LIEBERMAN: …the evidence is very clear that [Saddam] was developing weapons of mass destruction…Charles Duelfer conducted the most comprehensive report on behalf of our government…he found, and proved I think, that Saddam…was developing chemical and biological weapons.
Lieberman followed up this embarrassing performance with snide condescension toward Arianna Huffington, who was also on the program:
HUFFINGTON: Well, based on this completely unfounded assumption, I sincerely hope for the sake of the country that you do not become Secretary of Defense.LIEBERMAN: Now Arianna, these are not unfounded. Go read the Duelfer Report.
HUFFINGTON: There is nothing in the report that proves anything that you have said.
LIEBERMAN: I don’t think you’ve read it, sweetheart.
Wow. That is a virtuoso performance right there. Good fucking riddance to this evil tool. (Click through for more detail on just how dishonest Lieberman is about WMDs and the Duelfer report)
Apparently a “Democratic hero” is someone who sabotages all attempts to turn Democrats’ signature initiative into something useful and good, and supports it only after it becomes a public-optionless, more-bad-than-good giveaway to the pharma and insurance industries. Oh, and who represents a state that’s much more progressive than they are.
Let’s see, Blanche Lincoln and Arlen Specter defeated, Lieberman and Kent Conrad retiring… can Ben Nelson and Max Baucus be far behind?
I think we finally have a hook to get immigration reform passed! Sarah Palin and Joe Lieberman have accidentally shown us the way forward with their very rational and well-informed responses to Wikileaks’ Cowardly Attack On The Very Foundations Of Our Civilization.
No wonder others are keeping silent about Assange’s antics. This is what happens when you exercise the First Amendment and speak against his sick, un-American espionage efforts.
All we have to do is point out that if the GOP doesn’t allow undocumented immigrants to become American citizens, they’ll never be able to legally charge any of them with treason! (Or call them un-American without looking like idiots, but obviously that’s not much of a deterrent.)
Thanks, Joe and Sarah, for showing us the way! You are like two radiant beacons of stupid, casting your blinding light upon a sea of, well, mostly more stupid.
This country was founded on compromise. I couldn’t go through the front door at this country’s founding. If we were really thinking about ideal positions, we wouldn’t have a union.
Gee, I must have missed the part where the Founding Fathers reached a compromise with the British to obtain our independence. And, as dday points out, the Republicans have done pretty well for themselves with their steadfast refusal to compromise on anything.
(Note: I include the YouTube mainly because I first thought it said, “Pres. Obama: I’m happy to be tased by GOP next year”, which seemed… unusually candid.)
2 commentsDecember 7th, 2010 at 06:33pmPosted by Eli
Would Lieberman try to win the Democratic nomination (unlikely the outcome would be any better than last time), or would he just go straight to an independent run again? As an added bit of fun, the Connecticut For Lieberman Party has pretty much been taken over by people who aren’t exactly Lieberman fans, so he’d have to come up with a new imaginary party banner to run under.
My fondest hope is that the CFL actually runs ads against him. What would be sweeter than seeing 27 seconds of Lieberman-bashing followed by “This message has been paid for by the Connecticut For Lieberman Party”?
Arlen Specter didn’t vocally oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. He single-handedly killed the entire bill.
At the outset of 2009, the Employee Free Choice Act was cruising along quite well. With a big investment from unions and their allies, and a vocal opposition from the Chamber of Commerce and other Big Business groups, the debate on the Employee Free Choice Act was in full swing in political circles and the news media. While contentious, there was little doubt in my mind some form of significant labor law reform would pass early that year. (Disclosure: I was working for SEIU’s Employee Free Choice Act campaign at the time.)
Then Arlen Specter acted on the only thing he actually cares about: his own political survival. He could feel GOP primary opponent Pat Toomey breathing down his neck. A poll was released in March showing Specter getting crushed in the primary. So Specter made a move he thought would redeem himself with angry primary voters: without warning, Specter announced he would oppose the Employee Free Choice Act. When I say without warning, I mean no one saw it coming. The first person to hear about Specter’s newfound opposition was freaking Grover Norquist, who announced the news to a roomful of conservatives one morning. Grover knew before union leaders knew.
