Will Lieberman Get Kicked Out Of the Dem Caucus?

Yesterday The Hill reported:

Democratic leaders are discussing a major reshuffling of Senate committee chairmanships, according to multiple sources, and the proposed changes include ousting Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) from his coveted chairmanship.

It would certainly feel good to do so:

Lieberman spokesman Marshall Witmann dismissed the speculation, saying Lieberman is focused on doing all he can to elect John McCain as president rather than post-election Washington politics.

(Emphasis supplied.) Um, that's sort of the point Marshall "Bull Spit" Wittman. But I think it would be a silly thing to do. Lieberman can do no harm on the Homeland Security Committee and he basically is a marginalized character already. Why give the Media some trumped up nonsense on Lieberman? Just ignore him. He's irrelevant now.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Anaheim Man Mistakenly Killed By Police | Drains Unclogged, Peace Treaties Negotiated: Joe Does It All >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    While ignoring him might be best (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by barryluda on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:27:14 PM EST
    it would feel so good to kick him off the Caucus.

    It would have felt (5.00 / 3) (#35)
    by mg7505 on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:06:19 PM EST
    even better if they kicked him out after his horrendous RNC speech. If neither party accepts him, he can literally be an "independent" and caucus with himself.

    You think Republicans will accept him (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:28:04 PM EST
    with open arms? I don't think so. If he is stripped of his chairmanship and power, he will likely lose his reelection, with a Democrat taking his spot.
    Isn't that worth something?

    Hey, he's dissing Palin now. (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:03:56 PM EST
    Isn't that what we all want?  <snk>

    That's what all the Kewl Kidz do! (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:40:26 PM EST

    Reelection!? (none / 0) (#16)
    by Demi Moaned on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:49:40 PM EST
    That's four years from now. I bet he decides to retire.

    Do nothing (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Socraticsilence on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:29:28 PM EST
    Only if he's the one vote that gets us 60, otherwise screw it- what's the point of even having a party system?! Heck why not pick Dick Lugar and give him Lieberman's slots, sure he's a Republican, but he's more moderate on the issues facing the homeland security panel anyway-- or hell why not Olympia Snowe, or hey John McCain-- he's also less extreme on the civil liberties part of Homeland's Job.

    The Worst Possible Response (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by Ellis on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:01:10 PM EST
    I suppose it was inevitable that some "Democrat" would suggest that the only reason to keep Joe in the Caucus would be if he brought the Democrats to the magic 60.

    The only problem with this approach is that if Joe is vote number 60, then the Democrats don't have 60, they have 59 and a manipulative opportunist who will screw them whenever it serves his purposes.

    Big Tent Democrat's tent is apparently so big that it dilutes the meaning completely out of being a Democrat. A party may be healthier if it is broad enough to incorporate a range of ideas, but unless there are identifiable core values and a certain level of party loyalty it ceases to be a party in any meaningful political sense and simply becomes a club with no requirements for membership.

    Republican so-called moderates always vote with the Right Wing when it matters most. That gives the Republican Party a cohesiveness that Democrats lack. Consequently, Republicans are much more effective than are Democrats at achieving their own agenda and stopping the agenda of their opponents.

    Pretending to ignore Lieberman simply dooms the Democrats to constantly revisit the issue of Lieberman, something that will sap their strength and be a continuing source of distraction.

    The Democratic Party will be much stronger without Joe Lieberman.  Joe's gotta go.


    hear, hear (none / 0) (#63)
    by wystler on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:45:42 PM EST
    Joe's got absolutely no business chairing a senate committee. None.

    And if somehow he wants to vote with our side on cloture, that's fine. But there are other stumbling blocks when cloture votes will be close: a couple of guys named Nelson, Ms. Landrieu, two senators from Arkansas, and Mr. Salazar.

    The surest way for leadership to make clear that it will not put up with bad behavior is to reduce Lieberman's role, if he wants it, to back bench, with no gavel.


    He did not hold Katrina hearings (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by magster on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:39:05 PM EST
    He should lose his chairmanship.

