Dean: Obama Wanted Lieberman In

Uh oh:

Howard Dean says that he's "fine" with the Senate's decision not to kick Joe Lieberman off the Homeland Security committee and suggested that the Senate had acted in accordance with what Barack Obama wanted. In a phone interview with [Greg Sargent] just after the vote concluded, I asked Dean if he thought the Senate should keep Lieberman. He said that the Senate had acted "in the spirit of unification, which is what the President-elect wanted." "[Obama] called the shots, and that's fine," Dean said, in an apparent reference to the tone Obama has tried to set in Washington as he prepares to take power.

I guess we won't be hanging Harry Reid from a sour apple tree after all.

By Big Tent Democrat, speaking for me only

< Holder Tapped For AG | Eric Holder's 1997 Deputy A.G. Confirmation Hearing >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    The left-o-sphere. . . (5.00 / 14) (#1)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:27:02 PM EST
    is going to have to go to Washington with the Obama they have, rather than the Obama they want.

    Hope word gets to them before they've already done for Harry.

    Oops. All the non-stop front page posts, (5.00 / 9) (#4)
    by Teresa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:31:29 PM EST
    on Dkos, at least, have been about holding Democrats who side with Lieberman accountable. I wonder if they will want to hold Obama accountable.

    They can all be "concern trolls" now. This unifying stuff isn't working out as planned in some places.


    Indeed. (5.00 / 7) (#54)
    by lucky leftie on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:12:12 PM EST
    I guess this makes Obama a "battered wife," just like Bill Clinton.  

    Some Obama supporters saw in him a kick-ass liberal avenger.  Either they were not listening to him during the campaign or they thought he was bullsh#tting.  He wasn't.  This is very much in keeping with his message of post-partisanship.  


    Gosh, I forgot about that battered wife (5.00 / 1) (#60)
    by Teresa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:38:42 PM EST
    post. This is almost funny to watch. There is so much division over there right now between the true believers and the rest of them.

    Downside? (none / 0) (#87)
    by Jacob Freeze on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:13:24 PM EST
    I don't have a definite take on this issue.

    What's the downside of keeping Lieberman in the caucus, except for not getting revenge for his many bad acts?

    Is there some specific problem he creates as chairman of Homeland Security?

    Or what?

    I don't like old Joe any better than anybody who really, really doesn't like him, but he still votes with the Democrats on most issues.

    He would have been in the Senate four more years anyway, no matter what the caucus did with his chairmanship.

    Is revenge worth losing a vote that could be critical for overturning a Republican filibuster?


    Probably not worth it to me just for revenge. (5.00 / 1) (#92)
    by Teresa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:35:30 PM EST
    I'm pretty forgiving but I think Lieberman really needs to give a lot to make up for all that he has done. It's worth a try, I think.

    I should have checked over there before (none / 0) (#20)
    by Teresa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:53:05 PM EST
    I posted. Kos says

    Since he doesn't want "purges" to be the order of the day, perhaps he'll make sure to keep the thousands of Bush appointees in their respective offices, from Cabinet secretaries on down? That would only be consistent with his meddling in the Senate.

    I'm scared to read the comments. He was ripped for being mad about the FISA vote.


    Will Kos have a (5.00 / 2) (#28)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:10:35 PM EST
    brain explosion when he reads his idol, mentor, god Dean spins this positively.

    Heads are exploding over there......seriously.


    Dean makes his own feelings quite clear (5.00 / 3) (#68)
    by Romberry on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:22:49 PM EST
    Quote: "If you get a mandate for reconciliation ... is your first act going to be to kick him [Lieberman] to the curb?", Dean said. "If you're in my generation you say, 'yeah, damn right we should'".

    Like Dean said, "Obama called the shots" on this.

    I'm not sure that this counts as positive spin. It counts as accepting reality and that reality is that Obama is president elect and the leader of the Democratic Party. (I doubt that a president elect Howard Dean would called the same shot on Lieberman.)


    I think it's great (5.00 / 1) (#88)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:15:51 PM EST
    Now I am pissed at Dean for what he did in the primaries, but I think it is great that given he was probably handed his walking papers from Obama that he let it be known that this Joe thing was all on Obama. Dean had to no the lefty wingnuts would go bonkers. A nice parting shot I think.

    This is "no drama Obama" (5.00 / 5) (#7)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:32:37 PM EST
    they're getting what they voted for, whether they like it or not.

    Some people only want drama on their terms.


    I am surprised at how many people (5.00 / 6) (#33)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:30:17 PM EST
    are surprised at Obama's response; or just can't even bring themselves to acknowledge that Obama's nod made this happen.