And so today, the unions of almost 1 million working Pennsylvanians have thrown their support to Specter’s re-election, promoting the fallacy that Specter is “the strongest advocate and supporter of…workers’ rights.”
Hey, remember when NARAL and Planned Parenthood told their members to thank Lieberman and Chafee for pretending to oppose Alito’s Supreme Court nomination by voting no on the nomination but yes on cloture? When are supposedly progressive interest groups going to wake up and stop supporting their enemies and fair-weather friends?
Yes, it’s all well and good that retiring-in-the-douchebaggiest-possible-way Evan Bayh is suddenly on board with the filibuster reform that can’t even be voted on until after his retirement takes effect, but I have to wonder whether he really wants to reduce the filibuster threshold to eliminate gridlock, or to preserve the co-presidency of his conservadem buddies Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman.
If the Senate ends up split 50-50 in 2011, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the idea of eliminating the filibuster completely start gaining momentum…
Obama has been no different from his predecessors in that he’s always ready to send a firm message to the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue as he “urges members of Congress” to come together and act. All presidents demand specific action by Congress — or at least they ask for it. But when you look at the votes of 2009 in which Obama made his preference clear, his success rate was unprecedented, according to John Cranford of Congressional Quarterly.
“His success was 96.7 percent on all the votes where we said he had a clear position in both the House and the Senate. That’s an extraordinary number,” Cranford says.
The previous high scores were held by Lyndon Johnson in 1965, with 93 percent, and Dwight Eisenhower, who scored 89 percent in 1953. Cranford notes that George W. Bush’s score hit the high 80s in 2001, the year of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. But Obama surpassed them all, Cranford says.
Wow! Obama is totally Made Of Win, right? Well, sort of…
A major reason for Obama’s record high score this year: Democrats took away a significant number of seats from Republicans in the 2006 and 2008 elections, resulting in big majorities in the House and Senate for the president’s party.
But Sarah Binder, a congressional analyst at the Brookings Institution, says there’s another key reason he scored so well. She says he only took an official position on issues that were really important to him — those that he knew he had a very good chance of winning. He picked his battles carefully.
But another contributing factor here may prove more controversial for the president and his party. That’s his willingness to negotiate and to compromise. For example, as much as the president said he wanted a public option as part of a health care bill, the final legislation won’t have one. But that’s not counted as a loss for the president under the scoring of this survey.
What the story doesn’t mention is that if Obama doesn’t have the votes, there is no vote. Neither he nor Reid are willing to force the issue and put Republicans and conservative Democrats’ votes on the record, and neither of them are willing to fight, cajole, or twist arms. Instead, when Lieberman or Nelson (or Collins or Snowe) start blustering that they’ll vote against cloture, they immediately look to appease them by watering the bill down until it’s no longer beneficial. But never does Obama publicly pressure them, nor does Reid threaten them with loss of committee seats or lack of support for re-election.
So when the study says that Obama was victorious 96.7% of the time, it really means that he agreed with Nelson and Lieberman (and possibly Snowe and Collins) 96.7% of the time. He’s like a prosecutor who only takes cases where he has a signed confession, or else lets the defendant plead down from double murder to jaywalking. Sure, he has a great conviction rate, but can he really be considered effective or successful?
As I’ve said before, I would much rather see Obama on the right side of a losing battle every so often, than on the wrong side of a winning one (or conceding defeat without one) over and over again.
That is the staggering sum that it would take to extend benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian federal government employees. Why, I bet that eclipses even the Defense Department’s annual stapler budget! No wonder a totally not-homophobic budget hawk like Joe Lieberman opposes it – he’s all about the fiscal responsibility:
“I believe this legislation is really on the right side of history,” Lieberman said. “The basic point here is federal employees should not have to choose between their commitment to federal public service and their commitment to their families because they get fewer protections for their families than they could receive from private employers.”
(See? Totally Not Homophobic!)
Lieberman and [Republican Senator Susan] Collins said they were happy to see the bill move forward, but they would not seek time on the Senate calendar for debate until OPM explained how it planned to pay for the benefits it would begin providing to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian federal employees.
Collins said she was “very disappointed” OPM had not provided the final plan, but added she had been told the Office of Management and Budget was reviewing a proposed list. Lieberman said the strategy for making the benefits cost-neutral was critical to the bill’s ultimate passage.
