Caucus Will Vote On Whether Joe Keeps Chair; Reid Still Opposes

Let's be clear: the question on the table is not whether Dems will boot Joe from their caucus.

The question is whether Lieberman will remain chair of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

We've heard rumors that the decision would be made by a caucus vote, but now, a Senate aide tells Sargent, it's official:

...this is a decision that will be made by the caucus next week. Absent a stunning series of events there will be a vote next week in the caucus on whether to strip Senator Lieberman of the chairmanship.

That's the endgame.

We also have confirmation that Harry Reid still favors Lieberman losing his chairmanship.

Lieberman really has one lifeline left: convince enough Senators in the Dem caucus that stripping him of his chair would be vindictive, mean, and partisan. We all know how nervous politicians get when someone accuses them of <gasp> being partisan...

But there's no reason to give Lieberman an inch. Removing him as chair is a perfectly appropriate remedy for how he's politicized national security to attack his own party. Joe walked into this all on his own.

Update [2008-11-11 16:6:11 by Todd Beeton]:Chris Bowers's whip count, if accurate, does not bode well for Joe. Particularly interesting is that our 6 newly elected Senators will be able to vote even though they will not have been sworn in yet. Chris suspects that the fact that Schumer opposes Lieberman's remaining in his chairmanship position probably means those 6 in addition to the additional Dem Senators from last cycle when Schumer also chaired the DSCC, are likely to lean against Joe as well. Keep in mind also that Sens. Obama and Biden will not be voting, nor will Sens. Lieberman or Sanders (Independents do not vote on chairmanships.) All in all, Chris counts the total number of Senators voting at 53 with 27 to win. Call your Senator today.

Tags: Barack Obama, Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman (all tags)



Do newly elected Senators get a vote?

If so, I bet they won't appreciate Lieberman having campaigned against the Democratic candidate in Maine, Tom Allen, as well as perhaps one other Democratic candidate (I can't remember exactly whom).

Also, they might be eager to see him removed from a chairmanship position so as to gain greater access to it themselves.

If anyone knows if they get a vote, let us know so we can lobby them.

by verasoie 2008-11-11 10:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Do newly elected Senators get a vote?

I think it was Al Franken.  

by realtarheel 2008-11-11 11:12AM | 0 recs
Re: Caucus Will Vote On Whether Joe Keeps Chair; R

I emailed Senator Carper (D-DE) urging him to strip Lieberman from his chair. Carper still supported Lieberman even after he lost the primary, so hopefully he'll change his mind on traitorous Joe.

by Airb330 2008-11-11 10:59AM | 0 recs for a call list &amp; script

Please contact the members of our Senate Democratic Steering Committee, which is organizing who gets prized committee chairmanships in the Senate.

You'll find background info (what Joe has done and threatened, including his support of the filibuster against `extreme' - or progressive - Democratic legislation), a script for your phone call, and contact information for key Senators, at

by MS 2008-11-11 11:09AM | 0 recs
Re: for a call

I emailed all 19 members today and let them know that I would not be happy to see Joe keep Chairman of that committee.   I let them know that I have also been a loyal contributor to the DSCC and wanted to see that Democrats that I gave money too would be loyal Democrats.

by gavoter 2008-11-11 11:28AM | 0 recs
Re: for a call

I wonder if the netroots can do a donation slowdown via a couple of fronts such as moveon and others.

by Pravin 2008-11-11 03:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Caucus Will Vote On Whether Joe

I think We will win this....

I'd lobby my Senators but one is busy being President Elect and the Other is already against him.

Wow... it still fills me with pride to say MY SENATOR is President Elect!!!

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-11 11:22AM | 0 recs

pontius pilate will be prowd.

by sepulvedaj3 2008-11-11 11:28AM | 0 recs
What a waste of time....

Seriously.  There are websites trying to organize people to oppose Lieberman on this vote.  People are calling Senators.

For what?  For revenge?  This is stupid.

The election is over.  We all really need to get over it.

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 11:31AM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

It means 2 more years of Lieberman fighting Obama and doing it loudly and publically on FOX news.