    IIRC it was Reid who called Lieberman in to tell him he was in trouble - Obama was the one who put the breaks on this effort to discipline Lieberman after Reid indicated his intention to go after Lieberman.  It was Obama's call.

    For my part, I am disappointed.  Not surprised, but definitely disappointed because the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs is actually a pretty important committee and Lieberman has no desire to fulfill its charter.  In a time when things were fine, it wouldn't be as important, but our government is rife with corruption and it is obvious that the majority of our caucus doesn't really care.


    I just do not accept that it is (none / 0) (#42)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:44:38 PM EST
    an important committee and I suggest that everyone realize that is is a nothing committee while Lieberman is chairman.

    Do you believe (5.00 / 1) (#46)
    by Amiss on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:55:27 PM EST
    the people of NOLA feel that way as well?

    Now? (none / 0) (#50)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:59:37 PM EST

    Barack Obama is now PResident-Elect.


    You understand how legislation is (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:16:06 PM EST
    crafted.  You know as well as anyone that these committees serve as incubators for legislative "change".  This particular committee is for all intents and purposes closed for business under Lieberman.

    FWIW here's is their jurisdiction:


    They should have at least split this committee into two separate entities imo.  The scope of oversight is far too big.


    Not Lieberman's (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:18:28 PM EST
    It will incubate nothing.

    On this we agree. (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:41:09 PM EST
    DHS including the troubled TSA, FEMA, FAA and numerous other entities (former agencies) under DHS plagued with problems will see no legislative remedies come out of the Senate.  Obama - unless he is in agreement with Bush's unitary executive theory - will probably have to live with a lot of bad laws in this area.

    They're? (none / 0) (#89)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:18:21 PM EST
    They're? They're?

    Earlier it was you that was upset over Joe. So shouldn't They're be We're. You did vote for the guy too.


    I believe there are some cranial (5.00 / 1) (#62)
    by Jjc2008 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:53:49 PM EST
    explosions happening on some lefty blogs especially with some of the Dean worshippers.    

    Heh (5.00 / 4) (#2)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:27:53 PM EST
    I hope every thinking person already understood that what was going to happen to Lieberman was whatever Obama wanted it to be.

    Some people think this is a strategic coup by Obama, that now he has Lieberman's balls in the proverbial vice because he was only spared by Obama's good graces.  I dunno about that.  I do sense that Obama has an overall attitude of not wanting to leave enemies in his wake if he can help it, and it does seem to be working out pretty well for him so far.

    I think Obama was right on this (5.00 / 4) (#3)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:31:06 PM EST
    If he extracted the concessions I have discussed previously.

    It simply was not worth it.

    Indeed, going nuts on Obama on THIS is not worth it for the Left. We need to concentrate on POLICIES - not Senate committees.


    Well sure (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:36:10 PM EST
    but there is a clear difference between the way you say "it was a good call IF he got the concessions" and the fanboys who say "he must have gotten all these awesome concessions because he's just so awesome."  Time will tell.

    I agree that there is an unseemly urge for retribution, like the people who foolishly agitate for a return of the Fairness Doctrine so they can put Rush out of business once and for all.  But I'd note that not everyone has their eye completely off the ball.  Some people wanted Lieberman to be punished precisely because they felt it would send the right message about party discipline and allow us to do a better job of holding the caucus together down the road.


    Steve, do you think the Fairness (5.00 / 1) (#70)
    by hairspray on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:46:54 PM EST
    doctrine is no longer necessary in any form?  I had heard that some parts of the old rules were outdated (whatever that means) but that some of the issues like equal coverage are still relevant.  I would like to see some people become more circumspect in their pronouncements.  I am tired of lies spoken as truth and want changes. No?

    It depends if the Dems (none / 0) (#59)
    by Fabian on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:36:28 PM EST
    can keep stroking Lieberman's inflated ego.

    It's interesting how susceptible some are to appeals to their exaggerated sense of importance.  It's a small price to pay if it actually works.  I doubt the GOP will stop trying to woo Lieberman though.


    You're not going to get (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:37:41 PM EST
    your policies if every jerk in Congress perceives that Obama is so eager to have their good will that they can do whatever the hell they like without consequences.

    He's going to regret this big-time-- if policy is really what he most wants.

    My guess-- no chance in hell Lieberman would have promised to vote cloture on Republican filibusters.  Against his principles, doncha know.  Sounds to me he got a little friendly remonstrance and that's it.


    I disagree (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:42:31 PM EST
    this Committee Chairmanship is NOTHING. NOTHING.

