Lieberman Roundup

Not the best news this morning on the Lieberman front:

  • On Olbermann last night, Howard Fineman said:
    FINEMAN: Senator Dick Durbin is a key factor there and I think he`s moving toward allowing Lieberman to stay. Dick Durbin was somebody who was extremely angry at Lieberman for campaigning for John McCain.

    But I`m now told after having gone through a horrible week or so, where he was mourning the death of his 40-year-old daughter to congenital heart disease, he`s come out of that and looked around and, also, heard what Barack Obama has had to say, and Durbin is now saying he`s willing to give Lieberman a chance.

    I think that`s going to go to a vote next week but I bet that Lieberman gets to keep his committee chairmanship because Obama has signaled that he wants him to.

    Absent more clarity, Democratic Senators will look to the head of their party, Obama, for direction. This isn't the branches-of-government-separation-of-pow ers issue that Glenn Greenwald sees; it's instead a party issue, plain and simple.

  • Predictably, John McCain thinks Lieberman should keep his Homeland Security gavel. Thanks for the advice Senator.

We'll see what happens today...

Tags: Joe Lieberman (all tags)



Re: Lieberman Roundup

The compromise would be to switch committees with another member.  

by Marylander 2008-11-12 06:25AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

I thought I'd point this out to all those out there who haven't noticed.

You can't spell Lieberman without LIE.  So expect more of the same from him 'til the good voters of CT give him the boot.

by Why Not 2008-11-12 06:29AM | 0 recs

And "McCain" means "Son of Cain," clearly referring to the son of Adam & Eve who killed his own brother and was exiled to roam the earth alone.  Later mythology suggests that Cain is the father of monsters such as vampires and Grendel (clearly John Mccain's twin brother).

Also the president-elect is obviously a leprichaun... O'Bama.  

Can we grow up and stop picking on people's names?  I got over that in fourth grade.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Yes.

lol. thank you!

by CalDem 2008-11-12 07:52AM | 0 recs
wonder if Kos will go bananas over Obama

When Josh Marshall posted a false story about Clinton calling senators to keep liebermann, Kos just went bananas calling Clinton all sort of things. Now, it looks like Obama wants Libermann to keep his chairmanship, I am curious to see his reaction.

by ann0nymous 2008-11-12 06:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

I want confirmation.  Fineman isn't exactly a sterling example of accuracy and honesty.   I want to hear Durbin say it.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-12 06:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

The weasel's got 4 yrs left in his term, and CT has no provision for recall, so he has to remain in the caucus.  That means he keeps his chairmanship. It sucks, but that's just the way it has to be.  His punishment is just going to have to be his humiliating loss next to McCain, and him being on record as being on the wrong side of history.  That's good enough for me.  Hopefully CT voters will set things straight in 4 yrs.

by Democrat in Chicago 2008-11-12 07:01AM | 0 recs

Take his chair and let the chips fall where they may.

Who he caucuses with is his biz.  For all I care, he can caucus with the Connecticut for Liebermans.

by teknofyl 2008-11-12 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

No federal office holder can be recalled. Recall only exists in some states for state or lower level offices.

by Quinton 2008-11-12 07:58AM | 0 recs
Nothing was said about the chairmanship

Obama said he wanted him to stay in the caucus and after that it was Reid's call. A lot of people seem to be spinning pretty hard to turn that into an endorsement of Lieberman keeping his chair.

by Purplepeople 2008-11-12 07:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Nothing was said about the chairmanship

He didn't say it was "Reid's call."

by Josh Orton 2008-11-12 08:09AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

Strip Lieberman of his committee chairmanship, I say.  Do it for Ned Lamont.

by Illustrious 2008-11-12 07:19AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

The party could have avoided all of this by moving hard against Lieberman in 2006 after he lost the primary. They should have backed Lamont to the hilt rather than dithered or assisted Lieberman. We wouldn't have had this problem now, nor had to deal with a senator that caucuses with us endorsing McCain and attacking our nominee.

by Quinton 2008-11-12 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

Democratic Party leaders put their personal friendships over the interests of the party. They will bailout companies whose employees serve our base. I have given up hope on the party. THe Democrats acted impotent in acting as checks on the whole bailout issue. Now we got AIG coming back for more handouts with no accountability. There is still no serious plan with the 700B. Auto companies are habitually asking for bailouts.

by Pravin 2008-11-12 12:38PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

Is it so much to ask that people read statements carefully, as well as to clearly identify who says what?

