Let's Outflank Lieberman

Lieberman walked away unhappy after yesterday's meeting with Reid. Why? Because we know Reid directly confronted Joe with the dishonest attacks Lieberman used against Obama during the election - and told the Connecticut independent he'd have to step down from his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee...and instead chair a lesser subcommittee.

But Lieberman wants a better deal. So he sulked around at a press conference after the meeting, telling reporters he would ponder "the options that I have before me." But he didn't give details.

Translation: Lieberman is desperately hoping to rally enough Dem allies to pressure Reid into keeping him.

But Reid's a step ahead. How do we know? A Reid source explained to Greg Sargent at Talking Points Memo that Lieberman only has one option left:

No agreement was reached in the meeting, the source says, but Reid apparently is looking at a coming caucus vote as a mechanism to resolve the standoff.

"If they aren't able to work something out satisfactorily, there will be a vote in the caucus," the source said.

Second translation: with Lieberman's last option known, we have an opportunity to close the door.

Before, Lieberman was hoping to privately lobby his colleagues to save him. But with the curtain pulled back, we can lobby the same potential Lieberman allies. And now they'll have to choose between personal loyalty to Joe and doing the right thing - with the whole world watching.

If they hear from enough of us, there's no way Joe keeps his position of power.

So let's get to the phones. And the emails.

The number for the Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121. Start with your own Senator, but call the more conservative members of the Dem caucus too. Ask whether they support Lieberman remaining as Chair of the Homeland Security committee, given his unfair attacks on President-elect Obama. Be polite, and calm. The young people who answer the phones are entry-level staffers.

Post what you hear in the comments. Let's outflank Lieberman.

Update [2008-11-7 12:56:31 by Josh Orton]: Want more proof that Lieberman's cornered? His aides are now openly making threats that he'll bolt the Dem caucus if he doesn't keep his chairmanship of Homeland Security. What a bluff:

"Senator Lieberman's preference is to stay in the caucus, but he's going to keep all his options open," a Lieberman aide said. "McConnell has reached out to him and at this stage his position is he wants to remain in the caucus but losing the chairmanship is unacceptable."

Absurd. Lieberman would be even less powerful with the Republicans - they've got nothing senior to offer him. He's not going anywhere.

Update [2008-11-7 13:16:27 by Josh Orton]: Well, we know at least one Senator to ask specifically: Evan Bayh. I wonder what he thinks...

Tags: Harry Reid, Joe Lieberman (all tags)



Let's Call His Bluff!

by Zeitgeist9000 2008-11-07 08:03AM | 0 recs
This is Easy

Strip his chairmanships and tell him he's free to caucus with the Democrats if he still wants to.  If not...


We don't need him.

by RussTC3 2008-11-07 08:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

We're not likely to get 60 anyhow.  Don't lay options in front of holy Joe.  KICK HIM OUT!!  Don't strip him of his chairmanship.  KICK HIM OUT OF THE CAUCUS NOW!! It's time to act like the majority that we are.

by lockewasright 2008-11-07 08:11AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

I think instead of kicking him out we can take everything away from him and made sure he knows he will never get it back.


by giusd 2008-11-07 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

The reason that I say kick him out is that it will doom him in Connecticut when he tries to run again.  Not that I am a huge Lamont fan or anything, but at least he'd be a loyal dem.

by lockewasright 2008-11-07 09:13AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

He ran on caucusing with the Dems.

He ought to be offered nothing.

If the GOP wants to obstruct in the face of a historic mandate then procedural options are available to fight them.

The American people would certainly be behind anything that moves problem-solving legislation forward.

Never did like that filibuster thing, anyway.

by MAL Contends 2008-11-07 08:14AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

I think Sore Looserman was a spy for the Bush campaign and spoke to Karl Rove when he was the VP candidate for Al Gore. However, the Dems have to be careful about Sore Looserman. He could be the difference after the 2012 or 2014 elections unless of course we can get him to retire.