“We will not move it on the floor of the Senate until we get that explicit offset so this is a deficit-neutral step,” he said.
Hey, remember when NARAL endorsed Joe Lieberman in 2006, and even urged its members to thank him for voting against the Alito nomination, even though he voted for cloture? Just in case anyone still believes that that nay vote actually meant something, well…
The pledge by Lieberman to oppose the [healthcare] bill represents a potentially huge setback for reform proponents, many of who saw the latest round of policy compromises as the last true chance to corral the needed votes. That said, leadership has several fallback options (none of them promising) should Lieberman follow through on the threat.
The first is to convince the senator to support Democrats in breaking a Republican filibuster before casting a vote against the bill. This would allow for the legislation to pass with Lieberman still registering his opposition. Lieberman, however, has said he considers the procedural vote to cut off debate to be of the same significance as a vote on the bill itself.
Just so you know. Joe was against the filibuster before he was for it (and yes, he was a member of the Gang Of 14, too).
Leaders of the group, called the Interfaith Fellowship for Universal Health Care, met with Lieberman on Monday but said he maintained his opposition to the public option.
Their latest attempt to lobby the senator will appear in newspapers across the state today, an advertisement featuring a letter from Norwalk Rabbi Joseph Ron Fish describing the imperative of multiple faiths to seek the welfare of everyone, particularly the meek and vulnerable. The advertisement includes the signatures of 240 Connecticut religious leaders and will argue that Lieberman must support “real reform” as a matter of conscience, according to the group.
One religious leader, the Rev. Joshua Mason Pawelek, minister of the Unitarian Universalist Society in Manchester, said he hopes the advertisement, along with the work of other groups lobbying Lieberman, will convince the senator to reconsider his position on the public option.
“Hopefully he will get the message that his constituency … supports health care reform,” Pawelek said during a conference call with reporters Wednesday. “Hopefully he would understand that and have his heart moved and change his mind.”
Joe’s constituency isn’t the people of Connecticut, it’s Aetna and the health insurance industry. You know, the people his wife is a professional lobbyist for?
2 commentsDecember 10th, 2009 at 11:23amPosted by Eli
Is it Joe Lieberman, for vowing to join the Republican filibuster against it?
Or is it Harry Reid, for once again completely failing to get an accurate whip count? I know there have been other occasions where Harry has guaranteed that he had the votes to pass something or block something, and it turned out he wasn’t even close. Does he base this on any kind of evidence, or just some kind of gut feeling or misguided belief that his caucus will go along with him without any arm-twisting or horse-trading at all?
If Harry did ask Lieberman if he’d join the filibuster, and Lieberman said no, then shouldn’t Harry be doubly pissed at Lieberman for lying to him and making him look like a fool? Pissed enough to maybe try to take his gavel away?
And if Harry didn’t even bother to ask Lieberman, then he is a fool.
I’m pretty disgusted by this whole situation, but all three of these wankers are just being true to themselves: Obama the feckless non-progressive compromiser, Lieberman the not-so-stealth Republican, and Harry the clueless “leader” completely out of touch with his caucus. I can at least give Harry credit for trying to do the right thing.
1 commentOctober 29th, 2009 at 07:23amPosted by Eli
From Dana Milbank’s Washington Sketch on Joe Lieberman’s hearings on Obama’s use of czars (oh yeah, that’s much more pressing than finding out what went wrong during Katrina):
Well, if they were real revolutionaries, they could take the czars to Yekaterinburg and shoot them, the way the Bolsheviks shot Nicholas. So far, nobody favors anything that extreme, with the possible exception of Fox News’s Glenn Beck, whom two committee Democrats referred to Thursday as the one “whose name shall not be mentioned” because of the rebellion he stirred up against Obama’s czars.
So does this make Obama Harry Potter?
2 commentsOctober 23rd, 2009 at 07:30amPosted by Eli
13. What’s that number? It’s the gap between Specter and Congressman Sestak in the latest Rasmussen Reports poll. Specter’s lead over Congressman Sestak is only 47-34 according to Rasmussen. Rasmussen’s last poll, in June, showed the 19-point deficit, a 51-32 result.