Do you really want to see Obama have to explain on a daily basis his decision to move the WOT from Iraq to Afghanistan?   Believe me, with Chariman Lieberman this will happen.   Lieberman will do everything in his power to undermine anything Obama wants to do on Foreign relations

by gavoter 2008-11-11 11:40AM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

How will stripping him of his chair keep him off Fox News?  In fact, wouldn't it only antagonize him into being more of a pain?  It would certainly give journalists a story about how Democrats aren't ready to unite.

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:02PM | 0 recs
Lieberman uses his caucus position as a weapon

against his own caucus over and over and over again.  He's the "bipartisan" to GOP positions. He's the Democratic perspective on Fox News. He is toxic.

This isn't revenge, it's strictly practical.  Take away his power and no one cares what he says.  If he goes to the GOP caucus, he'll be as relevant as Lamar Alexander or Judd Gregg, i.e. just one bad vote without a voice.

by magster 2008-11-11 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman uses his caucus position as a weapon

How does he use his caucus position?  How does stripping him of his chairmanship deplete his ability to cause trouble?  This is not practical.  It's anything but practical.  This does NOTHING to further progressive causes.  Nothing.

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman uses his caucus position as a weapon

Like I said above, by claiming to be part of the Dem caucus, he makes GOP positions "bipartisan" by defecting.  Except he's not defecting, he's already a Republican in mind body and spirit.

by magster 2008-11-11 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman uses his caucus position as a weapon

At the same time he defects on Iraq, Susan Collins, Olympia Snow, and Arlen Spector defect to us.  What about the Democrats who voted for Bush's tax cuts in 2001 and 2003?  Should they be kicked to the curb?

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman uses his caucus position as a weapon

what happened to senators that campained aginst bush?

by opposing Obama, Liberman was agaist us on health care and the environment, as well as the war.

that just means he's not a leader in the party, so no leadership position.

doesn't seem unreasonable

by holder 2008-11-11 08:46PM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....
Lieberman crossed the aisle and actively campaigned against Obama, after Obama supported him in his primary run.
He refused to do his job as Chairman of that committee (invetigating the Bush adminsitration  for the lack of response after Katrina), so why exactly does he need to stay?
Why should that be acceptable behavior to Democrats?
by skohayes 2008-11-11 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

Do you have a link on the Katrina thing?  I haven't read that.  Not THAT is a policy (not a political) issue that could merit his losing his chairmanship.

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:06PM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

Here's one link (there's tons of them out there, search "lieberman katrina")

Has Sen. Joe Lieberman sold out on his campaign promise to hold the Bush regime accountable for its disastrous mishandling of Hurricane Katrina in order to serve as the Democratic lackey for its unpopular Iraq surge strategy?

Reporters Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball examine that question in a Newsweek Web exclusive titled "Bush's Best Democratic Buddy: Joe Lieberman gives the president a pass on Katrina." They point out that the Connecticut lawmaker, the only Democrat to endorse Bush's new Iraq plan, "has quietly backed away from his pre-election demands that the White House turn over potentially embarrassing documents relating to its handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans":
But the decision by Lieberman, the new chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, to back away from the committee's Katrina probe is already dismaying public-interest groups and others who hoped the Democratic victory in November would lead to more aggressive investigations of one of the White House's most spectacular foul-ups.
Lieberman spokesperson Leslie Phillips told the reporters that the senator -- an independent Democrat who now holds the power to subpoena the relevant records -- "intends to focus his attention on the future security of the American people and other matters and does not expect to revisit the White House's role in Katrina." th/2007/01/lieberman-abandons-push-for-k atrina.asp

by skohayes 2008-11-12 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

Are you a moron? We have had a million diaries on this issue stating many points. Revenge is just one of MANY reasons why we want him gone. And the many other reasons are valid reasons. You act like you have no clue why we want him gone when you ask your rhetorical question.

