Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 7, 2008

THE RATIONALE BEHIND THE 'BEGGING'.... Not to belabor the point, but the exploits of Joe Lieberman have apparently led to some confusion, even among Democrats who should know better.

Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) ... said he disagreed with stripping Lieberman of his chair. "No, I don't think there should be retribution," he said. "I think reconciliation is in order, not revenge or retribution."

Bayh suggested that Lieberman apologize and "let bygones be bygones."

Let's cut the nonsense. Reid offered Lieberman a chance to stay in the Democratic caucus, keep his seniority, and become the chairman of some other committee. Lieberman thinks that's "unacceptable" and reportedly "begged" to stay on as chairman of Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Bayh thinks this is about "revenge or retribution." It's not. For that matter, it's only partly about holding Lieberman accountable for his betrayals. This is actually about a specific power Lieberman is intent on keeping for a specific reason.

This seems to be routinely overlooked, but take a moment to consider what the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs actually does: it's the committee principally responsible for oversight of the executive branch. It's an accountability committee, charged with investigating the conduct of the White House and the president's administration.

As chairman of this committee for the last two years, Lieberman decided not to pursue any accusations of wrongdoing against the Bush administration. Lieberman's House counterpart -- Rep. Henry Waxman's Oversight Committee -- was a vigilant watchdog, holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching multiple investigations. Lieberman preferred to let his committee do no real work at all. It was arguably the most pathetic display of this Congress.

And yet, now Lieberman acts as if keeping this chairmanship is the single most important part of his public life. Why would he be so desperate to keep the gavel of a committee he hasn't used? I'll let you in on a secret: he wants to start using the power of this committee against Obama.

Lieberman didn't want to hold Bush accountable, but he seems exceedingly anxious to keep the committee that would go after Obama with a vengeance, effectively becoming a Waxman-like figure -- holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching investigations against the Democratic president.

Lieberman doesn't care about "reconciliation," he cares about going after a Democratic administration. Why else would he fight diligently to be chairman of one committee instead of another?

In anticipation of Senate Dems deciding Lieberman's fate, MyDD's Josh Orton, AmericaBlog's John Aravosis, and others, are getting organized, preparing to push the party to do what Harry Reid apparently wants to do. It's a very worthwhile endeavor.

Update: It looks like David Sirota was thinking very much along the same lines.

Steve Benen 2:20 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (59)

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Comments

Lieberman should have been kicked to the curb the second he endorsed McCain.

Harry Reid needs to be replaced. Our party needs weak leadership like a hole in the head.

Posted by: Racer X on November 7, 2008 at 2:22 PM | PERMALINK

Whether or not he plans to go after Obama is irrelevant at this point. He has been a complacent and ineffective chair of an important committee. In the business world it is routine to evaluate people's performance, and if they come up short they are replaced. In terms of his job Lieberman has come up very short. Replace him. If he wishes to leave the caucus that is a separate decision left to him.

Posted by: nerd on November 7, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

Bayh's name is pronounced approximately the same as what I'd like to tell Lieberman, but only after Carl Levin sneak-attacks and hits Joe with a folding chair.

Posted by: Mr. Merle on November 7, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I'm all for forgiveness.

I forgive you, Holy Joe.

And I want you to have an important committee chairmanship.

Seeing as you are an INDEPENDENT, I will fully support your chairmanship on any committee of your choosing, in accordance with your seniority in the INDEPENDENT party, as soon as the INDEPENDENT party acquires majority control of the Senate.

You have my word on it.

Posted by: Hemlock for Gadflies on November 7, 2008 at 2:24 PM | PERMALINK

I fail to understand all the criticism of Harry Reid. For most of the past two years, he has shepherded a Senate majority of 49 (51 minus Tim Johnson, who was down with a stroke, and Lieberman, who -- well, you know).

I think he's done quite well, and I think he'll do the right thing now.

Don't get me started on Speaker Pelosi, though. Ugh.

Posted by: scott_m on November 7, 2008 at 2:27 PM | PERMALINK

Please see http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/11/7/124911/997/204/656796 where the author makes a similarly strong case, and also lists the office phone numbers of all the Senators who are involved in this process.

