Where Is The Wankery?

1 comment November 12th, 2008at 08:00pm Posted by Eli

It’s either in the Politico or the Democratic caucus.  They both have track records of upsetting progressives.  More specifically, the Politico posted a story about how the Democratic leadership is maneuvering to let Joe Lieberman keep his gavel – despite the fact that he campaigned for the Republican presidential candidate, not to mention a few Republican congressional candidates.  Oh, and was a featured speaker at the Republican convention and talked all kinds of smack about our next president.

Thing is, while it would certainly be in character for our depressingly feckless and forgiving Democrats to let Joe keep his gavel despite all that, I can’t really find anything in the story that clearly states that that’s what’s happening.  Let’s review:

Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) are all involved in the effort, according to top Senate Democratic aides.

Who?  Are they aides to those senators, or just random aides who heard some things?  Not that those names are real surprises – three conservatives and Joe’s CT co-senator.  Not exactly a majority coalition.

“He’s got momentum, and we need to keep him in the caucus, and this fits into Barack Obama’s message of change and moving forward,” said one Senate Democratic aide familiar with discussions. “The message here is that we don’t want to start off a new era with retribution.”

I don’t see where this says anything about Joe’s gavel, just keeping him in the caucus.

Democratic senators are also trying to figure out a token punishment for Lieberman if he retains his chairmanship, but that has not been decided. One of the options being discussed would be to revoke other committee assignments while letting Lieberman keep his chairmanship of Homeland Security. Lieberman is a senior member of the Armed Services Committee, and his support for the Iraq war was what drove him into the arms of the McCain campaign early this year.

Um, is there a source?

The Lieberman situation is very sensitive for Democratic leaders, and several offices declined to publicly comment on the Dodd and Salazar effort.

“Sen. Carper has no comment and is referring all such inquiries to Sens. Reid and Lieberman,” said Carper spokeswoman Bette Phelan.

A spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) declined to comment, as did one for Salazar.

Lieberman spokesman Marshall Wittmann said that his office was “not commenting on the process right now.”

Oh look, some actual people with names.  And they’re saying no comment.  Which Politico seems to be implying is proof that something is in the works.

On Tuesday night, Senate Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin said Senate Democrats should be “gracious in victory” toward Lieberman, according to an AP report.

“Despite what Sen. Lieberman did in campaigning for Sen. McCain, speaking at the Republican convention, he has voted with the Democrats an overwhelming percentage of the time,” he said.

Okay…  Again, where does that say anything about him keeping his chair?

Speaking to reporters in Connecticut, Dodd made the case that President-elect Obama has “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.”

Dodd isn’t really saying anything here, just that this needs to be resolved quickly.

Aides cautioned that there are not simply two camps — keep him or dump him — in the Senate Democratic caucus. Instead, a number of options are being considered that would allow him to keep his chairmanship and remain in the caucus but still suffer some sort of penalty.

…And we’re back to the anonymous aides again.  They’re the only sources who say anything about Joe staying on as chairman, and we don’t know who they are or how much they’re in the loop, or if they’re just staffers for conservative pro-Joe Dems, or even Lieberman himself.

I’m sad to say that it would not surprise me if the Democrats did vote to let Joe keep his seat, but I don’t think this story provides a whole lot of evidence of anything more than their intent to not kick him out of the caucus.  But I don’t think that necessarily extends to giving him everything he wants to prevent him from leaving of his own free will.  At least I hope not.

If the Democrats can’t even bring themselves to take a critical committee chair from a political enemy who is not even a Democrat, then I just don’t see how they’re going to be able to enforce any kind of discipine over the next 2-4 years.

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Lieberman,Media,Politics,Wankers

1 Comment

  • 1. shoephone  |  November 13th, 2008 at 3:05 am

    Per your excellent conclusion, Eli:

    “If the Democrats can’t even bring themselves to take a critical committee chair from a political enemy who is not even a Democrat, then I just don’t see how they’re going to be able to enforce any kind of discipine over the next 2-4 years.”

    After witnessing the dismal performance of the 2006-2008 Democratic Congress, I have had no delusions regarding any future hints of integrity or guts from that pathetic bunch of seat warmers.

    Lieberman is a turncoat, a traitor and… a schmuck. Keeping him in the Dem caucus, and especially, keeping him as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, is a middle finger to the American people. He has been a defender of the Bush war crimes and a willing complicitor in letting the Bush team get off scott-free for the failure of its Katrina response.

    As far as Hope and Change are concerned: I ain’t naive enough to fall for that nonsense.

    Plus ca change, plus ca meme chose.

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