    You want to hit Lieberman where it hurts? Get him on legislation. And his pork.

    Unless he votes as you want.

    We need policies - not punishment.


    No one will touch Lieberman's pork (5.00 / 3) (#36)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:39:19 PM EST
    and if they do, Dodd will stab them in the hand with his own fork.

    That chair serves as an obstacle for anyone who might come along and want to deal with the mess at DHS that Lieberman helped to create and the corruption that Lieberman dutifully ignored for the past two years.  That committee is not nothing.  

    Under normal circumstances that committee would have been reviewing DHS performance and agency corruption in preparation to make recommendations on how to fix all of the stuff that's been messed up - but that would have meant that Lieberman would have had to admit how wrong he has been - and that wasn't going to and will not now happen.  He won't ask for a GAO report because he doesn't want anyone to know - and without these studies and backing from the chairman little if any legislation in this arena has a chance of passing the senate.


    Excuse me (none / 0) (#41)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:43:44 PM EST
    Dodd should have thought of that before.

    Personally, I think CT should get the shaft here.


    Who is going to shaft him? (5.00 / 2) (#53)
    by inclusiveheart on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:08:23 PM EST
    Disciplining Lieberman today and getting it over with would have been the least painful option.  If they couldn't bring themselves to do anything about him today, they won't do anything down the road - especially if it would offend Dodd or Connecticut voters - cutting Connecticut's pork would offend voters ultimately.

    There are going to be other reasons (none / 0) (#44)
    by andgarden on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:47:58 PM EST
    why that doesn't happen. Remember why Sam Gejdenson lost?

    I don't want to "hit Lieberman" (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:57:46 PM EST
    "where it hurts."  I don't much care about Lieberman as an individual.

    I want some party discipline overall.  I don't know what you mean by "get him on legislation," and if you're suggesting Dem committees should strip out his pork, that makes no sense to me.  He's already been enveloped in the warm and friendly embrace of the Dems. and told all is forgiven.

    Why would anybody strip out his pork?  They're not going to do that now, and they're not going to do it later on a vote-by-vote basis if he misbehaves some more.  He'll explain with great sincerity why his conscience and his principles simply require him to vote against cloture (or whatever), and everybody will weep a few tears along with him, pat him on the back, and give in to the Republicans -- again.

    And if you think Lieberman has committed himself to voting the way the Dems. want, especially on cloture, and will actually follow through on that commitment, I find that really, really, really hard to believe.  We'll see, of course, and if you're right, I'll certainly admit it.

    But even if he has agreed to this and abides by it, my point still stands that it gives blanket permission for other wavering Dems. to defy Obama, the leadership and the caucus without fear of consequences.

    Which is a stupid message to send them, IMHO, after the struggles of the last 8 years if you want to get anything actually accomplished that's the least, tiniest bit uncomfortable to the right wing.


    I do not know (5.00 / 2) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:59:02 PM EST
    Neither do you.

    We'll see.

    What's done is done.

    Now on to actual ISSUES!!


    There were important investigations (none / 0) (#91)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:28:39 PM EST
    that Joe promised that didn't get done. So to say the chairmanship of the committee is not important is just not true at all. Unless of course you don't believe in investigations. And if you don't believe in investigations then you really don't believe in enforcing policy therefore you wouldn't believe in policy itself - which you say you do. So investigations have to be important to you therefore committee chairs are important to you!

    And besides committees are where policies are born.

    So everything that has to do with policies goes counter to what you are saying about chairmanships.


    That much is true (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by s5 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:42:59 PM EST
    I care less about the names of the people implementing the policies I want than I do about the policies themselves. Let's hope Holy Joe doesn't get in the way of them.

    A concession to not join a filibuster (none / 0) (#84)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:36:52 PM EST
    means absolutely zero as I pointed out in a previous thread today. Nilch. Nada. It's easy to see why.

    And just to comment I am surprised that the news that Obama saved Joe is a surprise to so many people. I mean Obama already said how he felt about it long ago. If that wasn't a loud enough signal I don't know what it would take.

    And it isn't like Obama hasn't sided with Joe before.


    Does that mean (5.00 / 3) (#5)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:31:55 PM EST
    Wes Clark, Andrew Cuomo, Billy Shaheen, Geraldine Ferraro and several hundred others, maybe even Jeremiah Wright, are going to be invited out from under the bus now, or does it only apply to Lieberman?

    The election is over (none / 0) (#10)
    by CST on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:37:48 PM EST
    The bus has officially left the station.  

