Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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November 8, 2008

DODD DEFENDS LIEBERMAN.... As much as I respect Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), I haven't the foggiest idea what he's talking about here.

U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd said Friday that President-elect Obama would not want one of his party's first major post-election issues to be a messy fight over Joseph Lieberman's status as a Democrat.

Lieberman's political future is uncertain because some Democrats want to punish him for supporting Republican John McCain in the race against Obama. But Lieberman and Obama have been Democratic colleagues in the U.S. Senate for four years, Dodd noted, and Obama generally resists confrontations if a compromise can be reached.

"What does Barack Obama want?" Dodd rhetorically asked reporters Friday in Hartford. "He's talked about reconciliation, healing, bringing people together. I don't think he'd necessarily want to spend the first month of this president-elect period, this transition period, talking about a Senate seat, particularly if someone is willing to come forward and is willing to be a member of your family in the caucus in that sense."

Since when is it the president-elect's responsibility to oversee partisan conflicts in a different branch of government? "What does Barack Obama want?" As far as I can tell, he wants to put together an effective presidential administration. The more pertinent question is, "What do Senate Democrats want?"

Or, put another way, this isn't Obama's problem, and it isn't his job. Unless the president-elect is working the phones, trying to get Senate Democrats to punish Lieberman -- and there's no evidence that he is -- then Dodd is mistaken trying to bring Obama into this.

This need not be complicated. Lieberman was a truly awful chairman of this committee, letting the Democratic Party down. He then betrayed the Democratic Party by endorsing the Republican presidential nominee. He betrayed the Democratic Party again by speaking at the Republican convention. He betrayed the Democratic Party again by smearing and questioning the patriotism of the Democratic nominee. And he betrayed the party once more by working to help down-ballot Republicans during the election.

Even after all of this, the Democratic Senate leader is still willing to let Lieberman stay in the caucus, keep his seniority, and become a chairman of another committee. Lieberman says that's "unacceptable" -- he's apparently comfortable making demands of those he's been disloyal towards -- and Sens. Dodd and Bayh seem to think he's right.

If there's any logic to this, it's hiding well.

Steve Benen 11:30 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (65)

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You can say no to Joe over at Firedog Lake...


Posted by: kanopsis on November 8, 2008 at 11:45 AM | PERMALINK

The logic is that this is the time they can afford to piss off the high information voter. They don't need us for almost two more years.

It's a bubble world in the Senate, they are all pals who try to get along, especially in the same state.

Lieberman will be gone one way or the other in 2012.

Posted by: winner on November 8, 2008 at 11:48 AM | PERMALINK

It's a bubble world in the Senate, they are all pals who try to get along, especially in the same state.

It really is. The best thing Dodd could do right now would be to keep his mouth shut, but the circle-the-wagons--often specifically against the voters outside--mentality prevents that.

Posted by: shortstop on November 8, 2008 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

This is all just a way for Reid to kick it to the Senate Democrats so he doesn't make the decision to let Lieberman stay where he is. That way, when the partisans get angry, they can't blame anyone.

Posted by: Me2d on November 8, 2008 at 11:53 AM | PERMALINK

Obama campaigned for Lieberman in his race against Lamont. As thanks, Lieberman stabbed him in the back.

And Democratic Senators will even consider keeping him (an independent, not a Democrat) as a committee chair? Instead of rewarding a loyal party member who can be trusted? I do not understand such thinking.

Posted by: Wapiti on November 8, 2008 at 11:56 AM | PERMALINK

Me2d is right. Has Reid ever met a controversial decision he wanted to make himself, unless it involved self-benefiting Nevada land swaps in the name of "wilderness"?

On the plus side, it's the start of two more years of punditry for us non-Democratic left-liberal types.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 8, 2008 at 11:57 AM | PERMALINK

winner is right, senators have a nice private club with an elaborate system of courtesies and protocols that seems designed less to do the people's business than to maintain club decorum.

