Silly Bloggers

Marc Ambinder rolls his eyes at us:

This is a fun distraction, but isn't the bloggy left having a major overreaction to the idea of keeping Lieberman in his current position?

It's true that he'll have subpoena power over the new administration, but the idea that he'll be a serious political player in the coming term is frankly laughable.

If Joe Lieberman wants to wage a one-man crusade against President Obama, he can certainly do so, but it's hard to imagine him winning such a fight, or even making himself look good by losing.

Most likely, Obama will bring Lieberman back into the fold graciously, and he'll vote with the Democrats, and occasionally go on Meet The Press to express his disappointment about something or other.

He seems to enjoy being a scold, but there's no evidence he has the the belly to be Ken Starr.

It's amazing: even after Lieberman's operated in bad faith for years, there are still some who insist on pretending he'll start acting differently.

It won't happen - Lieberman has spent the last two years positioning himself as a contrarian power-broker, and he's not going to stop now. In fact, if the Democratic caucus ignores what Joe did during the election, it might embolden him more. Why wouldn't it? Lieberman smeared Democrats up and down this cycle, and yet anyone in a position to notice insists on jamming their heads in the sand.

And by the way - no one's saying that Lieberman is the next Ken Starr. But it's undeniable that Joe waged a full-frontal assault on his party's credibility, and yet he'll return to his gavel and subpoena power under the seniority he enjoys in that very party.

Anyone that assumes Lieberman is as classy as Hagel - i.e. someone who expresses "disappointment" without acting maliciously - is in denial.

Tags: Joe Lieberman (all tags)

Comments

19 Comments

Joe Lieberman will be in the Democratic

caucus.  Get used to it.

Well we will have a boogie man to beat up on in 2008 since we won't have Bush any more.

by puma 2008-11-13 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Joe Lieberman will be in the Democratic

Sigh. Is it that hard to understand that this isn't about booting him from the caucus? That it's about his gavel? Or is that too fine a distinction for people?

by Josh Orton 2008-11-13 12:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Joe Lieberman will be in the Democratic

You know how you can tell there is a difference between:

1) Removing Joe Lieberman as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs but allowing him to continue to caucus with the Democrats, and

2) Telling Joe Lieberman to get the fuck out of here we will no longer allow you to even caucus with us let alone allow you to continue doing a lousy job as chairman. Now go join the ReThugs you pathetic waste of human skin.?

Answer: Because they are spelled different.

by McMia 2008-11-13 12:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Joe Lieberman will be in the Democratic

Exactly. He cannot be allowed to wield that kind of power after he has made clear his opposition to key Obama priorities, as well as OBama himself.

by mikeinsf 2008-11-13 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Joe Lieberman will be in the Democratic

I agree--If we had anyone else but Whimmpy Reid running the Senate, this would not even be up for discussion. Lieberman has no options but to hope that the Dems go easy on him. The Dems allow a lot of real open tent people in the party but the Repugnants do not. They quietly hate liberal state Congressmen like Lieberman. If he trys to join up with them he gets nothing but a loss of his seat in the next election. I say Reid should boot him off the Homeland Security Chair and give it to an up and coming LOYAL Democrat. Give him the Chair of the Keeping the Waste Baskets Clean Committee and that is all he should get. What a JERK....

by hddun2008 2008-11-13 07:48PM | 0 recs
I agree with Ambinder.

This whole thing is a waste of time.  Lieberman lost.  The campaign is over.  If it he steps out of line in his role as chairman, Democrats cans strip him of his chairmanship.  For now, let's focus on more important things.

by psychodrew 2008-11-13 12:46PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with Ambinder.

Do you think that the Democrats will have enough votes to remove Lieberman from the comittee chairmanship in the full senate (and surpassing a filabuster that would probably require Leiberman's vote to break) to oust Lieberman from the chairmanship?  Keep in mind that once a comittee chairman is selected, you don't select a new one until a new congress, the chairman resignes, is expelled, or is removed by a vote in the full Senate.

Color me skeptical.

(nevermind the fact that it is incredibly difficult to get the democrats to act in unison in the senate to begin with)

by Why Not 2008-11-13 01:20PM | 0 recs
Re: I agree with Ambinder.

Doing literally nothing for two years isn't stepping out of line with his gavel?  Here's a question: Is there anything at all that Lieberman could do that would suggest he ought to face even the slightest consequence?  Seriously, this is a committee that he did nothing with in the last Congress.  The offer is for him to keep his seniority, stay in the caucus, and chair something else.  This is the least possible consequence that could come from him a) failing to lead his committee in any way, b) endorsing the Republican presidential candidate, c) speaking at the GOP convention, d) campaigning for GOP Senate candidates (that is, campaigning against the majority he now wants to be a part of), and e) suggesting that the Democratic presidential candidate might be a Marxist.  Why should he take from this the message he better not use his committee against Obama, or else?

by aaronetc 2008-11-13 02:31PM | 0 recs
Sadly Ambinder is right.

We are overreacting because we're mad at him over the primary.