Posted by: A DC Wonk on November 7, 2008 at 2:28 PM | PERMALINK

Let's also remember that as Chairman of the HLS committee, Lieberman oversaw the 40-minute hearing to approve "Brownie" the Arabian Horse expert as the head of FEMA. Need we say more?

Posted by: garbo on November 7, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Whoa, seriously? Lieberman was in charge of an oversight comittee? I had no idea that's what he was in charge of. I said he deserved to lose his caucus chair, not because he wouldn't toe the party line or because he endorsed Mccain, but because he resorted to dishonest, divisive fearmongering in his attacks on Obama. But now this post... So you're telling me he was the gatekeeper for investigations into the Bush admin, and he was actively holding the gate shut? Damn. And I'm fine with having vigorous oversight of an Obama administration- much as I like and even trust Obama, no one's perfect, and checks and balances are an important part of our system that need to be restored. But get someone other than this dishonest hack in charge.

Posted by: Jurgan on November 7, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

I think that this post is exactly right. I am surprised that there is no effort over at DailyKos to organize a campaign to pressure Reid and Co. to strip Lieberman of his chairmanships. I have already written my Senators and members of the committee that controls posts on committees. See Josh Marshal's Talking Points Memo for his video on making your voice heard in this matter.

Making our voice heard is very important. We cannot forget that Congress has a history of spinelessness. We already are seeing Byah saying that Democrats should forget that Lieberman has taken part in a campaign of vicious slander against Obama. Anything but stripping Lieberman of his Committee posts would be obscene

Posted by: Ian Kaplan on November 7, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Steve - thanks for the clarification. You did shed some light (for me at least) on what Lieberman's motivations for keeping the chair are.

Posted by: Mathew on November 7, 2008 at 2:29 PM | PERMALINK

Since Lieberman was not accountable to the committee he so dearly coveted then he should not have the chairmanship. Maybe Myers and Chertoff would not have gotten away with the gestapo like pathway taken by the DHS if Lieberman had done his job. Democrats do not capitualte on this one. It will come back to bite you.

A chairman should not have said the derogatory remarks Lieberman felt impelled to say against PRESIDENT ELECT OBAMA and VICE PRESIDENT ELECT JOE BIDEN.He should take his punishment!.

Posted by: mljohnston on November 7, 2008 at 2:30 PM | PERMALINK

It should be about retribution!!!

What Joe LIEberman did to Obama was disgusting and despicable. If Harry 'closet republican' Reid lets him get away with it, what would LIEberman do next?

The only thing preferable to stripping LIEberman of his senority and any chairmanships would be to boot him from the democratic caucus.

Evan Bayh may be my senator, but he was, is, and will continue to be an asshole who cannot and will not take a hard position on any issue.

If anyone believes that LIEberman would keep any promises that he would make, I have a bridge over the Ohio river that I will sell you that you can make into a toll bridge!

Posted by: AngryOldVet on November 7, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

If Harry "Capitulation' Reid caves on this one it will serve as just one more example of why he needs to be replaced.


And scott_m, I understand your arguement. But Reid went even further in capitulating to Republicans than the situation warranted. For one, this new rule on needing 60 votes to pass anything. Where the hell was that rule when the dems were the minority party?

On the Iraq war funding Reid announced on This Week the deal he would agree the first day of debate. A full three WEEKS before the deal was struck. He took the wind out of the sails of Democrats at the start of the debate and accepted without question Bush's framing of the entire debate.

On FISA he stabbed Chris Dodd in the back and pushed the Republican version of the bill to the floor offerring only token resistance to Bush before casting a meaningless vote against the bill to cover his own complicit ass.

And those are just two examples.

Reid must go.

Posted by: thorin-1 on November 7, 2008 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you for pointing this out, Steve. It makes decommissioning Lieberman extremely important.

