Lieberman Gets A Pass

Harry Reid announces it on teevee. Keeps his Homeland Security chairmanship.

I hope they extracted some promises from him for it. Now, I know this will pi** people off, but OBAMA called this shot. If he wanted him out, he would have been out.

For the record, I agree with not bothering with Lieberman, but they should have tried to extract concessions from him. Specifically a no filibuster pledge. No idea if they got it.

Ugh, watching Lieberman makes me sick. We need another concession, that he never ever speak on TV again.

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    Reid: "Joe is a Democrat" (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by magster on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:59:59 AM EST
    I can't stand our congressional leaders. What a weak group.

    Which is pretty funny since (5.00 / 4) (#36)
    by shoephone on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:49:20 AM EST
    I called Reid's office to ask:

    "What is the benefit to having Lieberman in the Dem caucus and as head of the DHS committee?"

    Reid office's answer:

    "The Senator considers it an expression of bipartisanship."

    Right... because Lieberman IS NOT A DEMOCRAT.

    What a bunch of cowards.


    I KNEW that would be the answer. That's what (none / 0) (#56)
    by DeborahNC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 01:53:48 PM EST
    our "great" leaders all say when they don't want to address an issue.

    Why don't they just let him go and be done with it? What would it take for them to have the b**s to to shove someone out?

    Let's see: Lieberman's already publicly condemned Bill C., and Barack O.; kissed, hugged, and complimented G.Bush, openly and brazenly campaigned for a Republican presidential candidate, denounced his association with the Democratic party to start his party of one; and so many more egregious acts.

    The Dems look like cowards and wimps for putting up with this sh*! They control the White House, the Senate, and the House! IMO, the position that Reid's taking makes him look desperate or worse.

    If I never have to see him (JL) in any media outlet again, it will be too soon. He won't get elected in CT again, as I interpreted some polls a while back.  


    Proving, yet again. . . (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:16:42 AM EST
    I simply don't understand politics.

    I coulda told you that (none / 0) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:21:21 AM EST
    Oh wait (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:21:34 AM EST
    I did.

    I think (none / 0) (#17)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:22:49 AM EST
    that politics is a lot more about friendships and personal relationships than we like to believe.  This goes for diplomacy with foreign leaders and just about everything else.

    Doubt it (5.00 / 1) (#29)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:38:27 AM EST
    As Truman said "you want friends in politics? Get a dog."

    But actually (none / 0) (#47)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:32:52 PM EST
    if you look at how Truman conducted himself, he took great pains to make friends at every stage of the process.  He was extraordinarily popular among his Senate colleagues because he was always having them down to his office for drinks, playing cards with them, and the like.  He may not have cared one bit about having a long list of friends, but he understood how much your success in politics depends upon your colleagues liking you on a personal level.

    Kumbayah moments, sequentially (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by wurman on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:20:17 AM EST
    It's a shock, I tell you, a shock to see the so-called Democrats make nice with a self-styled independent.

    It's all so mavericky--or possibly just icky.

    Spineless in DC (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:29:16 AM EST
    So what else is new. When was the last time the Democrat's showed they had a spine or stood on any principle?

    Any Democrat that actively campaigned for a Republican administration should have no position of power within the party. He made his choice. He should deal with the consequences.

    In such situations I usually ask myself (5.00 / 1) (#35)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:46:56 AM EST
    if this person is capable of preforming the job well.  Yes, Lieberman can and will do a decent job.  Never in my life will I be surrounded by only those that agree with me or even those on my side during a trying hour. I have to learn to live with and deal with them and I do.  In a way I can grasp how Lieberman and McCain stood on the same stage, when it comes to politics among their many other faults and strengths they also shop for the limelight.  It never for a minute crossed my mind that McCain isn't going to play ball for Obama on certain issues and Lieberman will too.  They both have in the past with different players, they'll do it again.

    Actually had the discussion (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:04:46 PM EST
    been about whether or not Lieberman would do a good job or not at Committtee Chair for Gov't Affairs and DHS, I personally think that it would have been clear that his non-performance of duties over the past two years should have excluded him from retaining his chairmanship.

    He promised to investigate the response to Katrina and to address the serious issues with FEMA, but did NOT do that.  Plus I am not wild about such a seemingly paranoid personality being in charge of DHS.  It is time for a new era of realism and proportional response, but we won't get that from him I expect.

    They should have given him the chair of the Joint Committee on the Library.  That's the only place where I think he could do little harm to government institutions and zero harm by not meeting public expectations for progress in rebuilding this country and our government.