Even with years of a personal relationship with Holy Joe, it's beyond me why any senate Dem would feel any sympathy for him, or any need to extend a helping hand. The guy's a little shit.

Posted by: jrw on November 8, 2008 at 11:59 AM | PERMALINK

Wapiti, forgot about that.

It shows just how "centrist" or "bipartisan" Obama really is.

Posted by: SocraticGadfly on November 8, 2008 at 12:05 PM | PERMALINK

Holy Joe must be exerting the leverage he has left. Defecting to the Republicans is part of it, but the bigger club may be his clout in the conservative Jewish community, the Jews who didn't vote for Obama. Maybe Dodd and Co. are worried that Lieberman will undermine Obama with AIPAC and damage his credibility in Israel, which would make the Obama's administration's efforts against terrorism and our withdrawal from Iraq more difficult. Is this despicable? Sure. But it's so Lieberman.

Posted by: dalloway on November 8, 2008 at 12:07 PM | PERMALINK

This "Obama wants reconciliation" line is one that Joe himself is pushing, so Dodd is simply declaring which side he's on.

It's inside baseball, the Dems are going to have to pick sides, and it's inevitable that some will end up on Joe's side, for all sorts of reasons -- favors owed, doing a big favor to be repaid later, geography, who knows what-all.

But pressure from voters CAN have an effect. Joe himself is a very good example of what happens when you ignore the voters, even at a distance from an election -- see under Lamont, Ned.

Posted by: bleh on November 8, 2008 at 12:10 PM | PERMALINK

This is prime Dodd, for good or bad, which depends more upon the viewer than on him. Dodd sees himself, with good reason, as a negotiator and conciliator. He knows the Senate Dems will need Lieberman's vote to avoid Republican filibuster threats. Lieberman is nothing if not concerned with his own self-preservation, and must know he doesn't have much future with the Republicans; at most, he can act as a grudgingly tolerated spoiler, and ultimately go down to defeat in the next election. Rather than have him Zell Millering at them for the next four years, Dodd is holding out an olive branch and trusting to Lieberman to haul himself out of the flood with it. If he does, he can run for reelection as the well-conscienced (neo)liberal who came back to the Dem fold when the country needed him. If Dodd and Obama campaign for him, he'll probably win.

Another analogy is that Dodd is playing good cop to Reid's bad cop. None of this is pretty, but it's how things get done, with an eye to the ultimate prize rather than, as the Repubs prefer, momentary revenge. Lieberman makes me retch too, but I trust Dodd and respect his intelligence even when I disagree with him, which is frequently. He would have made a great President and he knows it, but doesn't let his own disappointment slow him down.

Posted by: ericfree on November 8, 2008 at 12:25 PM | PERMALINK

To play devil's advocate, my guess is that Dodd is trying to keep the focus of a party in civil war on the Republicans and not the Democrats. While the R's are splitting apart as to what they really do stand for, the media will point to this one instance with Lieberman to say the Dems are a house divided too. I think Dodd is trying to derail the media's attempts to discount the Dems right after a successful election.

Dodd may also be buying time for Barack to keep his hands clean of this affair. If Barack is part of the effort to deny Lieberman his chairmanship, it'll be painted as some Stalinist purge in the media. As SocraticGadfly said, Reid should grow a pair and do what needs to be done, and not make the rest of the Dems in the Senate culpable for ousting Joe.

Posted by: petorado on November 8, 2008 at 12:27 PM | PERMALINK

By January, the Senate Democratic caucus will have between 19 and 22 members (including Sanders) who've taken office since 2004, all behind Lieberman in seniority. How do you suppose they'll like the idea of letting him keep his plums?

Posted by: allbetsareoff on November 8, 2008 at 12:28 PM | PERMALINK

Judas Joe won't go easily into the night; if he loses that cushy spot on Homeland Security, AIPAC will throw him under the bus for us.

But there's a bigger question here that needs to be answered. Everyone knows that he chose to leave the Party and hang out his own. No one forced him to do so. If the committee assignments are made for the 111th, what's to stop Judas Joe from taking that gavel, and crossing the fence?