Posted by: jen f on November 7, 2008 at 2:35 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent post, Steve. Reconciliation is one thing. Lieberman's deceptions and ill intent quite another. Reid has to bump him. Better yet, kick him the hell out. Lieberman has been destructive, disingenuous, disloyal to Democrats, disloyal to his own sworn duties to protect the rule of law and provide oversight on the worst rule breaking administration ever .... argh, I could go on. But you are absolutely right. (And to other readers here: for Steve, who is so relentlessly civil and comprehensive in understanding context, to be this absolutely clear about someone who should get the heave ho, well, this is definitive indeed).

Posted by: SF on November 7, 2008 at 2:38 PM | PERMALINK

So, who is going to be doing oversight over the administration? The lessons are obvious that Congress has not done a good job no matter which party has been in the White House or which has been in Congress.

Posted by: lou on November 7, 2008 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

On on a separate note. This reminds me why I was so relieved Obama did not pick Bayh as his running mate.

Posted by: thorin-1 on November 7, 2008 at 2:42 PM | PERMALINK

I'll let you in on a secret: he wants to start using the power of this committee against Obama.

OK, but why? How does that help him? What has he ever said to suggest he has a principled reason to do so?

Meanwhile, CNN is now reporting that Sen. Byrd is stepping aside as chairman of the Appropriations Committee. Score one for Reid.

Posted by: Danp on November 7, 2008 at 2:43 PM | PERMALINK

Hopefully, we will see a different Harry Reid than what we saw in the last congress. Admittedly, Reid didn't have much to work with, with only 51 dems in the caucus.

That is a lot different now, plus there is a democratic administration. Reid ruled from the center because he had to. He doesn't have to now, and no one really needs to remind him of that. Lieberman is toast and he will be lucky if he gets a subcommittee.

Lieberman knows that and he'll take whatever he can get.

Posted by: Marko on November 7, 2008 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

How about this instead - Obama selects Lieberman as an under-secretary in the cabinet - one that Joe could not turn down. His seat opens up and then he is sacked.

Posted by: Drew on November 7, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Off topic;

some asshole on NPR is bitching and moaning about lack of access and punctuality. Apparenlty he covered the campaign with Obama adn didn't like that Obama and Biden didn't come back to the back of the plane and pall around in a jocular manner enough. Not sure who it is but he is a fucking gigantic dickhead.

Posted by: grinning cat on November 7, 2008 at 2:47 PM | PERMALINK

Can't Reid yank Lieberman's chairmanship at anytime, not just at the beginning of the session, if Joe showed the slightest intent to hound Obama?

Wouldn't Joe know this, and behave himself?

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on November 7, 2008 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

Deputy dawg should have thought of that before he endorsed McNasty/Falin He ought to be sent to Zell Miller crazyland. Harry Reid needs to be replaced with some like Hillary who has balls

Posted by: John R on November 7, 2008 at 2:58 PM | PERMALINK

Jane Hamsher has a letter/petition going to the Senate Democratic Leadership at the bottom of this post at Firedog Lake.

Posted by: bystander on November 7, 2008 at 2:59 PM | PERMALINK

Harry Reid SUCKS at this leadership gig. He is spineless and confusing.

Posted by: beans on November 7, 2008 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Sorry for repeating myself (made a similar comment over at Americablog), but isn't it unseemly that the chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security is BEGGING to keep his job? I mean, what kind of deflated apple bag does Lieberman have, that he can't adequately argue that he deserves to keep his position, but instead has to beg to keep it? Stamp his feet and say it's not fair (or, if you prefer, unacceptable)?

If you have to beg to keep your job, after not doing your job, you shouldn't have your job. It should be as true with deliberate refusal to do your job in the Senate as it would be a deliberate refusal to do your job at McDonalds.

Posted by: slappy magoo on November 7, 2008 at 3:01 PM | PERMALINK

Here is the text of a message I just sent to my own senator, Dianne Feinstein:

Dear Senator Feinstein,

I ask you today to lend your support in insisting that Sen. Joe Lieberman be stripped of his position as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs if he does not step down voluntarily.

He has done nothing for the last two years to hold the Bush administration accountable for its destructive and illegal policies, and his support of John McCain and tireless efforts to defeat Barack Obama make his continued holding of that position to be totally unacceptable.