One more thing..wonder why Sore Looserman did not convince McCain to select the level headed Judy Rell the Governor of CT.

by Boilermaker 2008-11-07 08:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

   Lieberman will be "Joe the Ex-Senator" after the 2012 election. The people of CT will not put up with his crap any longer than they must. He won't get the Democratic nomination in 2012 and he won't get enough support from the Repubs to win again. He has burnt his bridges and become a joke, one that is no longer very funny...

by Zack from the SFV 2008-11-07 10:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Evan Bayh is a freaking spineless guy. I never liked him when they were considering him for President. He is just a doppelganger for Ferris Bueller's dad.

Here are things for Evan and his likeminded democrats to consider:

  1. FORGIVE? What about Lieberman's statement that 60 fillibuster votes would be bad for the country? Seriously, how can one excuse that? That has nothing to do with friendship.
  2. Why is Lieberman unwilling to forgive Democrats who voted against hinm in the primary? Seriously. Why doesn't Evan ask his buddy about that?
  3. Sure, even if one forgives, what does that got to do with giving Lieberman a chairmanship? Shouldn't the party people get first preference?
  4. Last, we do not need Lieberman to caucus with us to get 60 votes. Sure he may flip on some minor issues.  But on the issues that count, he will vote the way he votes anyway whether it is against the Democrats on the war or with them on some environmental issues. You really gain nothing  by keeping a malcontent in the fold. I am a Steelers fan and I didn't have too much problem when Coach TOmlin had to sit a star player for disciplinary reasons even if it meant sacrificing short term victory against the Giants. Same thing with Coughlin and Plaxico.

by Pravin 2008-11-07 08:28AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

He actually can't get a better deal because the best he could do is ranking member if they honor his Democratic Seniority (a controversial move which R's might not do this far in the minority).

Also, having an R by his name in CT would be electoral suicide.  The reason he won as an I was he convinced people that he would be a good D.

Tell him he can take zero committee assignments and like it or he can switch to R.  We should start treating him as a member of a 3rd party (even though he is not in the good graces of the CFL party).

by AZphilosopher 2008-11-07 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

I'm pretty sure that this is Joes last Senate term.  He either retires or will be crushed in 2012. Funny thing is, Had joe backed Obama, he'd probably be in line for some type of post.  What a stupid stupid person.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-07 09:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

I truly despise Lieberman. Call his bluff, I say. Let's see how he likes being in the Republican caucus. His new fwends over there, especially the ones with seniority, will surely laugh at him when he asks for a ranking member position on Committee regardless of that committees lack of prestige.

Do the crime, take the spanking!

Throw the worthless bastard an anvil!

by QTG 2008-11-07 08:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

I'd like to see Reid pull a Godfather move... If he doesn't say yes then meet him again and offer him even less.    

Then have Luca Brasi hold a gun to his head and tell Joe either his support or brains will be on the agreement.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-07 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

EVAN BLAND and his supporters, read this:
http://thinkprogress.org/2008/11/04/lieb erman-caucus-dems/

Seriously, how can someone who says they fear for the country if the Dems win 60 seats feel entitled to be a senior chair by caucusing with them?

Does Evan Bayh want to bend over permanently so Lieberman can put a boot up his ass every day?

by Pravin 2008-11-07 08:34AM | 0 recs
Lieberman was not even a very good chair

As chair of the Homeland Security, didn't he go easy on Bush and Co's mistakes when they were going over what went wrong with Katrina? Shouldn't this guy get the boot on performance alone?

by Pravin 2008-11-07 08:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman was not even a very good chair

There were also the campaign promises that he would investigate some of the shenanigans post Katrina that never materialized.

by skohayes 2008-11-07 11:18AM | 0 recs
if Lieberman couldn't get Jewish voters

to vote against Obama with his scare tactics about Israel, why would any Dem Senator be worried about Lieberman?

Now, if the Israel lobby wanted to pressure Reid over Lieberman, they could, but why?

The Israel lobby doesn't need Lieberman to influence the U.S. Senate. In fact, Lieberman might be kinda a hindrance for the Israel lobby.

Lieberman has manufactured his own enemies, including Jewish enemies. And Lieberman insists on being out in front of policies that are either Likud inspired or simply anti-Arab, anti-Muslim.

