owner, anxious to curry favor with Lancelot, encouraged the survivors of the attack to let bygones by bygones. As the castle owner told his guests, "Let's not bicker and argue about who killed whom...."

Likewise, Lieberman doesn't want to bicker and argue about who engaged in character assassination; we should instead put "partisan considerations aside."

It's unlikely. This is the same Lieberman who argued that Obama doesn't put "country first"; who thought it was a "good question" to ask whether Obama is a "Marxist"; and who appeared at the Republican National Convention to falsely smear Obama as having tried to undermine U.S. troops.

Lieberman and Harry Reid are scheduled to meet sometime this week. We'll see what happens.

Steve Benen 12:51 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (64)

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I pledge to work with President-elect Obama and his incoming Administration in their efforts to reinvigorate our economy and keep our nation secure and free."

Good. You can start by mopping the floor.

Posted by: Danp on November 5, 2008 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

I was in favor of working with Joe the Asshole. However, with the Senate having 55 Dems, the utility of 1 more vote is modest. Strip his chairmanship! The most that the Senate will have is 57 dems (Merkley and Begich are still good shots at winning), so Joe can get his just deserts.

Posted by: POed Lib on November 5, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman is also the guy who recently said he didn't think the country could survive a super-majority of Senate Democrats.

Posted by: AJB on November 5, 2008 at 12:57 PM | PERMALINK

Kick him out of the caucus and run Lamont against him again in 2012....

Posted by: mfw13 on November 5, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

Toss him. Show there are consequences -- best for the long run.

Posted by: John McCain: Worse than Bush on November 5, 2008 at 12:59 PM | PERMALINK

If they let Lieberman back in, I'm definitely voting Green in the future.

Posted by: anon on November 5, 2008 at 1:01 PM | PERMALINK

I think we will hear a lot of bullshit about how now is the time to be bipartisan. We'll hear to from Broder, Brooks, and every other pundit. And most of them will mean the same thing they meant when Bush was popular: bipartrisan means do what the Republicans want.

Posted by: wonkie on November 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

I think it became apparent to Lieberman, about a week or so ago, that he bet on the wrong horse

And yet, Lieberman was still right there at McCain's final campaign rallies, right by McCain's side. Hell, he was Cindy McCain's bookend. Fuck him. He not only crossed a line, he hopped on that "wrong horse" and galloped right over it.

Posted by: ckelly on November 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Take away his committee chair gavel.

Tell him he can have a subcommittee chair gavel if, and only if, he agrees to:

1 - vote for cloture on every single bill he is asked to vote for cloture on. Every single one, no matter how he personally feels about it or whether he's going to vote for it himself.

2 - not go on television to talk smack about Democrats. I'd consider it a service to the nation if Reid extracted a promise from Lieberman to never appear on a talking head show again, but I imagine a Senator would consider that fate too horrible to contemplate, so I'd settle with "say nothing bad about Dems".

As much as I'd like to see Lieberman kicked out for being a jackass, watching him denied the ability to be the guy who trashes his "friends" to look like a big man would be worth far, far more to me. Plus it makes a guaranteed cloture vote that normally might not be cast.

Posted by: NonyNony on November 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

Don't forget questioning whether the country can survive a 60-vote Democratic majority. Now that shows faith in the values and ideals that this election just endorsed.

I'm from Connecticut and I say throw the bum out of the party. At least strip him of his chairmanship. We don't need him for the majority so stop giving into his blackmail. Is there any way of recalling a Senator?

Posted by: Nothing But the Ruth on November 5, 2008 at 1:02 PM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, he's meeting with Reid, so he'll probably be welcomed back into the fold. I'd adore being wrong about this.

Posted by: phleabo on November 5, 2008 at 1:03 PM | PERMALINK

>>let bygones by bygones

Let's let Lieberman go bye and be gone.

Posted by: Spike on November 5, 2008 at 1:04 PM | PERMALINK

For Joe L., I hope an Obama Administration is willing to express the same "spirit of compromise" the Bush Administration expressed to Dems way back in 2000: Here's our agenda. Wote with it every single time, and you won't be branded an anti-American traitor. We'll still call you a spineless gutless coward, mock you in interviews and do everything but give you wedgies on the Senate floor, but we won't call you a traitor. And for that, consider yourself lucky.

