Strip Lieberman of His Seniority
by Chris Bowers, Tue Aug 15, 2006 at 07:26:32 PM EDT
If he continues to alienate his colleagues, Lieberman could be stripped of his seniority within the Democratic caucus should he defeat Democrat Ned Lamont in the general election this November, according to some senior Democratic aides.
In recent days, Lieberman has rankled Democrats in the upper chamber by suggesting that those who support bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq by a certain date would bolster terrorists' planning attacks against the U.S. and its allies. He also sparked resentment by saying last week on NBC's Today show that the Democratic Party was out of the political mainstream.
Democrats are worried that Lieberman may be giving Republicans a golden opportunity to undermine their message.
"I think there's a lot of concern," said a senior Democratic aide who has discussed the subject with colleagues. "I think the first step is if the Lieberman thing turns into a side show and hurts our message and ability to take back the Senate, and the White House and the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] manipulate him, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people in our caucus." The Lieberman camp wants Democrats to ignore Connecticut at all costs. This is probably because he is now the de facto Republican nominee and is going to run on a strategy designed to win Republican votes using Republican money and Republican support and then still take Democratic committee seats. Yeah, that seems fair. He has already made clear that he will do this by trashing Democrats around the country, and refusing to denounce Republican attacks that work in his favor.
In order to put an end to this trashing of our own party and for the Democratic nominee in Connecticut to win, we are going to need a lot more pressure on Lieberman from the Democratic establishment. Specifically, once he is certified on the ballot as the Connecticut for Lieberman candidate, and all challenges to his signatures have been dropped, we are going to need the Democratic leadership in the Senate to strip him of his committee assignments. As exit polls showed, the remaining Democrats and Independents who are supporting Lieberman are doing so because of his "experience." Stripping him of his committee seats would end that, and deal a crippling blow to his campaign without costing the DSCC a single dime. That would be a perfectly justifiable move because he is running against the Democratic nominee, because he is trashing every Democratic from here to kingdom come in so doing, and because we have precedent. Specifically, Frank Lautenberg did not regain his seniority when he re-entered the Senate in 2002. Considering that, why should Lieberman be given special treatment for leaving the Democratic Party and then actively trying to undermine it? Actions have consequences, and the price for ignoring the will of Democratic voters, and then trashing the Democratic Party for your own benefit while simultaneously feeding at the Democratic Party seniority trough must be made clear. If Lieberman wants to run on his own, then he should be forced to get seniority on his own. Party seniority is earned through consistently receiving the endorsement of the will of Democratic voters, and Joe Lieberman has lost that. The second Lieberman is certified as the Connecticut for Lieberman candidate, it is time that he is only allowed Connecticut for Lieberman seniority.
You better believe there will be more on this later.