The only thing stupid is your comment. Take a minute to read one of the many diaries and you will have your answer.

by Pravin 2008-11-11 02:32PM | 0 recs
Uh-oh. It looks like I hurt your feelings.


by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:08PM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

Why do we want to reconcile with Joe? He was our VP nominee in 2000 and then starting hanging out with the GOP. He should face sanctions of some sort, it sends a worse message when people can act out in whatever way they want without consequences. Joe took a high profile position against the party and should not be acting in a leadership role.

I mean, the point of party politics is to gain a majority and enact an agenda. If the leadership cannot be counted on to enact that agenda, what is the point of belonging to a party in the first place? I am sure there are other Senate members who are more deserving at this point (Schumer).


by techsoldaten 2008-11-11 02:33PM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

I agree on one point.  Our goal should be to move an agenda forward.  The question is---does stripping him of his chairmanship do that?  No.  Aside from Iraq, he is a reliable vote, more than some OTHER Democrats, for that matter.

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:11PM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

It will help move the agenda forward because we get rid of a distraction. He can grandstand being the chair of a prominent committee.

What votes will he change just because he doesnt get his committee chair? Do you want to encourage future Liebermans to blackmail the party?

As we mentioned a bunch of times, any mainstream media fuss won't last long. Just watch how many people Bush got rid of who were not with the program. Most people can't even remember them.

by Pravin 2008-11-11 03:22PM | 0 recs
Have you ever seen a Senate committee hearing?

It will help move the agenda forward because we get rid of a distraction. He can grandstand being the chair of a prominent committee.

Everybody grandstands.

Who is he distracting?  If we put the campaign behind us and move on with our lives, how is he distracting?  By going on Fox News?  Stripping him of his chair and kicking him out of the caucus won't keep him from doing that.  It could antagonize him and give him a reason to cause trouble.

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Have you ever seen a Senate committee hearing?

Geez. you dont get it.

Regardless of what you think, how do you assess his performance as chairperson? Were you happy that he punted on investigations of mistakes on Bush's watch? Do you realize why government keeps making the same mistakes over and over? You got people like Lieberman who bypass investigations to save face for his buddies.

by Pravin 2008-11-11 03:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Have you ever seen a Senate committee hearing?

I have asked repeatedly in other threads for information about this Katrina business.  If I'm wrong, I'll back off.

As for investigations, what YOU don't understand is that many of these investigations are carried out to get politicians on TV and grandstand.  Not solve problems.

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Have you ever seen a Senate committee hearing?

Tell me what did you think of the investigation into cassues of the Katrina massacre

by holder 2008-11-11 08:50PM | 0 recs
Re: Have you ever seen a Senate committee hearing? ion-alert-on-katrina-lieberman-and-landr ieu-need-to-know

Also google Lieberman Katrina, ThinkProgress.

Plus one should pay attention to how he backed off other promises made during his campaign.

by Pravin 2008-11-12 03:32AM | 0 recs
Re: What a waste of time....

can you name what he has done (as an independant) to earn a chairmanship under a democartic majority?

by holder 2008-11-11 08:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Caucus Will Vote On Whether Joe Keeps Chair

Is it true that, even if successful on December 2nd, Jim Martin will not get a say in this matter?

by CLLGADEM 2008-11-11 11:34AM | 0 recs
Reid heard from Obama before his meeting

with Lieberman

The call to Reid, which covered many other issues, came before the majority leader met with Lieberman last Thursday to discuss Lieberman's future in the Democratic caucus

So Reid told Joe that he may lose his chairmanship after he spoke to Obama - this is good news. tent/article/2008/11/11/AR2008111101217. html

by Destiny 2008-11-11 11:51AM | 0 recs
Sympathy for the Lieberman

I understand what a douchebag Joe Lieberman is.  But I don't see the benefit of starting a war within the Democratic caucus at this point.  I think Reid should give Lieberman a huge pass and tell the caucus that they all need to move forward together.  Privately, Reid and Lieberman could have a conversation making it clear that Lieberman is on a very short leash and that if he so much as dribbles some pee on the Senate toilet seat, he's gone.