Rasmussen also reminds us that Specter still remains “much better known” across the state than Congressman Sestak. In other words, Congressman Sestak still has plenty of room to grow in terms of name ID as his campaign gets underway, but has already cut his deficit by a third. Also, this is the very first non-Franklin & Marshall poll (F&M’s numbers were relatively very low for both candidates) to show Specter under 50%.
This poll is bad news for Specter and great news for Congressman Sestak – not just because it shows Congressman Sestak closing the gap, but also because it adds credibility to his campaign. Specter winning is not remotely a foregone conclusion. The more that PA-Dem primary voters recognize that, the more open they’ll be to Congressman Sestak’s candidacy, and the less power the Ed Rendell machine will have to stop the political dam from breaking.
This reminds me a lot of Lamont’s campaign against Lieberman three years ago. Most CT Democrats were desperate for an alternative to Lieberman, and all Lamont really had to do was make sure they knew who he was, and could see him as a viable, more progressive alternative. Of course, the problem in CT was that Lieberman was able to run as an independent and get the benefit of the Republican vote, where PA affords Specter no such luxury.
It is probably also worth noting that outside of the Democratic party establishment (feh), Specter’s Democratic support is almost certainly a lot thinner than Lieberman’s was. Lieberman was a Democratic senator (in name, at least) for 18 years, whereas for Specter it will be closer to 18 months.
My prediction is that Specter will attempt the same play Lieberman used in CT: Pretend to be a lot more progressive than he actually is, than revert to form immediately after the election. Again, though, decades of being an actual Republican will make that a lot harder for him to pull off than it was for Joementum. Fingers crossed.
After several years of trying to “retake” the Democratic Party and make it more progressive, today I am giving up and becoming a conservative Democrat. Upon careful consideration, the benefits packages are simply too heavily tilted toward the corporate wing of the party. Check it out:
Being a conservative Democrat also makes you far more likely to receive a major cabinet appointment. Not even counting the Republicans, New Democrats outnumber Progressives in President Obama’s cabinet by 7-1.
Finally, if one of those crazy progressives decides to challenge you in a primary campaign, if you are a conservative Democrat you can also count on the endorsements of 95% of your congressional colleagues, the entire party leadership, and virtually every progressive advocacy organization. They will stand by you.
That is a pretty sweet deal. It sure would be nice to be in the wing of the Democratic party that’s calling the shots, that the media and the president and the party leadership actually listen to. And all I have to give up are my convictions.
A new poll shows that Independent Senator Joe Lieberman, who left the Democratic Party after losing the Senate primary to businessman Ned Lamont in 2006, would “get crushed” if challenged by Connecticut’s State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in 2012.
According to the Quinnipiac poll, “By a narrow 48 – 45 percent margin, voters disapprove of the job Sen. Joseph Lieberman is doing and give him a negative 43 – 49 percent favorability. Republicans approve 75 – 20 percent. Democrats disapprove 70 – 21 percent and independent voters split 48 – 46 percent.”
“By contrast, State Attorney General Richard Blumenthal gets a 79 – 12 percent approval rating and 71 – 13 percent favorability rating,” Quinnipiac’s website notes. “Republicans approve of the Democrat 66 – 25 percent. Democrats approve 85 – 6 percent and independent voters approve 81 – 10 percent.”
The poll determines, “If Sen. Lieberman faces Blumenthal in 2012, the Democratic challenger has an early 58 – 30 percent lead. Republicans go with Lieberman 67 – 23 percent while Blumenthal leads 83 – 9 percent among Democrats and 55 – 29 percent among independent voters.”
I think the message here is probably more about Joe’s unpopularity rather than Blumenthal (who I’ve heard is a bit of an uncharismatic cold fish) being an Unstoppable Juggernaut Of Win. I don’t think his 2006 get-all-the-Republicans-and-peel-off-just-enough-Independents-and-clueless-Democrats-to-win strategy is going to work again – his cover is completely blown.
1 commentFebruary 10th, 2009 at 09:26pmPosted by Eli
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman, ID-Conn., Thursday announced he is creating a new, ad hoc subcommittee to oversee federal contracting. Committee Member Senator Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., will chair the new Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight.