Just my luck, Obama's classier than I am, so that won't happen. Dang. I'll settle for Obama accepting his olive branch, letting him keep his chair, and allow him to be a part of history, THEN support the s*** out of a real Democrat like Ned Lamont in 2012.

Posted by: slappy magoo on November 5, 2008 at 1:05 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman and Harry Reid are scheduled to meet sometime this week.

Oh, to be a fly on the wall in that room!

Posted by: Jeff S. on November 5, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with POed Lib. 55-56 dems is much worse that 59-60 for Liberman as throwing him under the bus as a sop to people like POed and me is less costly.

Posted by: David Margolies on November 5, 2008 at 1:06 PM | PERMALINK

I just can't get past my visceral loathing of Joseph Lieberman. I mean, on some level I hate the guy probably even more than McCain or Bush. There MUST be some retribution, else the their be no consequences for running hard and dirty against one's own party (former party in this case).

Lieberman is less than useless heading Homeland Security and he MUST be stripped of that chairmanship. Let him head some committee he doesn't care about, but keep him away from anything having to do with foreign policy or security.

Let Droopy Dogg go lick McCain's ball$ for the coming years. Sorry to be mean, but he is an apostate of the highest order (and I say that as a Democrat and a Jew).

Posted by: Piper on November 5, 2008 at 1:07 PM | PERMALINK

Burn him! He's a WITCH!

Posted by: iucaffiend on November 5, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

One statement I haven't seen is from Sarah Palin. Her 15 minutes of fame seem to have ended rather abruptly.

Posted by: AJB on November 5, 2008 at 1:09 PM | PERMALINK

Brave Sir Joe ran away!
Bravely ran away, away!

"No!"

When his horse (in the race) turned up lame
He bravely shunned the blame game

"I Didn't!"

Coward!

Posted by: ThatGuy on November 5, 2008 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Leave poor ol' Joe alone. I mean it, leave him alone as in keep him out in the cold! Let him grovel himself back to a credible position - it'd be entertaining to watch. Joe is a sad sack! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on November 5, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

hey joe!

fuck off!

orange

Posted by: just bill on November 5, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

I think there are only a few ways to explain Lieberman's increasingly bizarre behavior.

Totally narcisstic and/or self-absorbed.

Marginally insane.

Any others?

Posted by: PowerOfX on November 5, 2008 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

Too little, too late Joe. There's no way you're going to stay in the caucus after actively campaigning for the other party's candidate. Do you think Obama has forgotten that the only reason you got re-elected was because he campaigned for you? Good-bye and good riddance.

Posted by: hardcle on November 5, 2008 at 1:18 PM | PERMALINK

Unfortunately I think Reid is a push over & he won't have the backbone it requires to kick Lieberman out of his seat.
I second -Piper's comments; although we ought to let him oversee janitorial services, he can consult Joe the Plumber for advice=)

Posted by: vwmeggs on November 5, 2008 at 1:19 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with POed Lib. 55-56 dems is much worse that 59-60 for Liberman as throwing him under the bus as a sop to people like POed and me is less costly.

Its actually more costly than it would be if the Democrats had 58-59 Democrats + Bernie Sanders. Remember that cloture isn't leadership, so the number in the caucus don't matter, the number you can get on a bill matters. The fewer actual reliable Democratic votes you have, the more important each individual persuadable non-Democrat is when it comes to cloture on any given issue, and that's what Lieberman is on the issues, a persuadable non-Democrat. If it was only likely to take one or two of those plus replacements for any wayward Dems to invoke cloture on important issues, its likely that most of the time a few Republicans could be talked into crossing the aisle, and Lieberman extracting payback for being treated like the partisan anti-Democrat he has shown himself to be the last two years wouldn't matter much.

If its more critical to hold every Dem and get several non-Dems, driving Lieberman away hurts more, not less.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 5, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

"bet on the wrong horse"

Yeah, the Wise guys all said that the ageing closer Silky Sullivan was a lock. How were they to know Secretariet with Obama up would come in off the also eligible list.