Let's follow the bouncing ball: Durbin is "moving toward" allowing Lieberman "to stay."  To stay at what?  How far has he "moved" in that direction?

Obama has only "signaled" that he would work with Lieberman; his statement was noncommital.  Fineman "thinks" that Lieberman will keep his chairmanship, but that's his personal opinion based on his personal interpretation of Obama's statement.


by rfahey22 2008-11-12 07:25AM | 0 recs
Answer me this

How can Obama be OK with a chairman of Homeland Security who thinks he's not ready to lead?  That he hasn't always put his country first?

Heck of a time to placate so-called "moderates", when we just had a landslide rejection of the scare tactics that Republicans and Lieberman deployed in the campaign.

Republicans don't trust Lieberman, and don't count him as one of them.  We has hell don't trust him.  Why keep this guy in a position of power?

Lieberman has no credibility, and Obama will not alienate anyone (other than Lieberman) if he maneuvers to send him down.

by Sieglinde 2008-11-12 07:34AM | 0 recs
Obama holds the cards here

If Lieberman actually thought that, it might be a problem, but Obama knows that Lieberman doesn't give a crap either way whether Obama is "ready to lead" or whatnot.  It was all just agenda posturing.

While I'd be happy if the caucus demotes Lieberman to some domestic committee, the fact of the matter is that seeking revenge... on anyone in our own government... is not a good look for a president.

The Curious Case of Mighty Joe will resolve itself without serious intervention.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 07:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Obama holds the cards here

The old paradox:  if you take Lieberman at his word, then he isn't fit to be chairman of Homeland Security, esp. at a time of crisis.  However, if you don't believe in anything Lieberman says, then what good is he?

Why cast it as "revenge"?  How about seeing it as a simple realignment of leadership, after a decisive election?

It's practical, reasonable, and justified.

by Sieglinde 2008-11-12 08:01AM | 0 recs
There's a third way

It's not just taking his campaigning literally and disbelieving him entirely that are our options.  We can also look at his overall character, which appears to be an utter calculated ruthlessness in seeking his agenda.  He's not an idiot... so few people in the know thought that Obama initially had a chance, and by the time he was a nigh-unstoppable juggernaut, Lieberman had already backed the wrong horse.

Lieberman will do what he needs to to retain power.  We saw it in his senate race, and we see it now.  The only card he has is to be willing to walk the line for Obama and the New Power Generation of Democrats.  He'll do it if we let him.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 08:13AM | 0 recs
Re: There's a third way

"We can also look at his overall character, which appears to be an utter calculated ruthlessness in seeking his agenda."

OK, so I take it that you'd be happy to see him lose his gavel?

"... so few people in the know thought that Obama initially had a chance, and by the time he was a nigh-unstoppable juggernaut, Lieberman had already backed the wrong horse."

Huh?  Backing the wrong horse is different from ruthlessly attacking Obama's character and readiness in a f*ckin' Republican convention.

I don't know what your point is, really.

by Sieglinde 2008-11-12 08:18AM | 0 recs
Uh, yes.

OK, so I take it that you'd be happy to see him lose his gavel?

I've been pretty consistant in saying that I'm utterly fine with Joe going down in flames, if that's what's going to happen.

They should take Obama's tack, though, and just smile at him.  "Sure, Joe, you can keep a chairmanship and committee assignments.  We'd love to have you with us from this moment until the time you leave the Senate.  Just love it."

Huh?  Backing the wrong horse is different from ruthlessly attacking Obama's character and readiness in a f*ckin' Republican convention.

To people like Lieberman, it isn't.  Some of these guys only know two modes: FOR and AGAINST.  Lieberman is like Bush in this regard.  

All the same, he was duly elected to the Senate from Connecticut, and not only would it be good to retain Joe's (implicitly coerced) vote, but the people of CT shouldn't suffer from proportional under-representation in the Senate.

I don't know what your point is, really.

My point is that being vindictive might feel good in the short term, but isn't all that helpful in the long run.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 08:40AM | 0 recs
Re: Uh, yes.

But doesn't installing a more rational committee chair serve the better good?  Who cares about being "vindictive" or whatever dramatic angle you prefer.

Seriously, I'd rather trust Susan Collins (the Republican ranking member) with the gavel than Lieberman.

by Sieglinde 2008-11-12 09:03AM | 0 recs
Re: Uh, yes.

(Knowing full well that a Republican can't be given the gavel.  I was just making a point.)

by Sieglinde 2008-11-12 09:04AM | 0 recs

Lieberman, like him or not (we don't), is a 19 year veteran of the Senate, and, traditionally, that sort of thing is respected as an achievement worthy of note in American politics.  He hasn't had any sex or money scandals to my knowledge.