    Hey, even G.W.B. is out from under the bus, I'm sure they got room at the party for a few more.  Although I doubt Wright will be involved in any official "spiritual advisor" capacity :)


    From what I have seen (none / 0) (#11)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:39:28 PM EST
    all those people are still under the bus.  Lieberman, on the other hand, is now back to being that guy who agrees with Democrats on everything except one pesky issue, which won't even be an issue when Obama withdraws the troops in a year.  What-ever.

    Obama won't (5.00 / 2) (#57)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:31:52 PM EST
    have to make that decision; The Iraqi Cabinet did it for him. Now, if the Parliament concurs, the war's over.

    Excuse me; I meant the "liberation's" over.


    I question (none / 0) (#61)
    by Steve M on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:45:09 PM EST
    how relevant the Iraqi government really is.  They can provide political cover, sure, but I have my doubts that they get to dictate the timing.

    This is as it is, of course, not as it should be.


    the situation (none / 0) (#86)
    by Nasarius on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:51:37 PM EST
    is that the UN authorization expires at the end of the year, IIRC. Without permission from the Iraqi government, the American military simply can't operate in Iraq legally. Since we'll have a President who apparently cares about international law on January 20, this seems like a Very Big Deal.

    It works out well for us, and it works out for Obama because he can just point to the Iraqi government and say well, they kicked us out. I have no idea what's going to happen in Iraq after that, but if they want us to leave, that's that.


    yeah, (none / 0) (#103)
    by NYShooter on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:29:38 PM EST
    the vote in the cabinet was pretty overwhelming, and my understanding is that they worded it in such a way as to eliminate any wiggle room. If parliament goes along, it's inconceivable for Obama to spin it in any way, but "we're outta here."

    Of course, then the question becomes, who fills the vacuum when we leave. "Strongmen" is the only government that area has ever known. Sloppy, I know, but it worked, and still does.

    Interesting times ahead for the Middle East.  


    Oh, that is too funny (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Coldblue on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:32:12 PM EST
    I haven't stopped laughing since I read your first two words.

    Obama wants to get $hit done (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Exeter on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:43:46 PM EST
    That's what this is about: ending the cycle of retaliation in Washington.

    I think this is a mistake (5.00 / 2) (#17)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:44:19 PM EST
    The guy has defied the party for 6 years.  He completely eschewed the party in the general election.

    I don't believe in fighting fights you don't have to but that doesn't mean that you never go to the mattresses.  

    This will embolden the blue dogs to buck the party whenever convenient.  I don't think this will change Lieberman's vote whatsoever.  He will not support the Democrats on foreign policy issues.  The only time he will be the 60th vote will be on issues he would vote in favor of regardless.  

    Sometimes it is important to show strength simply for the sake of showing strength.

    Suck on this? (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:48:13 PM EST
    "Sometimes it is important to show strength simply for the sake of showing strength."

    I am amazed on this one.

    No one, I mean no one has hated Lieberman more than I have. For years.

    At daily kos I had a jihad against him. And here too.

    I thought we won - he is not really viewed as a Dem anymore. Now he is just one vote. The committee means nothing.

    And we probably have his vote now.

    I am for fighting - but about issues - not about nonsense.

    Obama got this one right.

    And it turns out I am the only person who thinks so.

    How freaking ironic is this?


    Heh (5.00 / 2) (#21)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:55:02 PM EST
    Well we all view the politics a bit differently.  

    How do you make a deal with someone who has shown no integrity?  


    But destroying him (none / 0) (#23)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:55:59 PM EST
    the moment he crosses you. What? You think Obama can't?

    Well my understanding is (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:13:02 PM EST
    that he keeps his chairmanship throughout the entire session of Congress regardless of his transgressions.

    So what else can Obama or the caucus do?  He is almost certainly done as a Senator from CT at this point.   What do they have over him other than fear of losing his chair in 2 years, which clearly didn't scare him this year.


    I kind of view this as... (none / 0) (#32)
    by Thanin on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:18:47 PM EST
    getting mad about a chess move when youre only allowed to see half the board.  

    We have no idea whats gone on behind the scenes.  Moreover, as was pointed out many times here, a product of Chicago politics isnt exactly a lightweight.


    True (5.00 / 0) (#34)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:30:51 PM EST
    I'm not mad.  I just disagree with the move.

    It was a secret vote (5.00 / 1) (#83)
    by imhotep on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:26:50 PM EST
    not even the aides were allowed in.

    I would like to know who the 13 "nays" were.


    What does this chairmanship matter? (none / 0) (#40)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:42:46 PM EST
    Seriously. What do you think it means? Staff? Whoop dee dooo.

