Bad Politics

Sounds like someone missed a few hugs:

Asked what it would mean if Lieberman kept his chairmanship, one Senate Democratic aide said bluntly: "The left has been foiled again. They can rant and rage but they still do not put the fear into folks to actually change their votes. Their influence would be in question."

This "aide" volunteered a fairly profound confusion about why he believes we oppose Lieberman keeping his gavel; they seem to think this is just about being a reactionary pain.

Politics is not a game. And the opposition to Lieberman remaining chair of Homeland Security is grounded in a belief that the Connecticut independent will continue to abdicate his responsibility and undermine our party if he keeps his gavel.

But the substance of the disagreement is ignored.

Confusing your friends with your opponents is one of the worst mistakes you can make in politics.

Tags: Joe Lieberman (all tags)

Comments

64 Comments

The confusion is

thinking that the power elite of the Dems are the friends of the people or Progressives. They are a safety valve, nothing more.

by Paul Goodman 2008-11-18 06:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

It's hard to imagine a Senate Republican aide bitching about "the right".

by Jess81 2008-11-18 06:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics
Majority, the Dems have it now and don't need Lieberman's vote.
They don't have enough Dem + Indie votes to break a filibuster so why keep him around?
LBJ once said about someone in his administration, " I'd rather keep him on the inside pissing out instead of the outside pissing in"
So the question is will the new congressional leadership have the courage to give him a well deserved boot?
I won't hold my breath waiting for them to grow a spine.  
by usedmeat 2008-11-18 06:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

There's no new congressional leadership.  Or do you mean "new" in the sense that if every member of the 104th Congress is reelected, it's still called the 105th Congress after the "new" members are sworn in.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Politics

is best left to the professionals. If Obama wants Lieberman to be granted this favor, I trust his judgment. I think he's got the better vantage point and understands the complexities, risks, and remedies.

Don Corleone: "Someday - and that day may never come - I'll call upon you to do a service for me. But until that day, accept this justice as gift on my daughter's wedding day."

Joe, if he is saved from his well deserved fate, will be Obama's beotch.

by QTG 2008-11-18 06:59AM | 0 recs
Stop raising money for Senate Dems

That is the only way forward. Let us start by Jim Martin and Franken.

by ann0nymous 2008-11-18 07:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Stop raising money for Senate Dems

Yeah, because having fewer Democrats in the Senate will really help our cause.

But I suppose you're right.  We didn't really love that baby anyway.  As long as the bathwater's gone, that's all that matters.

by mistersite 2008-11-18 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: Stop raising money for Senate Dems

I unsubscribed from the DSCC today.

by Lolis 2008-11-18 07:22AM | 0 recs
Re: Stop raising money for Senate Dems

I think the answer is to not give money to the DSCC, not to spite individual candidates.  That's what I did a year or so ago when they rolled for Alito.

I'll give money to individual Dems, but not a cent to the cabal.  

My guess is that Franken would have voted to strip him of his chair.

More and better Dems.  BUt fuck the old boys club.

by Rooktoven 2008-11-18 07:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Stop raising money for Senate Dems

It's a little late to execute that threat.  Had we organized something earlier it might have been effective to the point where we wouldn't have had to carry it out.

But you shouldn't have been donating to the DSCC in the first place - the leadership are total scumbags.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:45AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

Josh,
Clearly you missed the Reid press conference.

Joe Lieberman is now a Democrat and a member in Good Standing in the caucus.

Stop calling him an independent. The voters in CT no longer matter.

by Matt Browner Hamlin 2008-11-18 07:07AM | 0 recs
Re: The voters in Connecticut

Not to Senate Democrats.

by Matt Browner Hamlin 2008-11-18 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: if the voters didn't matter

Joe Lieberman was re-elected on the Connecticut for Lieberman line. He was an independent.

Ned Lamont was the Democratic candidate for Senate.

Senate Democrats, by fiat, have said that Lieberman was in fact a Democrat.

You're clearly missing the point about what happened today. It isn't about what happened in August and November of 2006.

by Matt Browner Hamlin 2008-11-18 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: if the voters didn't matter

I have no idea who you are, but I was on the campaign as well ...

But if you were there you'd know that Lamont got 70% of the Democratic vote in the general election.

http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2006/pages/r esults/states/CT/S/01/epolls.0.html

Tim

by Tim Tagaris 2008-11-18 08:00AM | 0 recs
Enlightening.