I, for one, do not wish to trade any of my Constitutional "Liberty" for even a smidgen of Homeland "Security" at the hands of such a Bush-enabling turncoat as Judas Joe---for by doing so, I shall have neither Liberty nor Security.

Now---what part of that doesn't Dodd "get"?

Posted by: Steve W. on November 8, 2008 at 12:34 PM | PERMALINK

From Josh Marshal at TPM. Let's mention very much what he says has gone little mentioned:

Another Reason to Can Joe

As we and many others have chronicled, there's a surfeit of reasons to strip Sen. Lieberman of his committee chairmanship. But one, perhaps the most obvious and substantive, has gone little mentioned. Simply put, he was terrible at it. Lieberman's committee is the senate investigations and oversight committee, the senate's counterpart to Rep. Henry Waxman's committee in the House. And if you remember a lot about Waxman's investigations and hearings and nothing about Lieberman's, that's because Lieberman didn't hold any. Even in the face of endless scandals of the late Bush administration, Lieberman couldn't find anything worth poking into.

--Josh Marshall

Posted by: Neil B on November 8, 2008 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

Pray tell, what exactly constitutes a "messy fight"?

(1) Reid: Sorry, Joe. You don't get a committee chairmanship anymore and you're not permitted to sit in on the Democratic caucus because you're not a Democrat.

(2) Lieberman: What?! I'll hold my breath and turn blue!

(3) Reid: It's about time you turn blue.

(4) Lieberman: I'll join the GOP caucus! Just watch me!

(5) Reid: We're watching. Don't let the door hit your sorry butt on the way out.

See? Not messy at all.

Posted by: Zeno on November 8, 2008 at 12:52 PM | PERMALINK

Well, technically Obama is still a Senator so he does still have a say in Senate matters. To follow up on what bleh and ericfree said the strategy might be Godfather-like and to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. The only real leverage here for Reid is the committee chairmanship, and casting Lieberman out to the wilderness just gives him more cause to be more rogue like. With the numbers being what they are I would rather hold my nose and give Lieberman a place in the caucus, unless folks are confident it will be easier to flip the more moderate Republicans on the major initiatives. Cutting him completely loose gives him nothing to lose by being an obstructionist.

Posted by: kdub on November 8, 2008 at 12:55 PM | PERMALINK

That son-of-a-bitch went rogue in 2000 and 2008. He's a traitor. Cut him loose. Do it now. Don't look back.

Posted by: Palinoscopy on November 8, 2008 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

It doesn't seem correct to say that "this isn't Obama's problem, and it isn't his job." He's not only the president-elect, he's also a sitting Senate Democrat -- now the most important and influential Senate Democrat. He doesn't need to work the phones, unless it's one phone call to Reid, expressing his wishes with regard to Joe's fate. In the end, the Senate Democrats' decision about Joe will probably reflect Obama's desires, but his (Obama's) fingerprints will be nowhere in sight.

Posted by: Larry on November 8, 2008 at 12:58 PM | PERMALINK

even if i suppress my perfectly reasonable desire to see Joe tarred and feathered as revenge, the bottom line is that given his actions I simply do not trust him in caucus. I don't want him hearing our plans, strategies, and in-fights and then calling up his buddy John McInsane, who will still be in the Senate, and telling everything he heard. and sadly, i think that he would based on his recent behavior.

and if you cant be in those strategy sessions, it is hard to effectively serve as a Committee Chair representing the majority party.

Reid needs to pull up his big boy Majority Leader pants and do the dirty work that comes with the job. the faster and cleaner, the better - it is over, it doesn't look indecisive or like an intraparty "war," it helps keep it out of the Obama administration, and it keeps the burden from being shared by every last Senator.

i keep asking myself how LBJ would have handled this when he was the leader. All of my imagined outcomes seem to involve certain of Lieberman's parts in a jar on LBJ's desk.