“Management of federal contracts is one of the greatest operational challenges facing the federal government,” Lieberman said. “Spending on federal contracts rose to an astounding $532 billion last year. And for years the Government Accountability Office has listed government contracting on its list of programs at high risk of waste, fraud, abuse, mismanagement, or in need of comprehensive reform. This is a problem area that needs as much oversight as we can possibly muster.
“So, to more fully address the array of problems with federal contracting, I am establishing this new subcommittee with pride and great expectations. With her background as a prosecutor and state auditor, Senator McCaskill has unique investigative experience that will be crucial for this new subcommittee. I am certain that she will approach her new responsibilities with unmatched vigor to improve the value of all the taxpayer dollars devoted to federal contracting.”
Oh sure, now that Obama’s pushing a giant infrastructure spending bill, Lieberman’s suddenly very concerned about contractor fraud, after sleeping through Katrina and the Iraqupation.
Not that I’m against oversight, I just believe it should be universal, and not a tool wielded against Democratic administrations only.
The Democrats have no brains, no courage, no pride, and no honor.
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, the Democrat-turned-independent from Connecticut, was allowed to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Tuesday despite his support for Senator John McCain in the presidential campaign.
Democratic senators voted instead to strip Mr. Lieberman of a subcommittee chairmanship on the Environment and Public Works Committee, a slap on the wrist compared with the prospect of losing the homeland security leadership post.
“He’s part of this caucus,” the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, said after the Democratic caucus voted behind closed doors. “We are not looking back. We are looking forward.”
Mr. Lieberman, who had angered many Democrats by campaigning for Mr. McCain, his longtime friend, emerged from the private session looking pleased. He called the result “fair and forward-looking” and one of “reconciliation and not retribution.”
Before the meeting, Mr. Lieberman said he was optimistic. “I’m going into a roomful of friends,” he told The Associated Press.
Many Democrats were infuriated that Mr. Lieberman… ardently supported Senator McCain of Arizona. Mr. Lieberman actively campaigned against Mr. Obama, and harshly criticized him in his speech at the Republican convention.
But Mr. Obama signaled that he did not want Mr. Lieberman thrown out of the Democratic caucus, since expelling the senator could prompt him to align himself with the Republicans. Mr. Lieberman had also signaled that losing the chairmanship of the homeland security panel would be unacceptable to him.
Lieberman “aligning himself with the Republicans” would be nothing more than cosmetic – he’s already aligned with them in every way but name. Yet the Democrats still act as if he’s one of them, that his support of McCain (and Coleman, and Collins, and Shays, and war, and torture, and wiretapping) was some kind of momentary and forgivable lapse of reason, rather than a continuation of the backstabbing he’s been practicing for at least the last ten years.
“A roomful of friends”? More like a roomful of suckers. My expectations for the next four years just got a whole lot lower. The Democrats have demonstrated once again that words like “consequences” and “accountability” hold as little meaning for them as they do for the Republicans.
7 commentsNovember 18th, 2008 at 12:47pmPosted by Eli
But one of two things will be likely to happen if we were to kick him out of his chairmanship. No. 1, he might very well decide to just resign from the Senate. You know, he probably would not want to be a person without a home, wandering the hallways without any influence of any kind. And Connecticut has a Republican governor, who would appoint a pure Republican to that seat, who would vote against the wishes of the president-elect and the Democratic caucus, you know, the vast, vast majority of the time. That’s No. 1.
No. 2, Lieberman, Joe Lieberman might decide to stay and be embittered. And what would happen there would be from time to time, we have close votes. You’ve been reporting on the Alaska race and the Minnesota race and the Georgia race. We could be at 58, 59, maybe even 60 votes. Every two or three or four months, there’s going to be a critically important vote, very close, every vote will count. And it might come down to one vote.
Now, if Senator Lieberman has a strong view, he’ll vote his conscience, but if he’s conflicted, frankly, you know, doesn’t really know what to do, and we’ve exacted revenge on him, I suspect we could probably expect the same in return.
And I honestly think — you know, look, we can take away his chairmanship. That’s something we have the right to do. What you will have at that point is either someone who may very well resign or someone who’s embittered, and if, you know, all else being equal, might not be with us on some of these key votes. I honestly think we have a better chance to get unity for the kind of policies that you would probably support, most Democrats would probably support, if we try and have some reconciliation here rather than resorting to revenge right off the bat. You always have that option if things don’t seem to be working out very well.