76% of CT voters who wanted Republicans to control the Senate voted for Lieberman.

by semiquaver 2008-11-18 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The voters in Connecticut

They were lied to. Remember Lieberman's promises to end the war and investigate Katrina? How'd that go?

And have you seen Markos' CT polls lately? Joe wouldn't survive another election.

by Josh Orton 2008-11-18 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman never promised the end the war

To be fair, you also lost because the entire Republican establishment abandoned their candidate and endorsed Lieberman.

by sneakers563 2008-11-18 07:32AM | 0 recs
Re: and had the entire Democratic establishment

Half the Democratic Party and most of the Independents voted FOR Lieberman.

You're wrong.

CNN:

DEMOCRATS: 35%
Lamont: 65%
Lieberman: 33%
Schlesinger: 2%

by Matt Browner Hamlin 2008-11-18 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: 33%

For an entrentched powerful incumbent like Lieberman to get less than 50% in a primary is tantamount to one of the bigger upsets in the party. Just a few months prior to the primary, most polls had Lieberman not even being forced to contest in a primary. His incumbency was that powerful a factor in a state where he enjoyed such wide influence. Americans are very generous with their incumbent politicians.

Not to mention Lieberman had the support of most prominent Democratic bigwigs before the primary. He had Clinton, Boxer, Obama all say good things about him at different times. And with all that, he still got only in the high 40s?

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman never promised the end the war

He didnt have to be chair to promise that.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:53AM | 0 recs
Re: The voters in Connecticut

They electedx him as an independent. He LOST the democratic primary fair and square. And now most polls show the MAJORITY of CT citizens rejecting him. Reid just cost us a true Democratic seat in 2012.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:34AM | 0 recs
Re: The voters in Connecticut

Lieberman won because he pulled enough votes from Connecticut democrats, and totally coopted the Republican candidate.

Had Ralph Nader won another 100,000 votes in 2000 you'd be talking about how "the people elected George Bush" just because the Democratic vote was split.

And anyway, you were sure Obama was going to lose.  You might not have the best gauge of public opinion.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:48AM | 0 recs
Re: Honestly

and - don't spank me - that is exactly as it should be. It is not the blogging which won this election, it was the canvassing, calling, and contributing....

But mostly the fact that we had the best frigging candidate and campaign team in generations!

by QTG 2008-11-18 07:12AM | 0 recs
Re: It's funny

I read this same type of concern-trolling when the Netroots opposed enabling Fox News. Then, more than a year later, the Dem leadership finally tossed them over.

by Josh Orton 2008-11-18 07:18AM | 0 recs
Re: It's funny

 I think it is neither all good nor all bad, but it does tend to suffer from delusions of grandeur. We very often behave like drunks at a cocktail party, except we don't swear to never do it again!

by QTG 2008-11-18 07:20AM | 0 recs
Re: It's funny

And a different world like...when the Netroots opposed the war in Iraq?

by Josh Orton 2008-11-18 07:21AM | 0 recs
Re: and the rest of the country didn't?

Not those in the Senate.

by boadicea 2008-11-18 09:04AM | 0 recs
Re: and the rest of the country didn't?

Or most of the country, either.  Not in the beginning.  The netroots was right about Iraq before 3/4 of the country.

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?Rele aseID=385

by Obamaphile 2008-11-18 12:30PM | 0 recs
Re: and the rest of the country didn't?

On April 16, 2003 - only one month into the Iraq War - 76% of Americans supported the invasion.

http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1295.xml?Rele aseID=385

The netroots was absolutely way ahead of the curve at that time.  Dissing the war was only popular among 1/4 of Americans in the beginning.

by Obamaphile 2008-11-18 12:28PM | 0 recs
Re: Honestly

Blogging was what helped Webb win narrowly because the macaca moment was highlighted by the bloggers. But it is true the DEmocratic Party establishment has no respect for netroots.

The netroots can help these bastards if they will only let the netroots help them. If they continue to disparage the netroots, they will do so at their own peril. Don't forget that with each passing year, more and more people are looking to the internet for their news. This is shortsighted crap from these politicians.

For the politician to be so contempteuous towards the netroots just shows how they pander to you suckers at those Dkos conventions. They really do not give a shit. They come their for money. They send you emails for money. Jim Martin. Sorry, I am not spending a dime to elect another DEmocrat unless that person has character.