Posted by: zeitgeist on November 8, 2008 at 1:08 PM | PERMALINK

This is looking squiffy. Does Lieberman have something incriminating on Democrats in the Senate? Why in the world would they line up to defend a guy who is certain to use subpoena power as a committee chair to try to destroy Obama's administration? I wonder if all that domestic surveillance included key Dem members of congress and Lieberman is extorting his colleagues with whatever the Bush administration overheard.

Posted by: Karen on November 8, 2008 at 1:11 PM | PERMALINK

Strip away all of the bullshit we've had to put up with from Joe, and it's simple: he didn't do his job.

Why should Joe be treated any differently than the rest of us?

Posted by: doubtful on November 8, 2008 at 1:12 PM | PERMALINK

And then there's the very best reason of all to strip Lieberman of this committee chairmanship - as Steve himself pointed out in that post yesterday, one of the committee's primary roles is overseeing the executive branch.

Hmmm...letting a guy who begged you to come campaign for him in 2006...then turned around and campaigned with your opponent in 2008 and not only did that, but also questioned your patriotism? Doesn't sound like a good idea to let that guy keep the gavel of the committee responsible for looking over your shoulder.

Look, Loserman is in no position to bargain here. He either steps down from the chairmanship of this committee and takes another committee chair assignment, or he can go over to the Republicans - who don't have ANY chairmanships to hand out. And says goodbye to any possibility of ever being re-elected. I think the Dems should be able to see that at this point, it really isn't in the party's best interest to do anything that makes it more likely for Lieberman to remain in the Senate past this term.

Posted by: Jennifer on November 8, 2008 at 1:13 PM | PERMALINK

Senate Democrats really have no pride do they? Timid little mice.

Posted by: Jack H. on November 8, 2008 at 1:14 PM | PERMALINK

The voters have given the Democrats control over the White House, House and Senate, but they couldn't give them a spine. As Obama considers a bunch of Clinton "centrist" retreads for his cabinet Senate Democrats are about to let Lieberman get away with behavior that the Republican party would never tolerate.

As long as there is a single Republican in the Senate the Democrats will tremble in fear.

Posted by: Mister Dott on November 8, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

If Bayh or Dodd was my Senator, I would be ridding their phone line like a collection agency.
If Lieberman stays in his position he will torpedo the Obama administration. I frikken guarantee it. He can not be trusted at all.

Posted by: Northern Observer on November 8, 2008 at 1:20 PM | PERMALINK

I dont see it as 'punishment' but more time to see the family!!

Posted by: Jet on November 8, 2008 at 1:21 PM | PERMALINK

The reason why Dodd is defending Lieberman is that Dodd has relatively low approval ratings back home in CT, and Dodd can't afford to alienate the Lieberman supporters there (independents and Republicans). But I can say as someone who has worked for the Connecticut delegation that Lieberman and Dodd are no longer friends and hardly talk to one another.

Posted by: john on November 8, 2008 at 1:24 PM | PERMALINK

I hope all CT voters will be contacting Dodd, whether by e-mail, fax, snail mail or phone, and letting him know that his CONSTITUENTS think Holy Joe is a traitor, and he can either support them or SHUT UP.

Posted by: Mauimom on November 8, 2008 at 1:25 PM | PERMALINK

Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman have been CT Senators as long as I can remember. I think Lieberman was elected a US Senator when I was 10 and Dodd has been a US Senator just about as long as I've been alive. They have a lot of history and it's hard to just brush off 20+ years. I can see where Dodd is coming from. But I completely agree that Lieberman's time is pretty much up.

Posted by: Mick on November 8, 2008 at 1:26 PM | PERMALINK

Also, Senators may think of it as a "club," but it's a "club" established by the Constitution, and it has a job to do. It's NOT about back-slapping your wayward pals and tolerating their whining and treason.

Thus Dodd needs to learn that this is what his CONSTITUENTS want, and act accordingly.