So let me get this straight: Bayh is saying that Lieberman should keep his chairmanship because he has no integrity or character? And that Joe will only stab Democrats in the back if he’s punished? I have no idea what evidence Bayh is basing this on.
1 commentNovember 13th, 2008 at 07:10amPosted 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.
1 commentNovember 12th, 2008 at 08:00pmPosted by Eli
(Well, okay, they did miss his vote against the Alito filibuster, which is especially ironic in light of his recent comments about how important the filibuster it is and how terrible it would be if the Democrats got 60 seats…)
I’m begging Senate Democrats, please, please do not be such softheaded fools as to let Lieberman get away with this without paying any price. Even if you let him stay in the Democratic caucus (feh), don’t let him hold onto such an important gavel.
1 commentNovember 11th, 2008 at 02:45pmPosted by Eli
Namely, why is Lieberman so keen to hold onto a committee chair that he never actually did anything with?
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.
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?
This sounds exactly right, and exactly in character for a self-righteous, vindictive little prick like Lieberman. I would love to see Obama magnanimously “reach out” to Lieberman to offer him a non-critical cabinet position. Governor Rell would appoint a Republican, but consider:
1) We would get Lieberman out the Senate, out of the Democratic caucus, and out of his committee assignments (where he counts against the Democratic allotment of seats) four years early.
2) We would get a real Democrat into that seat two years early, as I doubt that Lieberman’s Republican replacement could get re-elected in CT.
…Or the Democrats could just kick him out of their caucus and let him scrounge a committee seat from the Republicans.
Bolstered by a newly expanded majority, Harry Reid met with Joe Lieberman on Thursday to sketch out the conditions by which the Connecticut independent could continue to caucus with Senate Democrats. But Lieberman did not accept Reid’s initial offers, leaving his future in the caucus uncertain, and potentially setting off a campaign to pressure the Democratic steering committee to decide Lieberman’s fate.
Reid offered Lieberman a deal to step down as chairman of the homeland security committee but take over the reins of another subcommittee, likely overseeing economic or small business issues officials said.
Immediately after his meeting with Reid, Lieberman told reporters that he had not made a decision about his future in the caucus, and appeared to launch his first public appeal to members of the Democratic steering committee, whose members decide committee chair assignments.
“I completely agree with President-elect Obama that we must now unite to get our economy going again and to keep the American people safe. that is exactly what I intend to do with my colleagues here in the Senate in support of our new president, and those are the standards I will use in considering the options that I have before me,” Lieberman told reporters.
Joe The Warmonger seems to think that he’s got some kind of negotiating leverage here, but I can’t for the life of me figure out what it is. The Democrats already have a very comfortable majority, so they don’t need him at all for control of the Senate.
It’s possible that if all the remaining unsettled Senate races break Democratic, that Lieberman would represent the 60th vote for busting Republican filibusters… except that he’s already declared himself in favor of them. (Which is ironic considering that he voted against the Alito filibuster, but we’ll just pretend we’ve forgotten about that.)
I just don’t understand what a guy who habitually betrays his party when they need him the most can offer that the Democratic leadership could find compelling. What’s he going to do, threaten to vote with the Republicans?
Personally, I think Reid is letting him off easy if he just strips him of his homeland security chair – he should kick him completely off all committees (if that’s even possible) and let him go crawling to see what he can get from Mitch. Why should a Republican vote count towards a committee’s Democratic total?
4 commentsNovember 6th, 2008 at 09:06pmPosted by Eli
“You look at some of things that both Senator Obama and (vice presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Joseph) Biden have said about McCain. One could say they’re intemperate,” Lieberman said.
He then went on to chide the media for “the demeaning of our politics by this kind of focus.”
Calling your opponent a terrorist is a little more than “intemperate,” Joe. If you had anything remotely resembling the mighty moral compass that you pretend to have, you would recognize that there is absolutely no equivalence here. You smarmy, dishonest little tick.
3 commentsOctober 25th, 2008 at 11:37amPosted by Eli