    Status, BTD (5.00 / 3) (#52)
    by gyrfalcon on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:06:22 PM EST
    You know very well that congresscritters without committee chairmanships are not happy campers.  I don't care whether Lieberman's happy or not happy (in a political sense, personally is another matter!), but I do care about the lesson other Dems. take from his gross misbehavior and the shrug it's gotten from leadership.

    Let's save it for the big stuff, (none / 0) (#98)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 08:29:57 PM EST
    like, say FISA.  Oh wait.  See Tuesday NYT Best not to hold our collective breaths on that one.

    it is not that he can't (5.00 / 1) (#63)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:54:21 PM EST
    after all we have seen what a vindictive bastard he is...but he WONT.  Why would he?  He has no problem with the guy and never has even though Holy Joe campaigned against him.  What exactly is he waiting for before he destroys him?

    Disagree. (5.00 / 5) (#24)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:58:47 PM EST
    I thought we won - he is not really viewed as a Dem anymore. Now he is just one vote. The committee means nothing.

    And we probably have his vote now.

    I am for fighting - but about issues - not about nonsense.

    Personally, I don't really care how the Senate chooses to organize itself.  I'm not personally offended by the action they took today.

    However, I'd hardly call crossing party lines to attack your party's Presidential nominee and campaigning against Democratic Senatorial candidates in favor a Republicans "nothing".  I think that's a very big something.

    If party discipline means anything, the offenses Lieberman committed ought to result in his exclusion from power.  Yes, that's punishment -- but punishment to an end (party discipline) for very real and severe infractions.

    His committee chairmanship is important because it involves a critical oversight role.  Even worse, it involves oversight of issues on which Lieberman made dishonest attacks on the Democrats during the election.  Can you imagine the spectacle of Lieberman questioning Obama appointees because he feels the Administration is not doing as much as a McCain Administration would do to keep America safe?


    Your mistake is (none / 0) (#26)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:02:05 PM EST
    in thinking Lieberman is a member of your Party.

    See, the people who should care are in the Democratic Caucus in the Senate - they are the ones screwed out of the meaningless Chairmanship.

    The rest of us? Who gives a sh*t?

    Let me ask you a question, do you expect significant legislation coming out of the Senate Homeland Security Committee? Can you name any that has?

    What exactly changed today?


    Obviously he's a member. . . (none / 0) (#29)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:11:36 PM EST
    of the party -- otherwise he wouldn't hold an party-controlled chairmanship.  I mean, why not give a chairmanship to McCain for his nice concession speech?

    As for the committee, I'm more concerned with what didn't emerge from the committee during the Bush years -- meaningful oversight.  I'm concerned about what might possibly emerge now -- abusive oversight.  Nothing new would have to happen for that to occur -- Lieberman would simply have to keep saying what he's been saying for a year.


    Give him Lieberman's (none / 0) (#38)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:42:00 PM EST
    Well (none / 0) (#30)
    by flyerhawk on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:11:40 PM EST
    it's the governmental affairs aspect of that committee that concerns me.

    Does Liberman being identified (none / 0) (#72)
    by hairspray on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:55:31 PM EST
    as an indpendent mean anything? Does he get a pass for that or does the fact he caucuses with the Democrats define his position?

    I say action over labels (none / 0) (#75)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:01:56 PM EST
    of course I'm from NYC where our Mayor is a dem turned Rep (lol!~) turned Indie soon to be Dem again (?)

    I am getting dizzy!! (5.00 / 1) (#79)
    by hairspray on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:07:32 PM EST
    Lieberman gets the message (none / 0) (#65)
    by thereyougo on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:08:20 PM EST
     Next month, the Connecticut Democratic Party is to consider a resolution to censure Mr. Lieberman and to call on him to change his party affiliation.

    DiFi, my senator, is hoping he'll change his affiliation back to Dem. I'm not holding my breath.

    This is an Obama strategy, its not personal like some take it over at the big Orange. Everything in the august body of the Senate is compromise and strategy and I see this as a favor Lieberman will be obliged to pay back later on.

    Look at how the  Republicans treated Lincoln Chaffee back in 2006 and how he eventually lost his seat to a democrat. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat in Rhode Island toppled Lincoln Chafee, the Republican incumbent, an independent voice who often sided with Democrats and wouldn't even vote for the president, but could not hold his seat in the heavily-Democratic state. And didn't get help from the Republicans.

    I think that slowly Lieberman will be like a leper in his state. I'll be watching this.


    Come on (none / 0) (#85)
    by Pepe on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:45:55 PM EST
    In the real world Obama looks as soft, airy, and light as Chiffon Pie over this. If he can't stand up to his own party member who was trying to deep six him then he can't stand up to no one. Yeah I know O and Joe are bosom buddies, but still.