The next time Barbara Boxer rails against the Bushies on their war on terror strategy, someone needs to ask that politician to shut her freaking mouth. Empty outrage is all that politician is. I have already given up on the Evan Bayhs in the party. But people like Boxer and Dodd have shown their true colors. Obama is on a thin string too. Freaking wimp should have some self respect.  

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:32AM | 0 recs
Re: Honestly

The Jim Martin reference was part of another thought. I did not mean to lump him in with the pro Lieberman camp.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:33AM | 0 recs
Re: oh and I forgot to mention

Well, to be fair, sites like this one, DailyKos, etc. used to laugh about you.  Your first diary here lamented the fact that you had been kicked off of Kos, because every diary of yours was "OMG, WE'RE GOING TO LOSE!!!!"

But at any rate, in certain dilettantish political circles it's very trendy to mock activists of any kind.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: It's funny

I'm tired of hearing about what your Republican friends think.  Or rather I'm tired of you using them to represent the popular will, because every single time it's a different, usually mutually exclusive, story.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: and I'm tired

People are just stating their opinions and you're acting like they're rubes, because some girl on Long Island likes Lieberman or whatever.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:35PM | 0 recs
Re: It's funny

So will the Republican friend of yours promise to vote Obama and other Democrats in the next election?

by Pravin 2008-11-18 09:31AM | 0 recs
Re: oh and I forgot to mention

So netroots are not legit citizens? You just showed your true colors. It's OK to bash some citizens, but not real American type sentiment.

You have failed to address the real criticisms. You have played loose with the facts like Lieberman's vote totals just to make a point. You overemphasize whatever facts suit you.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 09:33AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

This "aide" volunteered a fairly profound confusion about why he believes we oppose Lieberman keeping his gavel; they seem to think this is just about being a reactionary pain.

I don't see where that "aide" said anything at all about why the left wing of the party feels the way it does.

It's interesting, though, that you would never see an anonymous Republican aide quoted as saying "we really put the Religious Right in their place on this vote."  Or "we really stuck it to the Club for Growth."  But somehow, and this is classic Beltway thinking, it is a badge of honor for Democrats to repudiate the views of their base as often as possible.

by Steve M 2008-11-18 07:17AM | 0 recs
When they send me fundraising emails,

they are now confusing friends with enemies.

Senate Dems are dead to me.

by teknofyl 2008-11-18 07:23AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

The problem with the Democratic Party is its lack of party discipline. There are no sanctions for going against the party, no matter how aggregious the behavior. Sadly, the vote on Lieberman continues this pattern. You can't line up the votes for major legislation when party leaders can't issue credible threats to party members, see Clinton's national health care initiative. Until Democrats realize there are certain lines that can't be crossed, we'll continue to see more dysfunctional behavior by the Democratic Party.

Regarding the progressive blogosphere being powerless: it takes time to build up strength. We're in the infant stages.

by carter1 2008-11-18 07:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

See how much of a progressive agenda gets passed without party discipline.  Independents voted against incompetence in 08, not against discipline.

by Rooktoven 2008-11-18 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: That's not

You're right.  In fact, we should abolish the 'whip' position - what good is it?  As a matter of fact, why even have parties?  Let's dissolve the Democratic party - we can all vote for candidates who espouse our favorite pet issues.  Actually, why even vote for candidates at all?  Coalitions are bad.  Let's just all run ourselves.

Meanwhile, let's have the Republican Party remain intact.  It would be an interesting experiment.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:52AM | 0 recs
Re: Honestly

That would last all of two seconds until someone figured out that they could push their agenda through if they grouped together.

Or maybe you just mean unilaterally.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

When most of us refer to party discipline, there is room for true independent thought. But Lieberman has shown a bitterness that has seeped into areas where he normally should have no beef with the Democrats. Like smirking at some right wing's reference to Obama as a Marxist or questioning Obama's patriotism or hailing Palin as a worthy VP or saying Democrats should be feared getting 60 votes.

Independent thinkers will not be punished if it is done without bitterness. Lieberman has demonized Democrats who differ with him but doesnt want the same treatment when he differs with them. That is hypocrisy.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:37AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

It would have felt nice to throw Lieberman over the side.  And it would have made sense and delivered a message.  OTOH, now he can't complain that the Dems have alienated him and give the Republicans a talking point about the Dems moving to the left.