    Other committees did (none / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:41:16 PM EST
    Basically just do not worry about that committee. Who gives a crap what committee has Katrina hearings? The important thing is that there are Katrina hearings.

    Would you have supported stripping (none / 0) (#75)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 05:45:08 PM EST
    Sen. Obama of his chair of a subcommitee?

    Only if he refused to have hearings to provide (none / 0) (#77)
    by magster on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 06:34:02 PM EST
    political cover for government corruption or non-feasance (like Lieberman).

    And, FWIW, Obama should have resigned his sub-committee chair after Super Tuesday.


    Actually, he can and has done a lot of harm (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by scribe on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:43:45 PM EST
    on Homeland Security.  There have been exactly zero hearings into their corruption and chicanery, let alone the secret dismantling of our Constitution, and there have been no corrective actions undertaken.

    The law prevents me from fully speaking my mind on the subject.

    Absolutely correct (5.00 / 1) (#57)
    by Frank Burns on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:01:00 PM EST
    When Joe ran for reelection he promised to look into all the screw-ups with Katrina, etc. After he was elected he quickly announced no  hearings. If other committees could have handled this, then shame on them. And given the pathetic record of the Senate these past two years, they should have kicked him over to the other side of the aisle in 2007. it's not like he helped them pass anything. I understand it would not have affected the make-up of committee chairs, like it did in 2001 when Jeffords went independent.

    the dems chose to hold off ... (none / 0) (#64)
    by wystler on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:48:13 PM EST
    ... until after the election for electoral reasons. The GOP was trying damned hard to shatter the Jewish solidarity with the Dems. A busting of Lieberman prior to the election could have been the final straw.

    Kick him out. (5.00 / 2) (#15)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:48:31 PM EST
    Chairing committees and sitting on committees are both responsibilities, privileges and rewards.

    Let's reward people who deserve it.  Let's give responsibility to people who earn it.

    I'm sure even a total newbie like Franken could do more good than Lieberman.  

    Keep your enemies closer... (none / 0) (#21)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:55:31 PM EST
    Just put him on a committe where we agree with him, and jkeep him away from Homeland security and Foreign policy.

    Hall Monitor? (5.00 / 0) (#47)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:38:52 PM EST
    That's the only thing I'd trust him with.

    environment (none / 0) (#52)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:48:18 PM EST
    reproductive rights...

    he is quite liberal on those issues.


    I dunno (none / 0) (#60)
    by CST on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:01:32 PM EST
    He might send you to Guantanamo if you don't have a "pass" :)

    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:57:31 PM EST
    Anyone who thinks Sen. Lieberman could do no harm as a committee chair should click this link.

    I would not throw him out of the caucus, but I would certainly take away his chairmanship.  How can you possibly let someone campaign for the candidate of the opposing party with no consequences?  The usual handwringing about how the Democrats are intolerant of dissent will not wash with anyone.  This isn't a case of disagreeing with him on one issue, it's a case of him trying to elect a Republican as President, and everyone will understand that.

    Lieberman will still get far more as a member of the Democratic caucus than he would if he formally joined the minority party, so it's not like he's going to be able to jump ship out of pique.

    Right (none / 0) (#27)
    by Exeter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:00:29 PM EST
    There are LOTS of Dem Senators that are not chairs, why waste one on him?

    I'm with BTD (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:05:31 PM EST
    Lieberman loves the publicity and loves to have his arse kissed.  In a few years Joe will be voted out.  Of course, I thought that last election too.

    He was. (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:09:40 PM EST
    It's just that he figured out how to have a "best out of two (ties go to the incumbent)" contest.

    Disagree (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by pluege on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:53:02 PM EST
    a) its an important committee. it should not be screwed up with the likes of LIEberman

    b) it gives LIEberman a saopbox form which to bring media attention on himself and spout his neocon crap and preach his holy joe sanctimony

    c) LIEberman can call investigations and cause an Obama administration and the Democrats all kinds of problems and tie them up in his nonsense.

    d) keeping him in the party continues to undermine respect for Democrats as sleazes balls that will stoop to anything for power. Its barely excusable now where LIEberman gives Democrats the power of all the chairmanships. To give LIEberman anything with 51 real Democrats is a disgrace.  