Even further, many people believe that he will actively use his committee to attack and undermine President Obama if he is allowed to remain in place. This simply can't be allowed to happen, even potentially.

As a constituent, I strongly urge you to demand that Senator Reid and the Democratic Caucus eject him from his position of power regardless of what he might do afterwards.

Sincerely,

......

Posted by: Curmudgeon on November 7, 2008 at 3:07 PM | PERMALINK

It is time for the President-elect to step in and make his wishes known.

Posted by: Jeff II on November 7, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

another off topic comment from me;

the comments at littlegreenfootballs in response to Obama's call for community service are amazing, absolutley amazing.

Posted by: grinning cat on November 7, 2008 at 3:09 PM | PERMALINK

It seems pretty obvious to me that far from trying to compromise with Lieberman, Reid's going out of his way to humiliate him. Offering Lieberman a subcommittee chair is like instead of firing the head coach, you ask him to become the quarterback coach instead. If he just fired Lieberman, then Lieberman would be able to stand up once again and cry out for the need for bipartisanship and flee to the Republicans like a martyr. But by offering Lieberman a step down, he's giving him the choice of either taking a humiliating lesser position or being the one who has to go to the Republicans. I love it.

I'm sure Lieberman would investigate Obama if given half a chance, but I don't think that's the real reason he wants his chairmanship. He wants it for the same reason every senator wants a committee instead of subcommittee chair, because it carries power and prestige. Now that McCain is finished, Lieberman is about to go from being one of the more prominent senators in Washington to just another senator. That must be killing him.

Posted by: Guscat on November 7, 2008 at 3:12 PM | PERMALINK

Excellent point. I've passed this on to numerous people and asked them to make calls.

Posted by: Andy Olsen on November 7, 2008 at 3:13 PM | PERMALINK

"Independent" my ass.

Lieberman is an aggressively, viciously partisan Republican.

He should not hold the chair of any committee while the Democrats have a majority in the Senate.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 7, 2008 at 3:18 PM | PERMALINK

Strip him.

Ugh, the mental image.

Posted by: lobbygow on November 7, 2008 at 3:23 PM | PERMALINK

It is time for the President-elect to step in and make his wishes known. -Jeff II

I disagree. It's Reid's job, not Obama's. Might as well consider him the executive now. Let's keep the branches separate.

If Obama did step in, it would look like retribution. Let's do this the right way and avoid any hint of impropriety.

I actually think what Reid did in this one instance was the right thing to do.

Posted by: doubtful on November 7, 2008 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK

http://www.gdeb.com/about/

Joe exists to feed Electric Boat.

Time for this hawk to fly elsewhere.

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on November 7, 2008 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

What possible downside could exist in kicking Lieberman out on his ass? What have the Democrats to loose?

Does Lieberman have a J. Edgar Hoover type file on Reid? Really. This should be a no brainer.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on November 7, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman is not a Democrat he is an Independent. What committee does Bernie Saunders chair? As much as I would like revenge and retribution, why is an Independent chairing such an important committee in a Democratic Senate?

Posted by: Diane on November 7, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

I do not see the problem here. Lieberman is an independent, who beat a Dem contender for his seat. He's campaigned for McCain and worked against Obama ...

Bye.

Posted by: SteinL on November 7, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

TROJAN HORSE Fox in the Hen House


JOE MUST GO!!

Posted by: barkleyg on November 7, 2008 at 3:52 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Lieberman left the Democratic Party, endorsed the Republican Presidential candidate, campaigned for the Republican Presidential candidate and down-ticket Republican candidates. Why does he expect to be allowed to remain in the Democratic caucus. He is a nominal independent who has shown by his words and his actions that he wishes to be associated with the Republican Party. That is where he should caucus. If they wish to make him ranking minority member on a committee, that's entirely their responsibility. If he wanted positions that come from being part of the Senate majority, he shouldn't have chosen to affiliate himself with the Party that was, and remains, in the minority.