Posted by: Mauimom on November 8, 2008 at 1:28 PM | PERMALINK

Steve Benen wrote: "Since when is it the president-elect's responsibility to oversee partisan conflicts in a different branch of government? ... this isn't Obama's problem, and it isn't his job."

It's exactly because this is a partisan conflict that it's entirely appropriate for Dodd to ask "What does Barack Obama want?"

As President -- and certainly as President-elect -- Obama has no Constitutional role to "advise and consent" with regard to how the Senate conducts its internal affairs.

But Dodd obviously is not speaking of Obama's Constitutional role as President. He is speaking of Obama's political role as the leader of the Democratic Party. In that capacity, it is entirely appropriate and arguably crucial for the Senate Democrats to consider "what Obama wants" as they decide what to do about Lieberman, and to try not to undermine Obama's political position with their actions.

I'm glad that Dodd is thinking about it.

Posted by: SecularAnimist on November 8, 2008 at 1:30 PM | PERMALINK

What does Connecticut think of Judas Joe?

A September poll found that "54 percent rated Lieberman negatively and 37 percent positively."

"Fifty-two percent consider him an independent, 22 percent a Republican and just 15 percent a Democrat.

Seventy-one percent of Republicans approve of his performance, and 76 percent of Democrats disapprove."

Basically, Connecticut doesn't think Lieberman is a Democrat. Strangely, "a majority opposed stripping Lieberman of his seniority, 50 percent to 44 percent." I guess the good people of CT would rather have a do-nothing, turncoat Senator from CT in charge of a committee rather than anyone from anywhere else that might actually do the job. Self-interest wins out over the greater good.


Posted by: josef on November 8, 2008 at 1:38 PM | PERMALINK

"Thus Dodd needs to learn that this is what his CONSTITUENTS want, and act accordingly."

Dodd is the longest US Senator from Connecticut in CT history. He's not clueless. He also is probably very aware that there is a large JEWISH population that are part of that CONSTITUENCY.

Posted by: Mick on November 8, 2008 at 1:40 PM | PERMALINK

How idiotic. There is no way Lieberman should be allowed to lead a committee of any importance when he's shown himself to be a vapid hack who will put his personal relationships ahead of the good of the country. He needs to be knocked down a peg, no matter the cost. Isn't there a Nasal Whine Committee he can head? He needs to be ousted NOW so Obama can start fresh in January without having to deal with his oh-I'm-so-sorry Droopy Dog mug.

Posted by: Limbaugh's Diabetes on November 8, 2008 at 1:47 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman = Sharon Stone in Casino.
GOP = James Woods.

Don't overthink it, it's that simple. I don't know why or exactly when Joe went hog-jowl crazy but the dude is mentally ill & the GOP knows it. They know Joe desperately wants to prove his political man-love to his soulmate. Reid & the DNC fill the DeNiro role, loving Joe but knowing they can't live like this, so they impose conditions & demands on Joe he has no ability or intention of meeting.

So they gotta cut him loose. Because he's a sociopathic drama queen, it's gonna be a scene, no matter when it happens, and the longer it takes, the more of a scene it will be. So, may as well do it now.

Posted by: slappy magoo on November 8, 2008 at 1:53 PM | PERMALINK

"Honor thy constituents"

That's all I have to say about that.

Okay, maybe not. Set the snake free, it's a wild reptile, it doesn't belong in a committee Chris Dodd.

Posted by: The Galloping Trollop on November 8, 2008 at 1:57 PM | PERMALINK

The Obama campaign seemed to put some effort into the notion that Obama was a tough Chicago pol when he needed to be. I would like to see Harry Reid call Lieberman and tell him that Obama says he is gone and then make sure everyone knows that you stab Obama in the back, you better make it fatal.

Posted by: Th on November 8, 2008 at 2:00 PM | PERMALINK

It was fine for Lieberman to disagree very publicly with the majority of Democratic senators on Iraq (or any issue for that matter). But anyone who actively campaigns against his party's presidential candidate *and* speaks at the other party's convention should be removed from any leadership position. The Dems don't need Lieberman. They aren't going to reach 60 with or without him, and their majority is now safe.

