Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Lieberman Dilemma

Get an early start on your Obama disillusionment.

From Political Wire:

Lieberman Likely Saved By Obama

"With President-elect Obama's fingerprints seemingly everywhere, momentum appears to be building among Senate Democrats to let Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee," according to Roll Call.

"However, Democrats still say they are exploring options for penalizing Lieberman in other ways for his disloyalty to the party during the 2008 election cycle. Those options might include stripping him of two plum subcommittee chairmanships, or taking away his membership on either the Armed Services or Environment and Public Works panels."
Though, personally, I think Obama, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin should take Joe Lieberman out back of the Capitol and kick his ass, I can understand (barely) letting the traitor stay in the Democratic caucus.

I can understand (barely) letting him keep his membership in Environment and Public Works.

But why would Barack Obama and the Democrats want this ass-clown to remain chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee? He's been on the wrong end of every major policy decision concerning Iraq, the war on terror, FISA, Kyl-Lieberman, etc. His politics on these matters are indistinguishable from those of George W. Bush.

Is it because of this?

Christ, I haven't even finished reading Ryan Lizza's article in The New Yorker that everyone's talking about - on how Obama won.

Here's the case against Lieberman.

And here are the 19 Senators on the
Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee who determine committee chairs. Members include Clinton, Kerry, Kennedy, Boxer, Biden and Reid. Contact them, especially the senators from your state, if you want real change in how we conduct Homeland Security and the war on terror.

UPDATE: Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, who's on the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, has come out publicly and said Lieberman should be stripped of his Homeland Security chairmanship.

"I am one who does not feel that somebody should be rewarded with a major chairmanship after doing what he did."

Fellow Vermont senator, Bernie Sanders, also spoke out against Lieberman: "To reward Senator Lieberman with a major committee chairmanship would be a slap in the face of millions of Americans who worked tirelessly for Barack Obama and who want to see real change in our country," Sanders said in a statement. "Appointing someone to a major post who led the opposition to everything we are fighting for is not 'change we can believe in.'"


Jeff said...

I can see the temptation to make this guy wear sackcloth and ashes and stand out in the snow. Forever.

Without the filibuster-proof senate (yet), do you think they're just afraid that he'll caucus with the Republicans if they punish him?

cowboyangel said...

I think there are various reasons some Dems are supporting Lieberman. As you point out, some are worried he'll bolt to the Republicans and they won't have a filibuster-proof senate. Some colleagues are probably good and loyal friends who also agree with his positions. And then there's Obama, who could be using this as a public example of uniting the country and, to some degree, reaching across the aisle.

But, as I mention in my update, Leahy - who's on the steering committee determining the chairmanships - has come out against Lieberman keeping Homeland Security. So has Bernie Sanders.

I don't think there's any proof that Lieberman would help the Dems achieve the 60 votes they need, especially on foreign policy and domestic security votes. Why would he suddenly change his stripes?

So, I say strip him of his chairmanship, which is just embarrassing for the party, not to mention counter-productive. If he decides to bolt, let him. As others have pointed out - let's see him run for re-election in Connecticut as a Republican senator.

I don't think he would bolt completely from the caucus, but if he did, so be it.