He's not a Democrat, nor is a Democratic-leaning independent. He is a Republican in all but name, who uses his nominal affiliation with the Democrats as nothing but a platform to attack other Democrats and support Republicans.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 7, 2008 at 3:59 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't I read somewhere that Henry Waxman was considering moving to Chairman of another committee?

We can't afford to leave Lieberman with the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

Besides, if Lieberman goes to the Republicans he becomes just another Senator in the minority party. Considering how much Joe likes being a Senator, I suspect that he would consider that a big deal and not a good one.

Posted by: Rick B on November 7, 2008 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I offer Mitch McConnell my congratulations and best wishes on his (soon, I hope) acquisition of a new member to the Republican Caucus.

I can only hope that the titanically self-important Senator from the 'Connecticut for Lieberman Party' proves to be as helpful in moving forward the GOP agenda as he has been in moving ours over the last few years.

Joe will be disappointed to lose the power and privileges that was previously granted him, but he seems to have forgotten that power was earned by the party as a whole, not the man, and was loaned out in return for service to the party and its goals. While I'm sure Joe will whine about that, I don't know how it could be any worse than the things he's already said about us, nor why we should listen to a word he says anymore.

I think it's swell that Joe sees himself as a man of character who has just been doing what his conscience called him to do, but I must also say that I am repulsed by his conscience, and find him an abhorrent man. I want him gone.

Posted by: biggerbox on November 7, 2008 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

Joe really should get squat. The Dems are going to hold a majority through 2010 and probably 2012. Leiberman should have to EARN a chairmanship and like any other employee who screws up, he gets a job performance review every 2 years. I'm disgusted it's even being entertained to keep him in the Democratic caucus let alone give him ANY chairmanship.

Posted by: tom.a on November 7, 2008 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely,

I'm sure others will contradict me, perhaps successfully, but I'm of the impression that when it comes to everything EXCEPT the military and national security, Lieberman still leans to the left.

This does not excuse or condone his horsesh*ttery these past few years, nor does it explain why he feels compelled to caucus with Dems but endorse and embrace Republicans. It comes across like a not-even-veiled shadow Republican in Dem circles.

My concern is that, for all the petty vindictiveness Lieberman has displayed thus far, I truly think stripping him of his chair is going to push him into full-blown "bitter ex-lover" mode. Can't speak for you, but I've had the unpleasant experience of breaking up with someone who was starting to get creepy, and the next time I saw her, she was with a new guy and making every effort to show she was SOOOO much happier now than she ever was with me. This more or less confirmed the "creepy" assessment I previously made. But I see that same crazy-goggly look in Lieberman's eyes. I do think the party's better off without Lieberman, but if we strip him of his seat and he starts caucusing with the Republicans, we have to be ready. What few principles he has will be long gone. He'll be going WAY out of his way to prove just HOW GOOD a Republican he now is. The sorts of programs and bills he used to support, he will now threaten to filibuster. He'll become a staple on Fox news, who will gleefully use him to peddle the Dems = Weak-on-Terror-Socialists meme. He will truly become a scorned ex, and unless the good people of Connecticutt do something to strip him of his power, he will be an unfortunate thorn in the side of the Obama Administration.

Of course, the flip side is, Reid lets him keep his chair, and he uses it for GOP-centric partisan gain, opening an investigation into Obama every time he sneezes funny or Michelle wears white after Labor Day. He's a stealth Republican now, and not a mentally stable one either. We need to accept that and give him the heave-ho and prepare for the consequences.

Posted by: slappy magoo on November 7, 2008 at 4:36 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not particularly averse to having an aggressive prosecutor ready with teh gavel in teh Senate.

I don't think Obama will continue Bush's traditions of executive power abuse, but how could it hurt to make him worry?

That said, I'm unsure whether Lieberman would avoid diligence solely for the sake of political games.

He's not demonstrated any sense of priorities lately.

Posted by: toowearyforoutrage on November 7, 2008 at 4:38 PM | PERMALINK

Great post, Mr. Benen. Thank you.