And, with all of that Bute and Lasix, Silky still broke down inside of the sixteenth pole.

Lieberman is trying to past post. Windows are closed, Joe. You have been shut out.

Posted by: berttheclock on November 5, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman should lose his committee chairmanship, as part of the general reorganization. Elections have consequences.

Posted by: Joe Buck on November 5, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

i vote for "joe-the-guy-who-has-no-meaningful-role-in-the-democratic-congress" myself..

but i'll settle for "joe-the-janitor."

spellchecka

Posted by: dj spellchecka on November 5, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Had Lieberman campaigned in a positive way I would have been annoyed but I would have understood. As it stands, Lieberman made himself the enemy. Strip him of all committee assignments. If his new best friends want to appoint him to one of their seats so be it.

Posted by: Dennis - SGMM on November 5, 2008 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman needs to go. Quite frankly, even if the Dems had 59 I would say the same thing - I would not expect Joe to stick with the Democrats on the really important legislation when cloture came up. Nor do I expect Joe to actually do his job in the Homeland Security committee. He's functionally useless to Dems now, and has to go. I don't know what words were said when Joe and Obama met in the Senate a few months back (when Obama shook his hand, didn't let go, and led him into a private room), but no doubt Obama has told Reid what he wants to do about this.

Posted by: Joshua on November 5, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Joe needs to do the honorable thing and hop on his sword. He can always become a lobbyist for AIPAC.

Posted by: Diogenes on November 5, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

It's one thing to support one candidate over another, even it's in another party.

It's quite another when you attend the other party's National Convention. On that matter alone, I don't see why Reid should allow Lieberman to retain his committee char, or remain in the sit the Democrats.

Frankly if Reid allows either, I would question whether he's the right person to be Senate Majority Leader.

What use is Lieberman to either party? He's alienated the Democrats, and won't give the Republicans any additional votes.

Posted by: Mathew on November 5, 2008 at 1:27 PM | PERMALINK

Here's my fantasy scenario:

Obama offers Lieberman a cabinet post. (Give him Health and Human Services so he can help big pharma get even bigger.)

Lieberman pees himself and quickly accepts

Connecticut hold a special election to select Lieberman's replacement. Obviously the voters elect a REAL Democrat this time around.

Lieberman's replacement takes the oath of office

President Obama fires Lieberman's ass

Posted by: 3reddogs on November 5, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

The Obama administration needs to use a carrot & stick approach to the republicans, among whom I number LIEberman. It is too much to hope for that Obama would work to replace Nancy "Impeachment is off the table" Pelosi and the closet republican Harry Reid. Therefore, the best hope is that the Obama administration can put some spine in their backbones.

The first big stick that the Obama administration needs to use is to get LIEberman removed from the Democratic causus and relegated to minority status.

The first set of carrots should be to outreach to principaled, but honest republican senators such as Coburn of Oklahoma, Lugar of Indiana, Barraso of Wyoming, Brownburg of Kansas, and Dorgan of North Dakota. Even with major policy differences, this type of republican is honest and should be approached to find ways to work together with Obama. That Obama would not oppose their reelections while putting major efforts into 'retiring' in 2010 those who are obstructionists.

Posted by: HopefulOldVet on November 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

If its more critical to hold every Dem and get several non-Dems, driving Lieberman away hurts more, not less. Posted by: cmdicely

How? You've apparently missed the fact that he ceased to be a Dem about 18-months ago.

He was no help with a slim majority in the Senate and he'll be just as useless with a not-so-slim majority.

Reid should give him the choice of either co-operating fully or leaving the caucus and quit the party.

Posted by: Jeff II on November 5, 2008 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman and Harry Reid are scheduled to meet sometime this week. We'll see what happens.

Dump him... since we can't be filibuster proof with or without him then we just don't need him at all.

Posted by: e. nonee moose on November 5, 2008 at 1:33 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't the phrase "let's put partisan considerations aside" a tacit admission that he considers himself a Republican, not a Democratic senator? If so, let's get his chairmanships into the hands of actual Dems.

KTHXBI

Posted by: gex on November 5, 2008 at 1:36 PM | PERMALINK

On the other hand, he's meeting with Reid, so he'll probably be welcomed back into the fold. I'd adore being wrong about this.