Lieberman needs the Israel lobby to pressure Reid and they aren't gonna do it. Lieberman by himself has little clout and few friends at this point. But maybe he can call in a favor with John McCain, Sue Collins or Norm Coleman. I hear they will be real power brokers in the next Senate.

by Carl Nyberg 2008-11-07 08:39AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

I just called up Senator Bayh's office and told him what I thought of Lieberman and that he should not be allowed to keep his chairmanship.  More need to call!

by Moose 2008-11-07 08:40AM | 0 recs
Bernie Sanders needs to use his leverage

If you talk to Republicans, they are not too happy if Lieberman is offered something good to join them. Not to mention, that even if he is offered something good by them, it will pale to the minor stuff Dems can offer him. The guy has no leverage. Freaking Democrats do not know how to use that leverage. Bunch of wimps.

BERNIE SANDERS needs to use his leverage and say that he will offset this whole crap by declining to caucus with them if they appease Lieberman. Will Bernie Sanders come to our rescue?

by Pravin 2008-11-07 08:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Bernie Sanders needs to use his leverage

Silly.  If Sanders doesn't caucus with the Dems he doesn't have committee assignments.

by Vox Populi 2008-11-07 09:20AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Wow... it seems like he ACTUALLY didn't think they'd strip him of his seat.  What an idiot.  

As for calling my senators... Well one of them is a little busy being President-Elect, but I'll call my other one.  However, I think Joementum is mud with both of them, so not to worried about their votes.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-07 08:56AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

According to the Times Project, Lieberman was going to be the Veep pick for McStain right up until Winky got it in desperation.

Lieberman has not had a good couple of months.

Let's see if we can extend that permanently.

by QTG 2008-11-07 09:29AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Actions have consequences.  We can't have someone who actively worked against our nominee chairing our committees.  You think Sen. Ben Nelson of Nebraska agrees with Obama on everything?  Of course not.  But he wasn't out there kissing McCain's ass and spreading dishonest lies about Obama.

Take his chairmanship.  Let Joe do whatever he wants.  If he thinks he will be more powerful as a Republican, then so be it.  We'll still have him for certain votes (like EFCA), and on others he will continue to sell us out.  Whether he's an independent aligned with us or a full Republican isn't going to change that.  However, the latter makes it much easier to beat him in 2012.

by Skaje 2008-11-07 08:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Feinstein with no position yet, left a message on Boxer's voicemail.

by anayfack 2008-11-07 09:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

I despise Lieberman, and part of me says we should strip him of his chairmanship and toss him from the caucus.  He simply isn't a Democrat anymore, so he shouldn't get to be part of the majority.  If he stays, and if he runs again in two years, he will try to claim all the Democratic successes as partly his own.  And we shouldn't allow that.

On the other hand, Obama ran on a 'post-partisanship' message.  If one of the first steps we take is to throw a supposed 'bi-partisan' out of the caucus, it will look like vengeful partisanship and will provide the Repubs with a talking point.  The people (other than hardcore democrats) will not see it as a reasonable move (even though I think it is).  So, I think the smart move is to strip him of his chairmanship but not throw him out of the caucus--call his bluff and let him leave (or not) on his own.  He will have no pull no matter what he chooses to do.

by slynch 2008-11-07 09:06AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Lieberman's behavior is outside the bounds of Obama's plans for a new 'post-partisan' politics.

Joe believes only in Liebermanism, a particularly nasty strain of narcissism, for which the only treatment available is total quarantine.  

by QTG 2008-11-07 09:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

I agree with your 'diagnosis,' but not necessarily the 'treatment,' because, as I said, it's about more than just him.  You and I both know Lieberman's a bad seed, but kicking him to the curb delivers a talking point to the other side.  I think it's best to strip him of his chair and allow him to stay in the caucus if he wants.  He will and should be ignored if he remains in, so the consequence is the same as kicking him out--it just doesn't give the right a talking point.  

by slynch 2008-11-07 09:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Lieberman currently holds a 2-7 offsuit and is presenting it as pocket aces.