Posted by: TG Chicago on November 7, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

slappy magoo wrote: "My concern is that, for all the petty vindictiveness Lieberman has displayed thus far, I truly think stripping him of his chair is going to push him into full-blown 'bitter ex-lover' mode."

Oh my, well we can't have that. Lieberman might start campaigning for Republican candidates or something.

slappy magoo wrote: "He'll become a staple on Fox news, who will gleefully use him to peddle the Dems = Weak-on-Terror-Socialists meme."

How is that worse than the Palin-McCain campaign using Lieberman to peddle the "Dems = Weak-on-Terror-Socialists" meme?

The simple fact is that Lieberman went off the deep end a long time ago. He is not a Democrat. He is not an Independent. He is an agressively partisan, viciously dishonest Republican. He is a member of the defeated, repudiated, disgraced minority party, and should be treated as such ... as you conclude, give him the heave-ho. The "consequences" will be his resounding and humiliating defeat when he next faces election.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 7, 2008 at 4:51 PM | PERMALINK

If he just fired Lieberman, then Lieberman would be able to stand up once again and cry out for the need for bipartisanship and flee to the Republicans like a martyr. But by offering Lieberman a step down, he's giving him the choice of either taking a humiliating lesser position or being the one who has to go to the Republicans. I love it.

I agree. I think people are really underestimating the strategy here. It's not like Lieberman's choice is to stay as the head of his current committee or take the new job. His choice is to take the new job or be out of the caucus altogether, which means he'll either have to accept the job or join the Republicans, which he knows would be electoral death in Connecticut.

Rock and hard place. That's what I like to see.

Posted by: Mnemosyne on November 7, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

As Josh Marshall just pointed out, Lieberman currently holds a committee chairmanship while Hillary Clinton DOES NOT due to the seniority system. Think about that for a minute. Hillary through her leadership in the party has most definitely earned a chairmanship. She may not want government affairs, if so, then some musical chairs are in order while we show Lieberman the door.

Folks, this is about 2012 when Lieberman comes up for re-election. If he is going to run for re-election he has 3 choices: (1) run again as a Democrat in the Democratic Primary, (2) run as an independent in a 3-way race, or (3) run as a Republican.

The more he worms his way back into the caucus, the more likely it is that he will plan to declare again as a Democrat and use his incumbent fundraising power to swamp the Democratic opposition, especially if the primary opposition is split between multiple candidates. Stripping him of his chairmanship and better yet, throwing him out of the caucus makes it more likely that he won't be running as a Dem in the 2012 Dem primary.

Running again as an independent has its own risks as it guarantees a 3-way race. Not sure he'll stand up to a well-funded Dem candidate.

Running as a Republican in CT is a recipe for defeat for certain.

Now, consider if Lieberman, out of spite for being tossed, morphs into a New England Jewish version of say---James Inhofe or Saxby Chambliss. And he starts voting against every progressive policy initiative that the Obama Administration puts forward. Can't think of a better outcome as that would almost certainly seal his fate in 2012 when the good people of CT would finally toss his ass out on the street.

In short, Lieberman has no leverage. He can't caucus with the Republicans and convert into a conservative Republican and have any hope at all of maintaining his seat. If he is tossed from the caucus, his constituency will still demand that he vote in line with the Dems on most major policy initiatives. What we have witnessed is the auto-castration of a sitting US Senator. Couldn't have happened to a more deserving person.

Posted by: Kent on November 7, 2008 at 5:05 PM | PERMALINK

I think Reid is doing exactly the right thing. He is stripping him of his committee chairmanship and offering him a subcommittee post. Lieberman does vote with the Dems on social issues and we will need him to help us reign in the American taliban.

He is attracted to the Republicans in his need to put Israel first and he is a hawk. That's what I fault him for - putting Israel first and conflating Israel's security with that of the U.S. He is also opportunistic and puts his career ahead of his party loyalites. I think he really thought he would get a VP slot with McCain and had to be all in for him.

Having said all that, he needs to go to the subcommittee and take his lumps and live with the lack of trust that he engendered with his own actions. We don't need the right wing taking up his cause and making him an issue when we have so much more to do. Let the CT voters take care of the rest.