    As for your comment upthread that said we need to focus on policies and not committees - where do you think most of the policies originate from? It isn't the WH. It congress and I know no one need explain how that all works to you.


    No...you're not (none / 0) (#104)
    by oldpro on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 01:17:36 AM EST
    "the only person who things so."



    kos sure sounds POed (5.00 / 8) (#22)
    by kempis on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:55:41 PM EST

    Kos is getting all Ahab about Liebermann, isn't he? Or Wile E. Coyote. Kos leads his army of netizens, armed to the gills with ACME dynamite diaries, cleverly sets his trap and... meep-meep. There goes Joe Liebermann in a puff of dust. Curses. Foiled again.

    I shouldn't mock. Liebermann is a good example of what's wrong with politicians: they are people who will say anything to forward their own careers, screw the country. He's a particularly smarmy guy in a particularly smarmy profession.

    But I agree with those who say this shouldn't be cause for garment-rending. There are more important things. If Obama doesn't clean house in the executive branch, then it's time to get mouthy. But I expect him to clean house. He's said he would. He never said he'd send Liebermann to the dog house. It's just that the "progressive netroots" said he should do--and therefore thought he would.

    Can I just say: (5.00 / 5) (#25)
    by coigue on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:01:43 PM EST

    I can't decide which is funnier (5.00 / 8) (#71)
    by otherlisa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:53:57 PM EST
    The faction of the Nut-roots turning on Obama like a pack of hyenas or the True Believers who think that if Obama decided, then it has to be THE most brilliant decision ever...

    I know. (5.00 / 2) (#73)
    by coigue on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:56:04 PM EST
    The answer is probably neither is correct. But we are arguing about something for which we have no evidence...and time will tell.

    I just love the Moby Dick metaphor. Only in Lieberman's case it should be Mopy Dick.


    I say the True Believers (5.00 / 3) (#74)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:59:14 PM EST
    The lengths they go to justify "THE Most Brilliant Decision Ever" (TMBDE!) and pretzel twist gets pretty creative. I'm always tempted to follow them around and ask "Did you really read what you just wrote?!" lol!~ They defy logic with the best of um.

    Head explosions are a good spectator sport though ;)


    I don't think word. . . (5.00 / 4) (#27)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:07:24 PM EST
    of this post has reached dKos yet.  Current diary title:

    Breaking: Harry Reid is a piece of garbage!!

    At least he didn't call him a charlatan!

    Obama didn't ask Reid to publicly... (5.00 / 2) (#35)
    by magster on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:31:35 PM EST
    and passionately defend Lieberman.  I doubt that there were any behind the scene concessions from Lieberman.  

    Obama is going to regret his own role in emboldening the Blue Dogs and Gang of 14.

    Let's see how Obama deals... (5.00 / 1) (#58)
    by citizen53 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:32:58 PM EST
    with domestic spying.

    The Lieberman episode does not inspire confidence.

    Any bets?

    Per Tuesday NYT article, L. Tribe (none / 0) (#99)
    by oculus on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 08:31:42 PM EST
    opines it is sometimes not all that easy to change positions in mid-stream.

    This Is Exactly (5.00 / 2) (#76)
    by CDN Ctzn on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:02:37 PM EST
    the kind of cr*p that Ralph Nader warned would happen to us, while he was campaigning. And, this is exactly the reason why both parties along with a complicit media and an ignorant electorate wanted nothing to do with Nader; going to the extent of:
     -excluding him from any debates
     -barely mentioning him as a candidate
     -having so-called "progressive" and "left" blogs censoring comments that supported the ideas of the only truely progressive candidate there was.

    So let's end all the b*tching and complaining now. We had our chance during the elections and we chose to continue to support a government by the corporations and for the corporations.

    And, in the words of that old BTO song, "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet!"

    Nader is often right (5.00 / 1) (#93)
    by Spamlet on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:35:38 PM EST
    but he would make an absolutely terrible president, which is why I've never voted for him.

    At this point I just have to admire Joe's (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by tigercourse on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:19:07 PM EST
    ability to keep his name in the news all the time. For a guy with no charisma, nothing interesting to say and no friends other then John McCain, he sure does manage to keep people talking about him.

    You think he's got a deal w/ Markos? (none / 0) (#100)
    by LarryInNYC on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 08:43:49 PM EST
    Daily Kos alone must boost him to the top of Google's page rank score.