I'll give Obama the benefit of a doubt here.  Sometimes you play for the fourth quarter.  We haven't really started the game yet.  There will be plenty of time.

by granty43 2008-11-18 07:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

The liberal blogs are just plain out of touch with reality. Now maybe they don't like reality and they can try to change it but I definitely noticed during the primaries that blogs such as MyDD lived on a parallel universe. Creating a fight with Lieberman was never in the cards because its just not Obama's style. He's not into divide and conquer but bring together to conquer. He's trying to bring together as much power as possible in order to move an agenda forward.

I happen to think Josh is 100% wrong when says this is "bad politics." Its great politics. It may not be how we wish the world worked..its not what we want but it is the way it is...

I mean what are we looking for here: Argentina style politics? Study that for an example of how things don't work: its all divide and conquer.. create enemies everywhere and then ram through an agenda with no concensus just because you can.. then the next guy comes into power and he changes everything doing so in the same divide and conquer manner...Its ruling by sowing division...

by obama4presidente 2008-11-18 07:43AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

 I concur.

by QTG 2008-11-18 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

Obama tried to help Lieberman in 2006. How did that work out? Llieberman not only supported McCain but he bashed Obama in terms more partisan than some Republicans themselves. How did that work out? Looked like Obama did not accomplish a thing by being diplomatic with a guy who opposes Obama on an important issue like Iraq. Obama was unable to get Lieberman to investigate Katrina deeper. All obama did was accompany Lieberman to New Orleans and nothing was accomplished.  

My suspicion is some of the Rahm Emanuel types probably fed idiotic cautionary warnings to obama that he will cause distractions by punishing Lieberman. One fault Obama has is he can get cautious when there is no need.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:41AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

Obama deserves whatever is coming to him from Lieberman. He could have easily stopped this, but he acted like a fool--and now Lieberman will make him look like one. Every inquisition Lieberman begins, is one Obama could have avoided and but decided to gamble on. He will deserve it.

by need some wood 2008-11-18 07:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

 Obama owns Lieberman.

by QTG 2008-11-18 07:58AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

Obama got backstabbed by lieberman once already. What makes you think he owns lieberman now? Watch how Lieberman performs as chairman. He has already let the criminals in the Bush administration go scotfree. He flat out lied that he would investigate any wrongdoings with respect to Katrina and he didn't.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:42AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

Trust me.

by QTG 2008-11-18 08:47AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

This is AMERICA - the home of coast to coast idiots!

Over 30% of Texas voters still thought that Obama was a Muslim! THIS IS THE AMERICA our elected politicians work in - not the America that understands ANYTHING!

Obama has a 30% CHANCE of getting to 60 - filibuster proof - seats in the senate. THIS would get us 8 years to get who WE WANT on the Supreme Court. The SINGLE most important thing Obama can do in his first term is see that the SC is NOT LOST FOR A GENERATION!!!!

Cut the LITTLE SHIT!!! See the big picture.

The DEMOCRATIC party is MUCH MORE than progressives - BRILLIANT people Like Hillary are also home HERE and SHE will be a GIANT help in us keeping htis a MIDDLE  / LEFT(ish) PARTY!!!! By American standards that'll be a billion times better than what we've had!

by 1Mylegacy 2008-11-18 07:55AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

 more like a gazzillion.

by QTG 2008-11-18 08:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

You do not understand. Having 60 in the caucus is not the same as having a filibuster proof majority. If you read even one diary on MYDD about this topic, you would have known this. There is nothing forcing Lieberman to vote the Democratic way on an issue. He has arleady gone on record on right wing radio that he doesnt favor Democrats using 60 votes to prevent a filibuster.

KNow your facts befoe you spout nonsense.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:44AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

"If you read even one diary on MYDD about this topic, you would have known this."

Really?  Because I've found diarists who are clear on the difference between the number of Senators willing to vote for cloture vs the number of Senators in a caucus to be a tiny minority.  I mean within the past two weeks I can probably easily count about a dozen diaries theorizing that the reason they're not kicking Lieberman out is because they want to see what happens with Franken and Martin first, and generally nobody in the comments corrects them.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

It's not just that Lieberman campaigned for McCain and said nasty things about Obama that makes me want to throw him overboard.  It's the fact that whenever the Sunday shows want to get a Democrat to trash the party or "the left" Lieberman is their first phone call.

I intend to copy this quote and stick it in my replay the next time the DSCC emails me for money.

by PaulDem 2008-11-18 07:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

 I strongly suspect that Joe will be moving quite briskly to embrace the new Presidents agenda, and staunchly defending it whenever there is a seat available on a Sunday show. In fact, I am predicting it.

by QTG 2008-11-18 08:03AM | 0 recs
This is not a mistake because..

they have you by your balls. All they have to say is if you do not vote for us, who else will you vote for. You got not alternatives.