Posted by: Always Hopeful on November 7, 2008 at 5:07 PM | PERMALINK

I agree with your post. To further prove your point consider this: LIEBERMAN stated that it was a matter of "conscience" to support McCain, so how in good "conscience" can he now claim that losing his chairmanship will cause him to caucus with republicans when in good "conscience" he always caucused with the dems except for supporting McCain. Does losing his chairmanship mean he also loses his "conscience"...or...does he want to keep his chairmanship so he can further express this new found conscience...you know...the one that supported McCain over Obama.

It is more likely that Lieberman believes...still... that his future really depends on republicans gaining control of power again so he will be rewarded for his efforts (and the efforts he is about to use, as Benen suggests, to gain future republican rewards by finding ways to backstab Obama and the dems).

Bayh has a senate "good ole boy" attitude that ignores reality for cronyism and the real question remains...Is Reid that weak or that compromised to allow his "I must respect my colleague" attitude to keep him from telling Lieberman to go screw himself...he chose his side and his "conscience" is apparently up for sale now.

What is unacceptable is allowing Lieberman to have any leadership position in the dem caucus when he cannot be trusted...in good "conscience"...to support the dem agenda.

Jerusalem Joe has got to go. He is trying to blackmail the democratic caucus by threatening to join the other side of the isle if Reid doesn't give him what he wants...That is not characteristic of a man of "conscience".

Posted by: bjobotts on November 7, 2008 at 6:03 PM | PERMALINK

the problem is that joe and hadassah are israeli assets.

pelosi is an israeli asset. and now, rahm[mossadist], has become the obombya gatekeeper.

harry reid really can't withstand the israeli pressure on him[the mossad has too much on him] - he will do a pontius pilate.

if you doubt this analysis, just keep in mind that obombya intends to preserve the usa as the surrogate israeli warmongerer[i.e., continuing military occupation of iraq, increased military deployment in afghanistan, perhaps an invasion of pakistan, and the aerial bombardment of targets within iran].

this pro-zionist, israeli orientation of the obombya regime assures joe and hadassah any role in the future congress that they want.

that is the reality. israel continues to run the usg.

Posted by: albertchampion on November 7, 2008 at 9:50 PM | PERMALINK

Take a few moments and sign the following petitions:

Firedoglake

and

Lieberman must go

If you have a 'Digg' account, you might as well 'digg it' as well.

Posted by: bruno on November 7, 2008 at 10:55 PM | PERMALINK

The arguement about whether or not Lieberman is an independent or a Democrat is moot. A major committee in the Senate needs a Democratic LEADER. You need a significant constituency in the party to be a leader, and Joe lost his through his actions. He has nothing to whine about. Low-power or not, subcommitee chair is better than being ranking minority member.

Posted by: reidmc on November 8, 2008 at 2:30 AM | PERMALINK

If Bayh is so sympathetic to Lieberman's plight, he should make Lieberman a better offer. Lieberman's hard work on behalf of the GOP deserves to be rewarded.

Posted by: anon on November 8, 2008 at 5:36 AM | PERMALINK

Great post. I hope other bloggers pick it up.

Posted by: Bob M on November 8, 2008 at 8:30 AM | PERMALINK

Understand there will be a new position available January 20 next at a Dallas mansion for a new Barney handler. Lieberman would be as cute petting his new charge as he has Barney's Master.

Posted by: berttheclock on November 8, 2008 at 10:19 AM | PERMALINK

The anger against Joe Lieberman goes back to 2006. He was not the only Senator who continued to support a forever occupation.

But even then he was unique as a Democrat in going out of his way to taunt those whose support he demanded.

Posted by: Burr Deming on November 8, 2008 at 11:04 AM | PERMALINK

OK, but why? How does that help him? What has he ever said to suggest he has a principled reason to do so?

He is passionately committed to our occupation of the Middle East. I am sure he would do everything in his capacity as committee chairman thwart Obama's plans to remove us from Iraq.

Posted by: oddjob on November 9, 2008 at 2:07 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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