    There is no up side to letting LIEberman have any position of responsibility. Let him have his parting 5 seconds of notoriety when he switches to republican, but then be rid of the treacherous hag.

    His time is over (5.00 / 1) (#72)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 04:19:54 PM EST
    Off with his head! Any Democrat that actively campaigns for a Republican administration should be stripped of all committee chairs. I really expect him to retire if this happens. He's even managed to lose his support in Conn. He has to know his era is over. I think he was hoping for an easy escape by being appointed to some cabinet position by McCain. That's no longer a reality. Let him go and become a lobbyist like the rest.

    NO punish = usual limp whimp Dem politics (5.00 / 2) (#78)
    by seabos84 on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 07:05:10 PM EST
    which is why the thugs ALWAYS crap on us.

    we NEVER make them pay.

    IF Joe has a chair, it should be the Joe Committee, meeting in Cle Elem, WA., with budget for 1 room AND that room will be ONLY reimbursed at the cheapest room in town, and 100 minutes for 90 days Tracfone, per diem = 3 happy meals at McDonalds, ZERO staff, ZERO oversight, ZERO responsibility.

    Make him pay - this noble ignore him crap is why they treat us like doormats.



    Hey, seabos84, what do you really think? (none / 0) (#79)
    by barryluda on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 07:57:58 PM EST
    What if we have 60 votes with him? n/t (none / 0) (#1)
    by rilkefan on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:26:26 PM EST

    We'll NEVER have 60 votes. . . (5.00 / 4) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:39:55 PM EST
    on all issues.  We have plenty of Democratic senators that vote wrong on issues where Lieberman votes correctly.

    Stop the filibuster-proof talk! (5.00 / 2) (#23)
    by Demi Moaned on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:56:33 PM EST
    I'm with you. As I said before: there's no such thing as filibuster proof. Digby agrees:
    This reminds me of something that's been driving me nuts for the past few days. The gasbags are chattering excitedly about the potential filibuster-proof Democratic senate majority. On what planet does anyone think that's actually going to be operative? It wouldn't happen with people like Ben Nelson or Mary Landrieu, much less Holy Joe...

    Matthews said today that he thought the governing party should have a filibuster proof majority so he would know who to blame when nothing gets done. Doesn't that sound like a perfect set up? Either Reid and Obama will have to whip up some unprecedented party loyalty or they're going to have to educate the mainstream media about the fact that having 60 "Democrats" in the Senate isn't a magic legislative bullet. I'm not sure which one of those things is less likely to succeed.[Emphasis added.]

    Has no one ever heard of Democratic Senators opposing a Democratic President?

    Um, and that's not even getting to the (5.00 / 3) (#41)
    by dk on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:12:51 PM EST
    issue of the fact that, most likely, we will WANT Democratic senators to oppose Obama in many cases.  For example, don't we want Democrats such as Feingold and Clinton to oppose Obama's centrist health care legislation?  

    huh? (none / 0) (#65)
    by wystler on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:50:34 PM EST
    why settle for Clinton's centrist healthcare legislation?

    Nonresponsive. (none / 0) (#69)
    by dk on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 04:03:52 PM EST
    tsk, tsk (none / 0) (#70)
    by wystler on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 04:05:58 PM EST
    Like Cafe standards, for example (none / 0) (#17)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:50:51 PM EST
    One thing I'll say for Lieberman (none / 0) (#54)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:50:43 PM EST
    he'll vote on issues according to his beliefs, not his party caucus.  So I say there's absolutely nothing to lose by stripping him of his chairmanship or kicking him out of the caucus, if that's possible.  The only thing his vote is good for as a caucus member is ensuring a Dem. majority leader, and that's not an issue after this election.