Now as to Dodd, we have a real ethics problem that needs dealing with. His claim to not know he received a favorable mortgage is total B.S. and he needs to be held to account, especially given his committee position.

Posted by: Mr. Mxyzptlk on November 8, 2008 at 2:06 PM | PERMALINK

I agree: President-Elect Obama (squee!) should stay out of this squabble. Let Harry Reid take care of it. I like his idea of opening it up to the Dem caucus. Let the Senate be the Senate, and the President be the President.

Posted by: Charity on November 8, 2008 at 2:08 PM | PERMALINK

The Senate is in part about crafting compromises with people you can't stand and whose goals you despise. Obama wants to find common ground with moderate republicans, most of whom are farther from Obama's position on most issues than Lieberman. Lieberman represents a leaning-Dem vote on most issues except Iraq. Thus he should represent an easy test case for practicing inclusive politics and finding common ground. So the majority of the Dem leadership will likely be ridiculously nice to him.

That being said, his behavior in the presidential campaign does not deserve a committee chairmanship as a reward, and leaving his appointment in place sends all the wrong signals. Also, his past performance as chair has been execrable, so it is time for someone who will do the job properly. Moreover, as chair he'd be in a position to cause Obama a great deal of trouble, so pragmatically he should be removed from power, just to increase the Democrats' chance of accomplishing something positive and getting re-elected in 2010. So, I'd recommend ejection from the chair, and I predict offerings of smiles and hugs all round from the Dem leadership for public consumption.

But if he gets the slightest whiff of scandal, he's going to find himself the most isolated and friendless person in Washington in world-record time.

Lieberman will of course carp to the media about Dems and Dem policies, and he will leak to Republicans like a sieve, but if he didn't, someone else would. The Senate just has to operate in a situation where everything gets leaked and criticized all the time.

Posted by: N.Wells on November 8, 2008 at 2:21 PM | PERMALINK

Furthermore, as you've already said elsewhere, he lied to his constituents by saying that if re-elected in 2006 he would work toward electing a Democratic president.

I wish somebody with a real microphone would start saying this, repeatedly.

Posted by: Joe Bourgeois on November 8, 2008 at 2:40 PM | PERMALINK

Would it be inappropriate for Obama to very quietly sic his new attack dog COS on this piece of human garbage? There should be 100,000 people in the street screaming for Lieberman's head, if that's what it takes.

We will know what we bought on Nov. 4th long before Jan 20th. What a perfect opportunity for Obama to assert his position as true leader of the Democratic party. Lieberman should be become the invisible man of the Senate.

When in America do as the Americans do; if someone spits in your face, I don't care if you are the bleepin Pope, you smack him.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on November 8, 2008 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Last night, I e-wrote my Dem Senator Jim (the Loose Cannon) Webb, to ask that -- should the matter of Joe (the Turncoat) LIEberman come up for discussion at the Dem Senatorial caucus during the lame duck session -- he should vote for kicking the Turncoat's sorry butt to the curb (ie remove his gavel from the SOB). If for no other reason than to "larn" him, that actions have consequences. It's a lesson that most people learn by the time they're 10 and here's this old fart still thinking he can weasel his way out of anything.

For good measure, I signed the petition on the Fire Lake site, too (that one is directed at a group of Senators, not at any particular one).

Posted by: exlibra on November 8, 2008 at 2:55 PM | PERMALINK

Lieberman wants to keep his H.S. seat so he can attack Obama. He didn't do his job during the gw years (checking on gw to make sure he stays in line), but he sure as he** promises to do it NOW!
Frigging a$$hole! And the Dems are falling for it???

Posted by: fedup on November 8, 2008 at 2:57 PM | PERMALINK

Obama is STILL a senator.
Not president yet.