    Would replacing him (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by Militarytracy on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:16:29 PM EST
    be a vindictive response from Dem leadership?  I know the guy comes with legit beefs but after these past eight years which Democrat doesn't (well, other than Feingold so I'm taking him off the table before you put him on it :))?  In your own words which I completely agree with It is time for a new era of realism and proportional response.  Heck, just recently you couldn't get employed with the AG if you hadn't graduated out of Regent.  I'm okay with being challenged with a little diversity right now.

    Well, I think it was framed as (5.00 / 2) (#48)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:34:23 PM EST
    retribution because all anyone cited was Lieberman's negative comments about Obama.  But as far as I am concerned it is a matter of doing his job or not where it comes to a hugely important committee and he didn't so I would have thought that with a good margin of Dems they would have been smart enough to change his assignment regardless of his public statements.

    As for Feingold - I am actually not one of his groupies at all.  He has always been lost on me.  Maybe I'd give Webb that chair.  I haven't really thought it through though to be perfectly honest.  I have only thought through the non-performance issues with Lieberman.  

    One thing I have thought a lot about though is the fact that the Comittee on Governmental Affairs and the Department of Homeland Security should be split into two entities.  The committee's scope is imo far too sweeping for any one chairman to keep up with.  DHS is a behemouth in and of itself and "Government Affairs" pretty much applies to every aspect of our government on top of it.  I also think that there are some competing interests that were evident in Lieberman's mismanagement.  He helped create DHS and therefore is going to be inclined to protect it from criticism while his duties in the "Government Affairs" area should have compelled him to investigate and help to change problematic entities within DHS like FEMA.

    Anyhow, for me this is more about building an effective government than it is about Lieberman.


    You would give Webb a chair? (none / 0) (#65)
    by Militarytracy on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 09:40:28 AM EST
    I have too much military in my life but nobody talks trash and questions accountability like a soldier.  Webb starts talking and the only chair I want to give him though is one in the back of the room :)

    This sickens me (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:09:21 PM EST
    I can't stand Lieberman.  He and McConnell are the 2 Senators I despise the most, for different reasons.

    I think the 60 vote goal is a chimera anyway.  

    I understand the reasoning but I really disagree with it and if Obama made the call then I think he made the wrong call.

    the stupids (1.00 / 3) (#13)
    by candideinnc on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:20:11 AM EST
    Wow, this stringent party discipline will sure put the fear of god in the maverick Democrats who decide it is fine to vote with the rethugs when it comes time they try to fillibuster to keep a progressive off the Supreme Court!  Nice going Reid.  Is your Mormon background shining through?  Is that why you are such a cruddy Democrat?

    Wow, STFU (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:25:52 AM EST
    You are banned from my threads (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:37:18 AM EST
    Bigotry of ANY kind is unacceptable.

    Better to keep him (none / 0) (#1)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:56:38 AM EST
    inside the tent p*ss*ng out, or so the theory goes.

    I hope he can be kept in line on cloture votes.

    A Concession (none / 0) (#7)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:10:25 AM EST
    on a filibuster makes no difference. If they asked him to not vote with the other side and he agreed he can still honor that and not help us by just not voting at all. By doing that he doesn't give them a vote toward 40, and he doesn't give us a vote toward 60. Promise fulfilled, but still not a vote you can count on.

    Now in all honesty Joe is still a solid vote on domestic issues, environmental issues, etc. It is mostly the military issues like Iraq and anything to do with Israel which is the problem.


    Why do people keep saying that (5.00 / 5) (#40)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:08:36 PM EST
    he is solid on environmental issues when he just spent the better part of a year campaigning for a candidate whose most memorable slogan was "Drill, Baby, Drill!"???

    And his statement about emergency contraceptives being unavailable not being a problem because rape victims could just go to another hospital?

    I think this "Joe is a liberal on domestic issues" is more and more a fairytale people like to tell themselves than it is a reflection of reality.


    his voting record (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by coigue on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:24:38 PM EST
    that's why people say it. And places like NARAL and environmental defense like him just fine.

    And that's why I don't give a lot (5.00 / 5) (#50)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:38:33 PM EST
    of credence to those org's rating systems.  If NARAL is cool with Lieberman working his heart out for an anti-choice ticket, then they need to really re-think how they are making their assessments.  Same goes for the environmental groups who can live with a politician who promotes a war for oil which has huge environmental ramifications across the board.

    This is about what (none / 0) (#59)
    by coigue on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:53:38 PM EST
    he will do in the Senate...or so I thought.

    Even Obama said he's explore (none / 0) (#49)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:35:56 PM EST
    drilling off-shore. On other environmental votes Joe has been on the right side the majority of the time.

    As for emergency contraceptives, I'm with you. I think I said he is a reliable vote on 'most' domestic issues. Obviously he is not on all issues. And that pretty much applies to all Democrats. I can't think of one who has sided with me 100% of the time.