    There absolutely should be severe consequences for active, energetic, outspoken support and campaigning for the opposition party's presidential candidate, IMHO.  He cannot be allowed to get away with it.


    fair enough (none / 0) (#62)
    by rilkefan on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:29:04 PM EST
    Perhaps there are scenarios in which we'd care but the evil of the day is etc.

    The way the Senate works (none / 0) (#5)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:29:33 PM EST
    he would pretty much have to come at Reid with a knife in order to be kicked out of his chairmanship.

    Let's just say that I would be utterly shocked if he lost any power involuntarily.

    Reid is a party leader, (5.00 / 3) (#19)
    by brodie on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:54:14 PM EST
    owes his position to a majority of Dems voting for him, and if he wants to retain that position, which he does, he'll have to take seriously the views being expressed by a number of senate Dems.

    That's how these things work.  Party loyalty is rewarded and in the general election it's expected; party disloyalty cannot be ignored and thereby rewarded lest others be encouraged to follow suit in the future.

    Lieberman needs to be stripped of his chairmanship, period.


    Example: see FL and MI (1.00 / 2) (#32)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:05:41 PM EST
    messing with the ordained order of primaries and caucuses.

    That depends..... (none / 0) (#6)
    by Brownell on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:38:22 PM EST
    If the sky should fall and Dems have a filibuster+Lieberman-proof majority of 61 (we'd have to win Idaho and/or Mississippi to do that, sorry), THEN he should be dumped.  As long as he has his chairmanship, I think he will stick with the Dem caucus, but if he is ousted, he will probably flip Republican immediately. A merely 60 majority won't do the trick.  

    I agree that Lieberman is basically harmless (if you consider the Republican alternative) in his homeland security chairmanship, but the flip side of harmless is that he is also useless.  Homeland security was criminally neglected during the Bush years.  They did nothing to safeguard infrastructure and concentrated on reading people's e-mails and harassing airline passengers.  Lieberman made a major contribution to keeping homeland security a scare tactic and a joke.  He should be gone.  I don't care if we get some snark in the press.  

    Run those issues (none / 0) (#11)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:40:13 PM EST
    from a different committee. Just shell out that committee and leave it withlittle to do.

    In a not too previous era (none / 0) (#13)
    by andgarden on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:43:12 PM EST
    it was the District of Columbia Committee.

    What else is under discussion? (none / 0) (#50)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:43:20 PM EST
    I'm concerned as to what might be done to/for Hillary Clinton. Any info here?

    blech (none / 0) (#66)
    by wystler on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:54:21 PM EST
    Why give HolyJoe-on-the-telly a committee chair title?

    No sir. Lieberman should not be holding a gavel in January.


    put him on a committee (none / 0) (#18)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:53:02 PM EST
    where he can affect social or environmental issues, and keep him away from foreign policy.

    THat's my wish.

    Keep your enemies closer.


    As bad as he is. . . (none / 0) (#7)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:38:48 PM EST
    on war issues, he's much better on other issues than some more popular Democrats.  Kicking him out would be about as a productive as the idea, floated in a dKos diary recently, that it would be wonderful for the Democrats to strip Ronald Reagan's name from public works as their first act in January.

    The Ronald Reagan TAX ACT, (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:07:06 PM EST
    raising top rates to 1950's levels, would be cool.

    Heh (none / 0) (#9)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:39:26 PM EST
    Some of those folks are just well . .

    Oh God. Talk about (none / 0) (#20)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:54:17 PM EST
    propaganda. We should actually accomplish something before we start changing the names of things.

    What? you dont' want to land at (none / 0) (#22)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:55:36 PM EST
    Hillary Clinton National Airport in DC?

    I'd rather have her (5.00 / 4) (#30)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:05:14 PM EST
    National Health care plan.

    Oh, that's the Richard Cheney (none / 0) (#34)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:05:50 PM EST
    National Socialist Health Care Plan.

    How about the Richard Cheney (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:06:48 PM EST
    Institute for peace?