    What a non-surprise (5.00 / 1) (#97)
    by Lou Grinzo on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 08:10:42 PM EST
    Seriously--who here didn't expect to see a lot of these kinds of decisions from Obama?  He is genetically predisposed to avoid conflict, and that means Republicans (and Light Republicans, like our pal Joe) will repeatedly try to walk all over him, and succeed more often than the Orange Purists and many of the the rest of us would prefer.

    As best I can tell, Obama really does believe in this vision of a post-partisan country, even though many of his most loyal supporters are every bit as rabidly partisan as the die hard Limbaugh fans.


    By the way--I highly recommend all the election-related articles in the Nov. 17th issue of The New Yorker.  They're all online at:


    I have no idea what's going on here (none / 0) (#12)
    by s5 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:41:30 PM EST
    Lieberman is a jacka**, and right now the Senate looks like a country club rather than a governing body. However, Obama is an excellent chess player, winning the game by playing several moves ahead of everyone else. Given how viciously Lieberman attacked Obama, there's no way that Obama isn't aware of how wretched Lieberman is.

    I'm hoping that there's a larger strategy here. Maybe a variation on "keep your friends close and your enemies closer"? Or maybe he's planning to use Lieberman to bring Republicans on board as Obama implements his agenda? I really don't know. I don't trust Lieberman in the slightest, but perhaps Obama is the superior politician, and there's a plan for this abomination.

    That said, I've never been impressed with Harry Reid, and stunts like this are exactly why.

    Excuse me (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:43:19 PM EST
    This one is not on Harry Reid.

    It's Harry Reid's caucus (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by s5 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:54:37 PM EST
    Harry Reid is the majority leader in a completely different branch of government than Obama's branch.

    Now obviously, Obama has significant power to set the tone, and politics knows no constitutional boundaries. But if other people have more control over the shape of the caucus than Reid, then it leaves me wondering what Reid is doing. Is he the leader or the guy who wields the rubber stamp?

    That said, I agree that the policy matters more than internal wrangling, so if Obama is using this move to buy himself a wider congressional mandate, then okay, I'll learn to live with it.


    It is Obama's PARTY (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:57:50 PM EST
    He wanted this.

    Howard Dean seems to agree with you (5.00 / 2) (#51)
    by s5 on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:00:51 PM EST

    "My point of view is that Barack won," Dean said. "He can afford to be magnanimous. And if we happen to win both recounts and Georgia, Joe is the 60th vote. And the truth is -- and I certainly don't have to defend Joe Lieberman because, you know, we have an interesting history -- but the fact is, he does vote 90 percent of the time with the Democrats. And no, he shouldn't have said all those things. But why not clean the slate? Why not start all over again? Why not allow him to vote with us on the 90 percent of the stuff? He will be a good vote on climate change -- and this matters. He may be a good vote on election reform, which I hope we will get to. So, you know, he may end up - though it is a little against the odds -- he may end up being the vote that allows us to conduct business when Mitch McConnell decides we shouldn't."

    Dean speaks? (5.00 / 2) (#64)
    by TeresaInPa on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:58:58 PM EST
    wow, I thought they had permanently silenced him by shoving his doctors bag down his throat whole the Donna B wing of the DNC rigged the rules for Teleprompter Jesus.
    I am shocked to find he still has a voice.

    Correct Me (none / 0) (#78)
    by CDN Ctzn on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:06:09 PM EST
    if I'm wrong, but aren't the Executive and Legeslative Branches of Government supposed to be seperate from each other. I thought was how we got "accountability", "checks and balances", and "oversight".

    Silly me!


    This was not a matter of Exec. vs Cong. (5.00 / 1) (#96)
    by DFLer on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 08:09:06 PM EST
    It was an PARTY matter, right?

    I Understood This (5.00 / 1) (#102)
    by CDN Ctzn on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 10:08:02 PM EST
    to be first and foremost Obama's idea. To me it suggested that he influenced the vote of the Senators. If this is happening now, then I think it would be niave to think the same thing won't happen when he takes office.

    remember Harry's had a stroke. They're not the (5.00 / 1) (#67)
    by thereyougo on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 05:19:16 PM EST
    healthiest bunch over there.

    Again, they're just an old bunch, too old for my taste.

    Even Ted Kennedy and the others who can't possibly be on their game due to illness. Apologies to those who don't see it like I do.

    We need a  team of horses instead we have a team in walkers and wheelchairs. agh! in frustration


    It is unfortunate that there isn't some (none / 0) (#77)
    by hairspray on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:05:55 PM EST
    kind of retirement effort to get some of these sick older people out of the senate and the supreme court.  Tim Johnson, Ted Kennedy and now Harry Reid?  One wonders why they don't seem to want to let go of the power throne. Must be ego.  In the case of Johnson, I understand there was a dymnamic woman ready to step in and put a more robust face on that seat. Can't rmemeber her name.