    If you look at his domestic voting record I don't agree that it is a fairytale at all. His record domestically is pretty solid.


    Well, the reason I think it is a (5.00 / 4) (#53)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:53:16 PM EST
    fairytale is because there seemed to be something of an implicit threat that if we did not allow him to maintain his chair, we'd suffer consequences in his votes.  What that says to me is that he isn't "solid" one way or another - if he can threaten to vote against things that he supposedly stands for then what good is his word to stick with them?  I think Lieberman has changed.  I also don't think he's really been tested in a while on key Dem issues because in the last session they stayed away from most of those issues knowing that Bush would veto any and all legislation that would challenge his ideology.

    I am anticipating that Lieberman will prove to be much less progressive on key domestic issues than he once was mostly because of the things he has said and done recently.  I tend to trust what politicians say when they aren't up for re-election themselves.  So we shall see what happens, but I think Joe has gone well away from the guy who found his political calling when he marched for civil rights if he can tolerate and support the kind of campaign that McCain and particularly Palin ran.


    He has his own political future to think about (none / 0) (#8)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:12:38 AM EST
    Unless he's giving up on 2012, his voting record should be OK from here forward.

    His current standing. . . (none / 0) (#10)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:16:04 AM EST
    should indicate that he doesn't always act in his own electoral self-interest.

    Then he's gonna lose eventually anyway (none / 0) (#12)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:19:19 AM EST
    Joe's big demon (none / 0) (#20)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:25:55 AM EST
    was Iraq. Up to to that point no one had any major complaints about him. So as long as Obama gets us out of Iraq by pulling troops which requires no vote at all by the Senate then on what basis will he lose his seat in the future?

    He might lose it (5.00 / 1) (#22)
    by CST on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:29:50 AM EST
    I believe he currently has very low approval ratings in his home state.  Probably at least partly due to the recent election.

    If he is seen as a detriment to progress, he could be booted.  Acting in his own self-interest would require him to play ball.  CT likes Obama a lot more than Lieberman right now.


    Somewhat true (none / 0) (#30)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:39:07 AM EST
    But then Obama likes Lieberman as evidenced by his support of him not losing his chairmanship and by Obama's kind words for Joe during the last Senate run, combined with Obama not supporting Lamont.

    So if Obama has high ratings in CT and supports Joe then what do you think the people of CT are going to do - go against Obama?


    He supports Joe for the time being (none / 0) (#33)
    by CST on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:43:37 AM EST
    Because he wants him on his side.  In order to continue supporting him, Joe will need to play ball.

    Well I already (none / 0) (#37)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:51:57 AM EST
    mentioned that an Iraq vote is no longer an issue because that is now in the hands of Obama, not congress. So that no longer being an issue I don't really see where Joe is going to present many problems. Which is why Obama probably supports him.

    And truth be told, to the dismay of many, Obama and Joe have a lot more in common than many would like to admit. They are both centrists in many ways.

    And don't forget while Obama said he was against the war in Iraq did he support Lamont the anti-war candidate or Joe the pro-war candidate? What ahead spinner that is huh?


    Why wouldn't they? (none / 0) (#61)
    by sj on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:40:26 PM EST
    "So if Obama has high ratings in CT and supports Joe then what do you think the people of CT are going to do - go against Obama?"

    Not saying that they will, mind you, but why shouldn't they?  He's a Senator, not a courtier and he's there to represent the State of Connecticut, not attend the President.


    Many Democrats disliked Lieberman (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:31:57 AM EST
    long before Iraq.

    BTW, you think a well-funded challenger isn't going to run videos of him  campaigning for McCain?


    For many Dems (5.00 / 4) (#25)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:34:28 AM EST
    it dates back to Lieberman's sanctimonious speech condemning Bill Clinton.

    Exactly (5.00 / 1) (#26)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:35:29 AM EST
    Al Gore knew that, and it's probably a big part of why he chose Joe.

    Not Gore's finest hour.


    Well that (none / 0) (#34)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:45:28 AM EST
    combined with Iraq in his last election was not enough to make him lose. Do you really think that what he said about Bill is going to weigh heavily all these years latter? I'd bet not. At least not for the people of CT.

    See post above (none / 0) (#31)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:41:05 AM EST
    What LarryInNYC said (none / 0) (#18)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:23:05 AM EST
    I think Lieberman (none / 0) (#45)
    by coigue on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:23:40 PM EST
    does want a strong executive wrt foreign policy. No matter who the executive is.

    At least that is what I am hoping.


    ugh, lieberman (none / 0) (#2)
    by s5 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:59:51 AM EST
    Hopefully 2010 will be the end of him.