Political seasons come and go, but these people all have to work together.  Like I've said, I'd be fine with him shifting his chairmanship to a domestic committee in which he shares the President's politics, but I honestly don't think we'll be hearing much from ol' Joe from now on, whether he keeps his Homeland Security gig or not.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 09:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Probably

Yes, he hasn't had a sex or corruption scandal, but he was a ruthless supporter of the Republican nominee and a ruthless critic of the Democratic nominee.  I doubt that many Democratic senators are viewing his 19-year service in the Senate with equal (counter)weight to his totally outrageous campaigning against Obama.

Honestly, I can't comprehend your ambivalence on this issue.  Lieberman more than supported McCain.  He attacked Obama every chance he got.  I don't know how his being a Senate veteran, his being a professional politician, can redress his utterly despicable behavior.

by Sieglinde 2008-11-12 12:10PM | 0 recs
That's why Obama's in charge and not us

I'm not ambivilent.  I hope weasels eat his testicles.  I'm just trying to explain why there's more to this than just getting back at him for campaign grievences.

Politics is a delicate business, and Obama's forging a new course from what we've had previously; he needs to do this carefully and think long-term instead of instant gratification.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 12:43PM | 0 recs
Re: That's why Obama's in charge and not us

Let's take the long-term view that you suggest.  If in the future, there's a crucial issue about Homeland Security that Obama wants the Senate to tackle and legislate, would you rather have a true Democrat to shepherd the legislation through the Senate, or Lieberman, who thinks the Iraq War is the kind of thing this country needs to keep us safe.

Instant gratification is not the issue, my friend.  Even though there may be lots of that too, if Lieberman loses his prized gavel.  The issue is, in the crucial months and years ahead, who in the Senate do you trust to help Obama push the government towards a more rational place?

by Sieglinde 2008-11-12 01:06PM | 0 recs
Obama's smarter than you, me, and Joe.

If it comes to that, you can bet that Obama will have already hit the angles, and Joe will look like an idiot for not supporting him.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-13 04:17AM | 0 recs
Re: Probably

Maybe you should actually follow Lieberman's performance as chair in the last 2 years. He gave Bush a free pass on everything. What makes you think he won't decide to make things tough for Obama if he feels like he wants to be in a spiteful mood. What makes you think he will just faill in line? He didn't fall in line before . Why would he be any differnet now.

by Pravin 2008-11-12 12:40PM | 0 recs
What makes you think he will?

I see a spineless politician pandering to a powerful chief executive.  Face it, Bush had our number for a very long time.

Now Obama has Lieberman's number, and Lieberman will be pandering to him if my guess is correct.

Some people hold power, and others serve power.  Joe is the latter.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 12:45PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

I wish our Democratic Senate leadership would throw us just this one bone.  Strip that traitor Lieberman of his committee chairmanship.  I mean, don't they want us to contribute our time and money to their re-elections?  Don't we deserve some payback for the amount of effort we put in to ensure a majority in the Senate?  The phone banking, the contributions to new and better Democrats should give us some clout.

by GFORD 2008-11-12 07:35AM | 0 recs
Hey, GFORD... is that why you voulnteered?


I know I was at the Minneapolis Obama HQ churning out data entry reams because I believed in the candidate, his judgement, and the change of tone in politics that he represented, not because I wanted revenge on the people who took advantage of a system for their own self-interest.  Also I did it to meet girls.

I mean, booting those guys was a satisfying side benefit that appealed to my base nature, but there are bigger things at stake: breaking filibusters, appearing presidential, not holding the kind of partisan grudges that have afflicted us since time immemorial, etc.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Hey, GFORD... is that why you voulnteered?

You are acting like booting Lieberman out is like some big deal. No one will give a shit after a week. Why not get rid of a malcontent and have a more unified front on important issues? As long as Lieberman is there, he can continue to lecture the Dems from the inside on national security, homeland security, and other similar issues. If he is not chair, his credibiklity on such issues is zero.

by Pravin 2008-11-12 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup

I would much rather have the bone of a Green Economy thrown at us.

by the mollusk 2008-11-12 09:56AM | 0 recs
I think it is both a party and powers issue.

This is an issue for Senate Dems (not House, nor Obama Admins) to decide.  They must defend their turf - it is essential for Congress to reclaim its lost clout.