Now, do you see why I supported third party people all along even though I never voted for them at the Presidential level in the past? You need to have that possibility to keep the two parties honest. They do not have to listen to us on everything. But come on. This is outright spitting on our face type disregard.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 08:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

I have a feeling the aide in question was probably an aide to someone like Schumer, as opposed to someone like Feingold, or even Boxer.

But the press loves this stuff.  They cannot stand people who are actually committed to political issues - it's so vulgar.  And people who are trying to ingratiate themselves with the press or with the establishment will also often adopt a similar attitude - it's trendy.  

On the other hand, I think too big of a deal has been made about fucking Lieberman already.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

Confusing your friends with your opponents is one of the worst mistakes you can make in politics.

And yet Democratic leaders continue to make it.  

Is there a Darwin Award for Politics?

Joe Lieberman has told them, over and over, what he is about.

He gets more ink when he breaks from the caucus -so he will continue to do so.

And they've made him stronger when he does.

Beltway idiots think we don't understand. We really do. They care more about what their clubbies think than what grass or net roots Dems think.

And that's what needs to change.

by boadicea 2008-11-18 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Bad Politics

I think they're keeping Lieberman to avoid bad PR.  It might not be a totally unjustified position to take.

The worst thing you can do is make it out to be a repudiation of the netroots, like the unnamed gopher quoted in the article did.  Because half of the netroots aren't even clear why they should be kicking him out.  Is it about Obama, or is it because he's a lousy chairman?  Had it been the latter, then we might have gotten traction, but I think that most people are angry at him over his palling around with the Republicans, and if that's the issue then maybe we should be asking whether or not IN THIS CASE if it's more important to enforce party cohesion than it is to set a bad example for an incoming President who's going to need bipartisanship to get a lot of things done.

Honestly, my sense of things around here is that most people want revenge on Lieberman (although to be fair, it's not just what he's done this year), and I don't think you want that to be the first thing that happens under the new regime.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 09:10AM | 0 recs
Empty Threats worse than No Threats

Maybe there is not one clear reason because there are many reasons to kick him out. Netroot individuals will choose whatever reasons they prefer. All this bad PR fear is the reason why the DEmocrats catipulated to Bush on the war on terror. How did that help them? It did not win them votes while it reinforced the wimp theme for Democrats.

Any hangwringing over lieberman would have lasted one news cycle and quickly forgotten. We got over the betrayal of the Democratic establishment the first time with lieberman. most people would have gotten over easiy the "humiliation" of Lieberman by asking him to just be a regular senator. What we will not get over is this happenening to us twice in two years and in such an In Your Face manner by the senators and their aides.

WE WOULD HAVE BEEN BETTER OFF IF REID JUST LET LIEBERMAN STAY ON WITHOUT ISSUING ANY STATEMENTS OF DISAPPROVAL EARLIER IN THE YEAR. Do not issue empty threats. That is worse than issuing no threats at all.

by Pravin 2008-11-18 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Empty Threats worse than No Threats

I don't recall any threats.

At any rate, you're crazy if you think it would be forgotten in "one news cycle".  Any time any Republican wanted to filibuster a Democratic initiative, they'd bring it up.  Any time anyone from our side calls for bi-partisanship, they'd bring it up.  It's way too useful of an object lesson for people who are looking to thwart the new President: "He calls for bipartisanship, but clearly that only goes one way.  Look at what he did to Lieberman".  Put that in mouth of John Boehner, Dan Burton, Rush Limbaugh, anyone.

by Jess81 2008-11-18 08:41PM | 0 recs
Josh buddy - what up dog?

Josh, m'boy,

Give us the skinny from inside the box - from during the primary run. Did the netroots lose its pull on East Wacker Drive the day you left? The day they blew the fundraising doors off? Once we won Iowa? How did a candidate for President who was in the original "Dean's Dozen" from DFA (before Howard went to the DNC) end up bringing the best-known war enabler (Sen. Clinton) even onto the SHORT LIST for State, let alone the name that's out there? Is this the folks from HillBilly land planting a can't-deny-it or is this something we all need to understand about President Obama? Is this his version of a Third Way? Is it "keep your friends close and your enemies closer?"

Give us the skinny from your view - and email me. I need to tell you my obamabiden.com story.

Eric Davis

by ericd1112 2008-11-18 09:45AM | 0 recs

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