If there is a bill that Lieberman supports that is getting nowhere because of a filibuster, Lieberman is going to support cloture.  But even if he remains in the Democratic caucus, 'Mr I-support-the-filibuster' is going to oppose closing debate for bills he opposes.

Even if the Minnesota, Alaska AND Georgia seats go our way, we get 60 seats with Lieberman.  If Begich and Franken end up winning, and Georgia remains in play after all the votes are counted and a runoff needs to occur, Martin is not going to win if there is a risk he is the 60th vote for cloture with Lieberman in the caucus.

At this point, I'd rather have Martin in our caucus than Lieberman.

Call his bluff.

by Khun David 2008-11-07 09:30AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Are there any Republican senators we can approach about switching parties?  Let Lieberman walk if he wants.  He can then kiss re-election goodbye in Connecticut.

A possible face-saving way out: Obama appoints Lieberman to some non-partisan position in the executive branch, perhaps in the Justice Department, and Connecticut then appoints a real Democrat to take Lieberman's place.

by Dan Kervick 2008-11-07 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

The two Maine senators, Snow and Collins, are always the main ones that you hear about, but I don't think they have any interest in doing so.

by reggie44pride 2008-11-07 10:26AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

You do not need someone to switch parties. Just convince them to go your way on a certain issue. The 60 seat thing is not automatic filibuster proof on every issue. You can have 60 DEm caucus and Lieberman can still mess it up from within.

by Pravin 2008-11-07 11:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Connecticut's Governor, Jodi Rell, is a republican and would be likely to appoint a real republican.

by Quinton 2008-11-08 05:39AM | 0 recs

Is there any leverage at all to anyone in DC for a constituent who lives in R-dominated Texas and is disgusted with Lieberman?

Is there anyone I can call, write or email to?

by mlowery 2008-11-07 09:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Let Joe know that the caucus will vote on one question: Whether to remove him from all positions of authority, including all of the subcommittees. Then privately offer him the option of keeping one subcommittee if he signs an agreement making the caucus vote moot. There should be clear conditions to him retaining even that one position.

If not, let's get popcorn and watch what happens when he goes to the GOP caucus and gets absolutely nothing. There will only be 40-43 Republicans left. How many are going to step aside for someone who has a liberal voting record on many social issues and is a demonstrated turncoat and liar?

by anoregonreader 2008-11-07 10:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

You know, I've always said there was just one thing about the VP pick that pleased me more than Biden's being it, and that's that Bayh wasn't it.

by Nathan Empsall 2008-11-07 10:13AM | 0 recs
bayh is contemptible

he makes me want to hurl.

by highgrade 2008-11-07 10:24AM | 0 recs
Re: bayh is contemptible

Remember when Bayh was one of the front-runners for VP? What a bullet Obama dodged by not picking that guy. Biden is a conciliator, but he's got a spine. Bayh is from a "red" state and acts the part far more than is even necessary.

by Spiffarino 2008-11-07 11:39AM | 0 recs
Re: bayh is contemptible

I rmember one VP pick I specifically vetoed(not that it mattered to anyone in power) was evan Bayh. I never trusted this guy. Like I said, he always seemed genial and clueless like Ferris Bueller's dad. That's who he keeps reminding me of.

by Pravin 2008-11-07 12:03PM | 0 recs
LieB should go GOP

..just to see how badly THEY will treat him.

by rhetoricus 2008-11-07 10:56AM | 0 recs
Empty threats

Lieberman doesn't want to caucus with the Republicans because being a "Democrat" is his only leverage with them. Once that's lost, they'll have no more use for the little backstabber. Republicans can be real assholes like that.

by Spiffarino 2008-11-07 11:36AM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman
Dump him. We need a loyal Obama person as Chairperson in that committee which has Homeland Security--the biggest department outside the DOD.
Let's get the country moving forward and not back with that HACK.....
by hddun2008 2008-11-07 01:19PM | 0 recs
Re: Let's Outflank Lieberman

Let us not forget he chairs Government Affairs, and under his leadership the Bushies were not held accountable for anything. Guess why he's so desperate to keep it now there's a democrat in the White House.

by Fireweasel 2008-11-09 07:03AM | 0 recs


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