There is a time and place to sort Joe out for his poor stewardship of his gavel on Homeland Security, and that time and place is when and where he is the next time he screws up.  

Set it as response to some dumbshit maneuver, and it will seem like a reasonable action.  Do it now, it seems like revenge.

by Dracomicron 2008-11-13 12:48PM | 0 recs
I agree about the timing.

But truly Joe has not been doing the job in his committee.  He should be replaced by someone who has shown some interest in accomplishing something.

Personally, I loathe Lieberman and would love to see him kicked out of the chairmanship.  And I would argue that because of all the hard work I and others did to win more seats for Democrats, we should have a say in the matter.  

by GFORD 2008-11-13 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Sadly Ambinder is right.

This is not about revenge.  This is about the fact that there will not be another opportunity to remove him from his chairmanship until 2010 at the earliest.  There is no way he loses it unless he has a major (legal) transgression and even then it's not likely that he gets cut off.

Furthermore, this is not about revenge, Leiberman will not support Democrats on many issues (not just on the war) so he will be in an effective position to harpoon Democratic legislation for change.

I thought we wanted to change the way things worked in Washington, and to overturn the terrible position that Bush Co. have put us in.  Allowing this man to remain the chairman of any comittee, but especially Homeland Security will do nothing but make it much harder to get anything done.  If dropping his chairmanship means that he leaves the caucus, so be it.  Even if a republican replaces him (as would be the case if he resigned and the Republican governor appoints another Republican), that person will not be in any chairmanship, and we will not be any worse off that we are with Lieberman who will vote against us and uphold a filabuster on many of the important issues.  Odds are that Lieberman won't even be given a leadership position in the Republican caucus or comittee assignments if he switches sides.  Any dream of Democrats getting a 60 vote majority is down the tubes as of now (no Leiberman does not count), and we will have to work in a bi-partisan way regardless.

The only safe, responsible thing to do is to strip him of his chairmanships.

by Why Not 2008-11-13 01:33PM | 0 recs
Re: Sadly Ambinder is WRONG

Reid should have stripped Lieberman of his chairmanship the minute he endorsed McCain.

Reid should have stripped Lieberman of his chairmanship after Lieberman's disgraceful speech during the Repub convention.

Reid should have stripped Lieberman of his chairmanship because of his totally ineffectual job as the chairman.

So now, after all the above, we're worried that taking the gavel away from Joe is somehow viewed as vengeful?

Someone please tell me what political transgression would have been sufficient to remove Lieberman as chairman.

by Bob Miller 2008-11-13 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Sadly Ambinder is WRONG

He could have been caught eating babies.

by Why Not 2008-11-13 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Sadly Ambinder is WRONG

Right on brother!! Herr Lieberman made his bed with the slime of the GOP and McCain. Reid is such a whimp--he should already have done what you said -- stripped him of the Chair.

by hddun2008 2008-11-13 07:51PM | 0 recs
The reverse is more true

If we wait until Lieberman does something the party doesn't like, stripping him of his chair will be seen as revenge for Joe taking a principled stand.  And the Republicans and media will go nuts and deride the senate as not tolerating dissent, using strong arm tactics, etc.  If Lieberman is stripped now it can be explained as a reshuffling at the start of a new term, with more new Democrats.  An easy argument can be made that senior Dems should chair the major committees.  

by orestes 2008-11-15 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Silly Bloggers

Somewhat good news is that Chris Cillizza reports that he only has a 50-50 chance. That would probably explain why he's scrambling to get senators on board.

by sweet potato pie 2008-11-13 02:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Silly Bloggers

I actually agree with Armbinder.  He hitched a ride with McCain thinking he'd be VP or Secretary of State, and yeah, he's a backstabber.  But he's lost his political capital, and I suspect he'll be kissing up to Obama from here on in.

It'd be nice to get rid of him, but we need every vote right now.

by Drummond 2008-11-13 02:25PM | 0 recs
Re: Silly Bloggers

You are all wrong when you say that Joe will be booted "the next time." Right now, after campaigning for the other party, after calling Obama's patriotism into question, the American people will understand a sanction. Later on, what will the offense be? That Joe doesn't follow a new policy 100%, but only 60%? That he goes on Meet the Press to criticize "respectfully" some announcement from the White House?

The people understand wholesale disloyalty. They won't understand or be interested in the insider's game. If the caucus waits for some new event of disloyalty, they will simply enable Lieberman's pity party.

by anoregonreader 2008-11-13 02:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Silly Bloggers

Can I just say that I really don't like the idea of the Democratic caucus voting anonymously on Lieberman's fate.  I want them to do it in the light of day and I want every damn vote to be recorded.  I want to know which spineless weasels voted for Lieberman to keep his chairmanship and which ones had the courage to stand up and do the right thing.

I'm all for bipartisanship and having a big tent but come on!  Let's face it: There's a line and Joe crossed it a long long time ago.  What the hell does it take for Harry Reid to do the right thing and put an end to this nonsense?  Why is he being such a damn pushover?

Sheesh.

by Will Graham 2008-11-13 05:15PM | 0 recs

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