    2012 (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by magster on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:00:34 AM EST
    The Lamont campaign was only 2 years ago.

    oh god you're right (none / 0) (#5)
    by s5 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:02:37 AM EST
    I've been thinking it was 2010 this whole time.

    Worst. Realization. Ever. (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by LogopolisMike on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:14:43 AM EST
    I too was thinking 2010 for some reason.  I'm just glad I don't live in CT. I can't imagine seeing more of this A-hole than I already do.

    While I'd love the idea of a progressive Dem who could get the nomincation AND the general election victory from him, I just hope CT Dems put up zomebody who can wipe the floor with him in 2012.  

    Sometimes you want to win with the right guy,  right, and sometimes you just want a jerk to lose.  This is definitely the latter situation.


    Oh joy (none / 0) (#6)
    by Lahdee on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:06:14 AM EST
    Unity, thy name is Democrat. Maybe next cycle we'll offer sharp knives and brickbats to voters.

    What's to understand? (none / 0) (#23)
    by Radix on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:30:31 AM EST
    Building coalitions is not about alienating people, it's about inclusiveness. Kicking Lieberman to the curb, while satisfying, would not have moved us closer to a solid 60 votes, it would have done the opposite.  

    Never going to happen (5.00 / 2) (#38)
    by mmc9431 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:56:59 AM EST
    The "solid" 60 vote majority is a myth. Just look at the voting records on FISA or Iraq or any number of issues.

    I can't think of a major issue  where we can expect anything near a 60 vote majority.


    Your probably right on that. (none / 0) (#44)
    by Radix on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:21:27 PM EST
    That's why it's important to do what you can for needed votes when you can. There's only upside for Obama to be generous to Lieberman now.

    I bet Lieberman gets a cabinet spot (none / 0) (#27)
    by Exeter on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:35:56 AM EST
    away from Homeland security... like Interior or EPA

    If Joe is really the "maverick" (5.00 / 2) (#55)
    by Fabian on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 01:19:11 PM EST
    he seems to be, would Obama trust him with anything?

    I don't expect Obama to be an "oath of loyalty" administrator, but I do expect him to want team players, not loose cannons.


    There are many areas (none / 0) (#57)
    by Exeter on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:45:54 PM EST
    where they seamlessly agree, though.

    Not the first time (none / 0) (#62)
    by sj on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:50:49 PM EST
    you've floated the idea of a Cabinet position as a reward for his bad behavior.  What inside info do you have?

    I'll take that bet (none / 0) (#63)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 01:05:50 AM EST
    Obama won't appoint Lieberman to a cabinet post and let the Republican Governor appoint a Republican to succeed him.

    The object is to severely limit the number of filibusters. Getting rid of a caucus member who was possibly coerced into a cloture vote pledge would seem to be counterproductive.


    BTW, I said months ago (none / 0) (#32)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 11:43:30 AM EST
    that the Senate Dems weren't going to do a thing to Joe. People who expected that just don't understand the Senate one bit.

    GOPers (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:50:06 PM EST
    are all set to toss Stevens if he survives.  Not directly comparable, but if the Republicans can boot a long-time guy of their own with no hesitation, what's the problem with the Dems?

    Different case (none / 0) (#64)
    by cal1942 on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 01:09:21 AM EST
    The GOP would save face without penalty.  If Stevens is returned, the Senate as a whole will refuse him.  Then Palin would appoint a Republican to take his place.

    The GOP in the Senate risks nothing by stripping Stevens of his committee assignments. For them it's a win/win.


    But if he had been expelled.... (none / 0) (#43)
    by joel dan walls on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:18:29 PM EST
    ...it would have deprived so many bloggers of yet one more excuse for venting.

    Liebersnitzel (none / 0) (#51)
    by Daniel on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:43:30 PM EST
    Now this really 'chafs my hide'. If ever there was a case for 'punishment', Lieberman made it in his unbridled support of McCain, his LYING about Obama, and his actively campaigning for Republican senators because a Democratic hold on congress was  'unthinkable to Lieberman'. Like asking Hillary to be in the cabinet, this is another opportunity lost. I mean, do you really think Lieberman would change his votes because he got kicked off his committee chairmanship? Other than iraq and some social issues, he rarely votes with the Republicans anyway.
    I would hope the Democrats go to work cultivating a credible candidate to run for Senate in Connecticut so the voters can show him the door.

    OT ... any news on Waxman/Dingell? (none / 0) (#52)
    by oldpro on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 12:45:23 PM EST

    Waxman's support of incoming Dems (none / 0) (#54)
    by magster on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 01:04:51 PM EST
    might tip the balance.

    That's a ray of hope (none / 0) (#60)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:55:04 PM EST
    I thought Waxman had no chance on this at all.  Good to see it's not settled yet.