Having Lieberman's fate be decided by caucus seems unnecessarily divisive for the Caucus itself right now.  This will split the Progressives from the DLC types and cause unnecessary frictions before the Dems accomplish one friggin' thing.

by the mollusk 2008-11-11 12:00PM | 0 recs
Re: Sympathy for the Lieberman

I would support that if Lieberman hadn't already lied to the Caucus. He promised not to attack Obama and he went against that many many times.

He cannot be trusted.

by Lolis 2008-11-11 12:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Sympathy for the Lieberman

my perspective isn't so much about Lieberman.  It's about the health of the Democratic caucus.  Starting a war within the Caucus right now serves no one's best interest.  

by the mollusk 2008-11-11 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Sympathy for the Lieberman

I think Joe needs to go for the health of the Democratic caucus.

by veggiemuffin 2008-11-11 12:53PM | 0 recs
Re: Sympathy for the Lieberman

So you want him to chair a committee whose issues he differs the most with the Democrats on? The same issues he bashed Obama in harsh terms? If there is a civil war, then that is the fault of the senators who should know better. There will be more distraction if he actually remains on the committee. Think about it. You get rid of him now, there will be a fuss and the fuss will be finished in a week at worst. You leave him there and he will be creating distractions for the next few years.

by Pravin 2008-11-11 02:35PM | 0 recs
Re: Sympathy for the Lieberman

First, it's the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.  Joe's disagreement is over Iraq.  Did he use this committee to hamper efforts in Iraq in the 110th Congress?  No.  Every bill that Senate Democrats wanted failed because of filibusters, not Joe Lieberman.

Second, it's not the Senate's job to appease the president.  Congress is a co-equal branch of government.  Congress should never kow-tow to ANY president, no matter the circumstances.

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Sympathy for the Lieberman

Joe Lieberman did an awful job investigating Katrina problems. That is Homeland Security.

by Pravin 2008-11-11 03:20PM | 0 recs
Re: Sympathy for the Lieberman

Joe Lieberman did an awful job investigating Katrina problems. That is Homeland Security.

by Pravin 2008-11-11 03:20PM | 0 recs
Incompetence... grounds for losing his job.  Byrd was recently shoved out of the Appropriations Committee chair because he wasn't up to it.  Do you have a link on this because I hadn't read anything about it?

by psychodrew 2008-11-11 03:23PM | 0 recs
Re: Caucus Will Vote On Whether Joe Keeps Chair; R

I just emailed Sen McCaskill. The point I stressed with her is that Lieberman shouldn't be in any position in which he can make mischief for our new President. Since she was one of Sen Obama's earliest and most active supporters, I hope that argument will carry weight with her.

by Not the only Dem in KS 2008-11-11 12:02PM | 0 recs
Caucus Will Vote On Joe

(Posted this is the wrong thread...)

I think tha problem regards how many warning Lieberman has possibly already recieved.  Didn't Obama give him some discussion earlier in the Senate and Lieberman pretty much just gave him the bird for the rest of the campaign?  Sounds like Ol' Joe WAS on a short leach and thought he could do what he wanted and laugh.  I HOPE it is the laugh of a man about to get his head stuck in a guillotine...

And what harm can Joe do?  How about causing a huge ruckus AND spreading rumors, sensitive info, or outright lies on something like the closing of the Gitmo detention center for starters?  I could just see Ol' Joe having "grave concerns" over what Obama is doing?  As a chair, he gets to have a disproportionately larger voice than the Repugs, especially if he is spouting off their talking points.  He makes the Democratic Leadership look like they CANNOT lead because they cannot control him.  Eventually he can smear the Obama administration either by the power of his chairmanship, by his later removal (Like that woudl be LESS political if it was done later then sooner) or by just making the Democratic brand look worse (if for nothing else, poor judgement kissing up to him).

Nope, time for Joe to get a Time-out, just like you do with any misbehaving miscreant.  And to entice good behavior from him, offer him something positive in a year or two, but probably not a chairmanship.

by Hammer1001 2008-11-11 05:25PM | 0 recs


Advertise Blogads