    The Richard Cheney Suite. . . (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by LarryInNYC on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:11:36 PM EST
    at Guantanamo.

    better and better (none / 0) (#43)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:22:31 PM EST
    It will have video cameras in the John

    That would be the Honorary (5.00 / 3) (#56)
    by Jlvngstn on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:00:12 PM EST
    Larry Craig Room.

    RAOTFLMAO!!!! (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by snstara on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:33:04 PM EST
    with the Addington/Yoo Constitutional Law Library?

    Ha Ha!!! (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:47:28 PM EST
    Good one!

    How about the Alberto Gonzalez Hall of Justice!


    Don't forget (5.00 / 3) (#59)
    by lilburro on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:01:14 PM EST
    The Ashcroft Museum of Fine Art.

    nah (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by wystler on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:56:00 PM EST
    gotta be the Ashcroft's Soaring Eagle Concert Hall

    cringe! (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 04:10:55 PM EST
    I remember (while living in Vermont) when Jim Jeffords got kicked out of the "singing senators" after becoming independent.

    Jessum Jim!


    Roar!! (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by gyrfalcon on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 04:21:58 PM EST
    We gotta give Ashcroft a wee bit of a break, though, for having faced down Gonzalez and his goons from his hospital bed.

    Dems should be smart and start naming (none / 0) (#26)
    by Exeter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:59:08 PM EST
    everything after Dubya... so people never forget!

    The George W. Bush Water Treatment (none / 0) (#29)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:04:45 PM EST
    Plant, perhaps?

    WTP's clean up messes. (none / 0) (#33)
    by coigue on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:05:48 PM EST
    Hopefully in a few years we will want to name one after Obama.

    A good start would be Washington's Reagan Airport, (none / 0) (#42)
    by KeysDan on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:21:49 PM EST
    not for DKos reasons, but rather, to limit the airport's name to just one past president. Moreover, it may discourage any future airport names that honor the Bushes, particularly if Crawford, TX is renamed Bush, TX and its new airport is named after Daddy: A Bush's Bush International Airport would be a lot to handle.

    I would be in favor of renaming (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by ThatOneVoter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:26:43 PM EST
    baseball's AL as the "Bush league".

    I'm all for a return to (5.00 / 2) (#46)
    by snstara on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:35:28 PM EST
    "Washington National Airport".  

    Yes (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by WS on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:49:25 PM EST
    The DC Airport should be nonpartisan.  If the wingers want to name an airport after him, they can do it in another airport not in DC.  

    What's the name of the (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 05:43:10 PM EST
    airport at the end of the road to nowhere?

    I don't know if they can, per se, kick him out (none / 0) (#24)
    by Exeter on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 01:56:51 PM EST
    They can definitely strip him of his chair and possibly give him zero committee assignments, lock him out of caucus meetings, ect, but I think technically the caucus is just who voted for which party to control the Senate and you can't prevent Lieberman for voting for the Dems.  

    Reid speculating after Lieberman (none / 0) (#39)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:10:26 PM EST
    spoke at the RNC does not give me the impression Reid plans to do a darn thing.  

    meaningless (none / 0) (#68)
    by wystler on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:57:44 PM EST
    early september was no time to give the GOP fodder for courting Jewish voters

    Except if it's the principle (none / 0) (#76)
    by oculus on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 05:46:00 PM EST
    being enforced.

    Don't Count your chickens (none / 0) (#48)
    by BackFromOhio on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 02:39:27 PM EST
    Didn't Lieberman send the DNC $100,000 contribution in July 2008?  

    and why taken any precipitous action before knowing the outcome of the elections.  I think some people are getting drunk on HOPE of power.  On Nov 5 (assuming elections are all settled by then) the Dems should make a carefully-considered decision with knowledge of the facts.

    If Lieberman is kicked out, (none / 0) (#61)
    by WS on Wed Oct 29, 2008 at 03:19:24 PM EST
    would he vote with the Republicans out of spite?  His positions are horrible on foreign policy but on domestic policy, he votes like a Democrat.