You won't be wrong. Reid won't do shit. He's the worst Democratic majority leader ever. Shortly after assuming the post, he said he considered Lyndon Johnson a bad role model for the job.

Too bad. LBJ would kick Lieberman in the nuts.

Posted by: Screamin' Demon on November 5, 2008 at 1:37 PM | PERMALINK

it may be that Coburn is principled and honest.

it also so happens that he is f*cking insane.

Posted by: zeitgeist on November 5, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

I don't think he's a narcissist or insane. He's terrified. Terrified of terrorists, terrified that Israel will be besieged, and terrified of new things like Obama. He's outdated, hidebound, and an abject coward.

With that in mind, my guess is that he's going to do everything he can to buddy back up to the Democrats...because now he'll be terrified of being made obsolete. Er, more obsolete than he already is.

Fine, let him back into the caucus. But take away his chairmanship, and the DNC should fund his primary opponents, not him.

All that said, I wouldn't mind Warren Ellis' solution to the Joe Lieberman problem: Shank the b**ch and leave him to bleed out on the senate floor. ;)

Posted by: Remus Shepherd on November 5, 2008 at 1:41 PM | PERMALINK

LIEberman isn't worth the powder to blow him to hell which is where he'd be in good company with the sleazy types like himself dwell...sei un due face!

Posted by: Stevio on November 5, 2008 at 1:45 PM | PERMALINK

I think the only way he has a chance to stay -- in my book anyway -- is to go out and publicly apologize for all of the lies and filth he helped spread. I'd love to see McCain do the same. His speech last night showed the class of McCain 2.0, but I think he needs to work hard to undo all the damage wrought -- evidenced by boos from his supporters when mentioning Obama's name. My friend was in Grant Park last night and said that people were generally positive about McCain and only booed when Sarah Palin was referenced.

Posted by: LP on November 5, 2008 at 1:46 PM | PERMALINK

@ 3reddogs

Sweeeeeeeeet.

Posted by: jonas on November 5, 2008 at 1:50 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman is a dangerous "ally" to have. He's a proven back-stabber, liar, and self-absorbed jerk. Only fools continue to associate with people like that.

Posted by: Stacy on November 5, 2008 at 1:54 PM | PERMALINK

hope somebody drives their fist right through that smarmy little shit's face and out the back of his skull.

Posted by: Just Punch Him In the Face on November 5, 2008 at 2:07 PM | PERMALINK

go f*** yourself Lieberman.

Posted by: fred on November 5, 2008 at 2:09 PM | PERMALINK

Joe walked away from the democrats. Plain and simple. He should be told the party wants a dem in that seat next election.

Joe then needs to decide if he wants to work his way back into good gracies? He should drop out of committee chair positions voluntarily. And earn his way back.

It is possible he could do so. He needs to admit his mistakes and turn in extraordinary efforts. The question is will / can he do it? I say we open the door and say we would love for him to earn his way back. Then he can decide what he wants to do.

Posted by: George on November 5, 2008 at 2:13 PM | PERMALINK

I'd love to be in the same room with Joe the Lieberman so I could explain to him where he can put his "party considerations."

Posted by: The Answer Is Green on November 5, 2008 at 2:16 PM | PERMALINK

What 3reddogs and Jonas said!

Only I'd offer him an ambassadorship (Israel?) and get him completely out of the country. Then swipe his passport before firing him. Try getting back in then, sport!

Posted by: Michigoose on November 5, 2008 at 2:17 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Lieberman can kiss the GOP elephant where the sun don't shine.

Posted by: John O. on November 5, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

Kick traitor LIEberman the hell out!

Posted by: Neil B on November 5, 2008 at 2:19 PM | PERMALINK

On the subject of plitical loyalty-

"One statement I haven't seen is from Sarah Palin. Her 15 minutes of fame seem to have ended rather abruptly."

Maybe not.

I understand Alaska has special elections to fill vacant US Senate seats.

'Ted? this is Sarah, I was wondering if you could tell me the demensions of your Senate office? I need to shop for furnishings while I still have this McCain Paling AMEX card'

Posted by: robert on November 5, 2008 at 2:20 PM | PERMALINK
How? You've apparently missed the fact that he ceased to be a Dem about 18-months ago.