    "Change you can believe in"! (TM) (none / 0) (#18)
    by ThatOneVoter on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 02:45:34 PM EST

    As has been said... (none / 0) (#80)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:07:37 PM EST
    the only change you can believe in is that which you might be lucky enough to find in the coin return slot of a phone booth.

    phone booth?! (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by nycstray on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:12:02 PM EST
    do those still exist?!

    No (none / 0) (#94)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 07:51:51 PM EST
    It's a shrewd postion Obama has taken. (none / 0) (#37)
    by Radix on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:40:34 PM EST
    Not bad at all.

    Not too interested (none / 0) (#43)
    by lilburro on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 03:45:14 PM EST
    in Joe Lieberman myself.  Grassroots can work in elections, but who thought that the Dem Senate would decide a "family" matter based on that?  It just seems like there are so many other things worth focusing on where blogs could be more effective.

    No news here... (none / 0) (#56)
    by lentinel on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 04:16:42 PM EST
    The democrats as a group continue to suck up to the conservatives.
    And Obama continues to show his love for Monsieur Lieberman - for whom he threw the anti-Iraq war movement under the old bus.

    I think this is actually a great move... (none / 0) (#82)
    by LogopolisMike on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 06:14:59 PM EST
    I don't agree with it.  And I assume I won't approve of a lot of -- or at least many -- things that Obama does.  But I'd rather I find myself disagreeing with Obama on committee appointments and the way he's playing something politically than on actual policy issues.  And hopefully the Obama devotees who are prone to follow him blindly will take off the blinder to him this time so that when more important fights are being fought, they won't be so naive.  Seems like good timing to me.

    Still, though, 2012 elections in CT can't happen soon enough.

    I don't get it: They let him keep the committee (none / 0) (#101)
    by jawbone on Tue Nov 18, 2008 at 09:03:19 PM EST
    chairs where he did next to nothing worthwhile, but take away his environmental chair, where he did, to a greater extent, have some decent votes and stands.


    Yecch (none / 0) (#105)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 11:30:06 AM EST
    I'm scared to read the comments.

    I strapped on the waders and wandered over there, for the first time in over a year. It's pretty ugly and depressing. There are three people having a huge, boring game of one-upmanship over the term "Oedipal" and Greek mythology, mixed with several infuriated insults aimed at Kos (the "Oedipal" thing came from one poster's contention that Kos's hatred of Lieberman is irrational and, yes, Oedipal), a few hit-and-runners who say "I'm PO'd too!" and then a lot of pointless feces-flinging. Maybe it was always this bad, I seem to remember it being better but I may have been drunk on Kool-Aid myself at the time. In any case, I wont' be back anytime soon.

    Since the Senate process is not transparent (none / 0) (#106)
    by MyLeftMind on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 12:18:59 PM EST
    we don't really know what kind of deal was cut with Lieberman.  Worse case scenario is that Obama's a wimp and doesn't know what to do with bad Joe.  Best case scenario is that Obama pressured the Senate leadership to maintain the status quo with Lieberman so that he has some incentive not to buck the Democratic agenda.  If he's punished before the new administration even takes control, they'll have pushed him into the Republicans' arms with pretty much of a guarantee that he'll undermine our issues.  What would he have to lose?  He's already run as an Independent and won, he'd have to position himself for the same strategy in 2010.  But if he supports our progressive issues while still spouting stuff about federal fiscal responsibility (which has to happen anyway, we're out of money), CT might overlook his transgressions.  

    So instead of punishing him now, he's forgiven (but not forgotten by the voters and the reelection committees), but he has to show his true colors in the first two years of Obama's changes.  He's either with us, or he's not.  Meanwhile, Obama looks good for not retaliating, Liebermann still gets voted out in 2012, and if he filibusters with the Republicans anytime in the next two years, they can still marginalize him and kick him off the Homeland Security committee in 2010.  


    I don't think (none / 0) (#107)
    by DancingOpossum on Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 03:19:59 PM EST
    it's either one of those, that Obama is a wimp or that he made some kind of deal. I think he genuinely thinks Joe is OK--remember, Lieberman was his mentor in the Senate and Obama refused to campaign for Lamont (the Democrat) who ran against Lieberman in the primary. Not saying it's good, bad, or even all that important, but I think the third possibility--that he genuinely likes, trusts, and values Jumpin' Joe--is distinct.