As a party, this is a no-brainer.  Take his gavel, leave him naked and covered in dust and sores, gnashing his teeth and cursing the day of his birth, a la Job.  If, after that, he caucuses with Dems... maybe he can look forward to being in good graces by 2012.  If not, put the full weight of the party behind Lamont in 2012.

This bullshit where he acts like he did nothing wrong, and everyone should just get over it.  Well... when my kid does wrong, step one is admitting it was wrong; the ass-whooping cannot stop until that is done.  Lieberman needs a serious attitude adjustment.

by teknofyl 2008-11-12 07:37AM | 0 recs
I may have missed it but

where is the Obama statement showing that he wants him to keep his chairmanship of the HSGA?

by LiberalDebunker 2008-11-12 07:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup
yes, it is a party issue but...respect for the party and the voices of the party voters outside the comradery of the Senate old boys & new girls club should count for something.
Homeland Security Committee is appropriate for Lieberman- no one could feel safe considering his judgement. (Actually the name of the committee is inappropriate! Homeland?)
Veterans Affairs was floated and I would be offended about that appointment- though I see ironic symetry of it as outlined in a Firedoglake thread last week.
Lieberman's no good at Ethics, Rules, etc.
Perhaps the majority party should invent an entirely useless committee for him.
Any suggestions?
by Palli 2008-11-12 07:50AM | 0 recs
Getting a Bad Feeling

Don't know about you, but I am getting the feeling that the progressive movement is being taken for a ride, just like the GOP leadership did to the evangelical right. The progressive movement is needed for money and for votes but then when it comes to principles such as loyalty, or in this case, the lack therof, our views are cast aside.  The question I have is will this Administration stand up for anything?  It won't stand up to Lieberman or for FISA.  Will it stand up for me and others seeking a progressive agenda?  I am beginning to get a very bad feeling in my stomach.  Is this morning sickness, as in: the morning after?

by Bob in BC 2008-11-12 07:53AM | 0 recs
After one week?

A little early to freak out, isn't it?  The president-elect and the new congress haven't even been sworn in yet.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-12 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: After one week?

In my view, I am not over-reacting, although you may think so, but simply stating that I am getting nervous.  If they can't get it right on the little stuff, what will happen on health care, judicial appointments, taxes, etc.  I agree with Kos and Aravosis.  

by Bob in BC 2008-11-12 02:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Roundup
I say let him stay but dump him from Homeland Security--I saw Olbermann too. Fineman also sez that HERR LYINGBARMAN, should not chair Homeland Security since he cannot be trusted by Democrats...this is another example of the GOP ripping into Democrats all the time but when they win--we dont get any perks--Tom Delay actually locked out all Dems from policy meetings. But when they lose they want the Dems to "be nice"  Screw them!!!
BTW Did anyone see BOOGIE MAN, the Lee Atwater story last nite on PBS. What a fantastic the end the movie showed Mr.GOP Slimer, as he was dying of cancer--it was very graphic. I am sorry to say that I could not be sympathetic. I kept thinking of how his lie machine hacked up Willie Horton in Bush Presidential of 1988--Atwater was a RACIST NAZI tool of the Bush lie machine and this show illustrated that very well. Did he get what he deserved for his treatment of black-Americans  with his racist campaigns of hate mongering?
Fineman was a big part of this movie and he gave some great insight into Atwater's vicious personality. Great to see that when Atwater hypocritically got appointed to the black college Howard University that the students there raised so much hell that the school then dumped Atwater.
by hddun2008 2008-11-12 10:09AM | 0 recs
Why not move the clubhouse?

And not tell Lieberman?  They could just start a new committee -- perhaps they could call it the Senate Committee on American Security.  Make Lieberman's committee redundant and irrelevant.

by Dumbo 2008-11-12 10:36AM | 0 recs
Two Seperate things here

Obama's comments were:

A) He had no problem with Lieberman remaining in the Democratic Caucus.  
MESSAGE: Don't kick him out of the Dem Caucus.

B) Nothing was said about his chairmanship
MESSAGE:  Do what you will.  

The rest is ego.  The Caucus needs to throw him a bone of a sub-committee chair as an incentive to remain with the Dem Caucus and keep Obama happy.  If he leaves of his own volition that is his problem, the Republicans can't offer him a chairmanship anywhere.  Also, if he leaves the Dem Caucus he will get the Really. Small. Office. Farthest. Away. From. Everyone.  

The only way Lieberman becomes irrelevant is (A) through his own actions or (B) we get 60 with the Georgia run off.

by NvDem 2008-11-12 12:48PM | 0 recs


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