If I had "missed the fact that he ceased to be a Dem" I am pretty sure that I wouldn't have called him a "persuadable non-Democrat" on issues and a "partisan anti-Democrat" on political alignment.

The whole comment you responded to is the answer to your question; its quite clear you didn't read it, maybe you should try doing that.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 5, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

This is what Billy Crystal would call Joeheimer's Disease - "I forgot I was a Democrat."

Posted by: FrankL on November 5, 2008 at 2:56 PM | PERMALINK

welcome to the wilderness, Joe. If you play nice, we might give you a gavel back in 2010. might. but probably won't.

Posted by: northzax on November 5, 2008 at 3:22 PM | PERMALINK

Tell him he can have a subcommittee chair gavel if, and only if, he agrees to:

I disagree. He should be awarded with a subcommittee chairmanship if and only if he develops a time machine, and then goes back and doesn't do all the horrible shit he did the past two years. Short of that, it's Destination: Wilderness.

Posted by: DH Walker on November 5, 2008 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

The whole comment you responded to is the answer to your question; its quite clear you didn't read it, maybe you should try doing that. Posted by: cmdicely

No. I was responding to the fact that you claimed that he should be kept in the fold.

If its (sic) more critical to hold every Dem and get several non-Dems, driving Lieberman away hurts more, not less. Posted by: cmdicely

What does he need to do beyond supporting McCain all through the campaign for people like you to understant that he's useless? He's not a Dem so there is no holding him.

Fuck Lieberman and the horse he rode in on.

Posted by: Jeff II on November 5, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Draw and quarter the syncophantic suck-up.

He reminds me of a ramora. You know, one of those fish that hang around sharks, picking and preening the shark for little morsels of food, in turn he gets protection from the shark.

I hope the Demos chew him up and spit him out.

Posted by: Cleo on November 5, 2008 at 4:26 PM | PERMALINK

That was the wrong Monte Python and the Holy Grail reference, by the way....

it should have been the scene with the Black Knight, after both arms and legs are hacked off by Arthur:
"Call it a draw, then?"

Revenge on Lieberman would be oh, so sweet, but what Reid has to ask himself is "is there some way Lieberman can be *used* to achieve bigger goals?"

If the answer is "no", then sure, cut him loose. But all too often getting something through the senate hinges on just one vote. It would be stupid to throw that away without a really good reason. And "making bloggers happy" isn't one.

Posted by: Snarki, child of Loki on November 5, 2008 at 4:33 PM | PERMALINK

"Lieberman and Harry Reid are scheduled to meet sometime this week. "

oooooh, to be a fly on THAT wall!

Posted by: Cal Gal on November 5, 2008 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman should "relax and enjoy" what's coming to him.

The man personifies the word 'lickspittal.'

Posted by: fs on November 5, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

Boy, did Jeff beat me to it!

Here's what I think Reid and the Dems should do:

First, I agree that they should make him promise to vote with leadership on each and every cloture vote.

Second, they should strip him of any meaningful committee assignments. I think there's a Committee on governing DC, isn't there? That would be a good one for him. But not as chair or as chair of any subcommittee.

Third, they should put his seat so far back in the room he'll need binoculars to see the vote board.

Fourth, they should all friggin' shun him. Don't talk to him at all unless and until he apologizes abjectly, on his knees, to each one of them personally, and to Obama in public.

If he doesn't want to do any of this? Let him go. Let him see what plum assignments he can get from the ReThugs, most of whom don't like McCain either. Maybe he, St. John, and Lindsay the Lackie can get seats all together.

If St. John wants to have any influence in the Senate, we'll see if he, too, starts to back away from Lieberman. Heh heh.

Posted by: Cal Gal on November 5, 2008 at 5:01 PM | PERMALINK

Harry should finish the job the mohel started.
Figuratively, of course.

Posted by: Zak44 on November 5, 2008 at 11:50 PM | PERMALINK

Now go home and get your f-ing shinebox!

Posted by: Billly Batts on November 6, 2008 at 7:03 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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