Posted by: bakho on November 8, 2008 at 3:46 PM | PERMALINK

Plain and simple. Lieberman is no longer needed by the Democrats, he more than just misbehaved during this campaign. He needs to be booted out period, end of sentence. Worries of a filibuster proof Senate mean nothing when he himself has already stated that he would fight Democrats against that. We have more that the 51 Senators needed. He is not a loyal Democrat by any means; pretty soon the GOP will be calling him the true maverick. Democrats through out the country do not want a Democratic congress that we have elected to go Lieberman light. We expect him out, gone, denounced, not forgiven, expelled, demoted, fired; over and done with. Short of a total excision from our party will not be favorably received by the Democratic constituency. Do not start off this administration with some foolish conciliatory gesture to a man that no Democratic voters trust. We do not care about your friendships with him, you were voted in by us and you know our wishes. We want this cancer of a traitor to our party out; no and, if's about it. We want him gone from any chairmanships emphatically. We do not want him to caucus with us. Let him be true to himself, he is a GOP man period. Please do not infuriate your voters. Their is no mercy in our hearts.

Posted by: Anthony Look on November 8, 2008 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

I am no Joe Lieberman fan, trust me. But here's what I don't get. Why do we Dems laud Republicans like Chuck Hegel as men of conviction and independence when they go against their own party, but Joe Lieberman is a pariah? Granted, Hegel didn't formally endorse Obama and he din't campaign for him. But his going to Iraq with Obama was a tacit endorsement and he was publicly critical of McCain and Palin. So why is he a hero and Leiberman a criminal? Do we support independence of thought or not? And for my money, Lieberman's real crime was not endorsing McCain, but failing to accept the judgement of his own constituents in 2006 and running for re-election to the Senate as an independent. Again, I'm no Lieberman fan and I think he should have his committee chairs taken away, but I don't get the double standard.

Posted by: Ed Fitz on November 8, 2008 at 3:50 PM | PERMALINK

Joe needs kicked to the curb, but, OTOH, there is a Senate runoff in Georgia that Lieberman won't be campaigning for the Republicans in so long as he is trying to talk his way into keeping his gavel, so there is no reason not to keep sending signals that there might a chance of that for a little while longer.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2008 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK
Why do we Dems laud Republicans like Chuck Hegel as men of conviction and independence when they go against their own party, but Joe Lieberman is a pariah?

Because Chuck Hagel didn't leave the Republican party when he lost a Republican primary, campaign for Democrats at all levels and trash Republicans at all levels, and then when that turned out badly for him try to pretend that it never happened and that he'd always been respectful to the Democrats and demand to to be treated as if he were a senior Republican, rather than an Independent who'd tied himself tightly to the Democrats.

In other words, because Chuck Hagel isn't an opportunistic jackass that lacks the courage of his claimed convictions, whereas Joe Lieberman is.

But thanks for your concern.

Posted by: cmdicely on November 8, 2008 at 3:57 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Lieberman who campaigned actively against Obama has an important chair position. Hillary Clinton, once defeated, actively, eloquently campaigned for Obama and does not have an important chair position - because of seniority.

If Lieberman keeps his job, what message does that send to other Democrats?

Demote him. Don't boot him out, just demote him.

Posted by: jen f on November 8, 2008 at 4:55 PM | PERMALINK

Why do we Dems laud Republicans like Chuck Hegel as men of conviction and independence when they go against their own party, but Joe Lieberman is a pariah?

Because we are not distributing Cub Scout merit badges. This is politics.

If Hagel wants to bolt the Republican Party, I for one, would be glad to have him.

Posted by: Duncan Kinder on November 8, 2008 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Both Joe and Chris are part and parcel of the military-industrial complex. Of course Chris would support Joe.

These two guys scored billions of defense related funding for their state.

Dig folks. Electric Boat, etc.


Posted by: Tom Nicholson on November 8, 2008 at 6:23 PM | PERMALINK

What is Dodd talking about? Didn't he listen to Sarah Palin? The VICE President is in charge of the Senate!

"I don't think [Obama would] necessarily want to spend the first month of this president-elect period, this transition period, talking about a Senate seat."

Then don't talk about it. Just dump the little shit.

There's a petition up:


Posted by: gradysu on November 8, 2008 at 6:47 PM | PERMALINK

A leader who cannot punish a rat is weak. Do we want Obama to be seen as weak ?

A leader who lets a rat snivel his way into a position where he can betray him again is stupid. Do we want Obama to be seen as stupid ?

So do we want FDR or Jimmy Carter II ?

Posted by: Charles Warren on November 8, 2008 at 6:48 PM | PERMALINK

I wrote to Dodd, reminding him that he has his position because Connecticut Democrats voted for him. We chose Ned Lamont as our candidate, and Mr. Lieberman chose to remain in the race as a spoiler. We do not want Joe Lieberman to have the kind of power in the Senate that he is seeking. He has shown his true colors time and time again since 2002.

Posted by: maurinsky on November 8, 2008 at 7:49 PM | PERMALINK

Jeebus, Joe's been begging for demotion. Do it Dems. Do it now. Yes you can.

Posted by: Diana on November 8, 2008 at 8:12 PM | PERMALINK

I can understand Bayh being stupid,m since he's really a not-quite-a-drooler-Republican. Dodd merely proves why I have thought he was mostly a non-entity most of the time.

They're both proof of why there should be a constitutional amendment that the children of holders of public office should not be allowed to run for any public office. They're almost always much less than the original was.

Posted by: TCinLA on November 8, 2008 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

Letters to my two Senators went out today. Joe has been negligent is his duties to uphold the separation of powers, and the Bush Executive branch has run roughshod over Congress. Joe has to go - the balance of power must be restored.

Posted by: Glen on November 8, 2008 at 10:43 PM | PERMALINK

Joe has got to go! He is a traitor and and opportunist. Add that up with the abysmal job he has been doing as Committee chair, this selfish retread needs to be kicked to the curb.

Reid, do your job. Show some leadership. Stand up like you have a spine. Show Joe the door.

Posted by: Doc Think on November 8, 2008 at 11:07 PM | PERMALINK

Joe Lieberman deserves to be dropped from his chairmanship as quickly as possible. Speaking at the Republican convention and campaigning for McCain are not bipartisan activities, they are the acts of a traitor. Dump him, baby, dump him now !!!!!

Posted by: Darsan54 on November 9, 2008 at 12:52 AM | PERMALINK

Dodd's right. Lieberman isn't worth any political fight at the Executive level - he's a traitor and his political life will probably end in the 2012 election anyway.

Posted by: TerenceC on November 9, 2008 at 8:18 AM | PERMALINK

The terminally gutless and flaccid Harry Reid seems to have forgotten one simple aspect of this situation. Why should any Senator be allowed to retain his chairmanship after campaigning actively against the Democratic Party standard-bearer, while other eligible Dem Senators on the committee campaigned hard for Obama, raised money for him, and defended him against the smears of the guy who holds the chair? It would send the message to all Democrats in Congress, both in the House and the Senate, that you can smear the incoming President of the United States—the leader of the Democratic Party—and nothing will happen to you. That's the last thing Obama needs at the outset of his first administration, considering his legislative goals.

I don't believe there's been a more ineffectual, diffident, and pathetically impotent Senate Majority Leader in either party during the last 100 years than Harry Reid. Lyndon Johnson is laughing at Reid from his grave.

Posted by: bluestatedon on November 9, 2008 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I no longer TRUST Dodd since his non filibuster of FISA

Posted by: Peppe on November 9, 2008 at 12:23 PM | PERMALINK

Its a shame that such an important oversight post has to be tied to the political leanings of a Tuna Head like Lieberman.

Why not decide whether he gets reappointed based upon his lackluster performance to date.

Just get rid of the clown.

Posted by: williambanzai7 on November 9, 2008 at 1:35 PM | PERMALINK



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