Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Security

In response to calls for Lieberman to lose his position as chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, some express skepticism: Evan Bayh, for example, mischaracterizes the pressure as "retribution."

But it's not.

Joe Lieberman is entitled to disagree with other Democratic Senators on whatever issue he wants. And it's legitimate for him to express his opinions - whatever they may be - through his votes as a Senator.

But Lieberman went way beyond voting against his party - he specifically undercut Barack Obama and others on the very issue Republicans have consistently used since 9/11 to slime Democrats: national security.

Lieberman defended Norm Coleman when Al Franken raised the issue of Iraq War investigations (in a Senate race, it's worth mentioning, that's in a tight recount).

He repeated the smear that Obama voted to "cut off funding for our troops on the ground."

And at the GOP convention, Lieberman lied about Obama's Senate record.

So Lieberman's entitled to his policy differences - but it's absolutely unacceptable for Joe to maintain oversight of a powerful committee with jurisdiction over the subject he used to attack Democrats. It just doesn't make sense.

Tags: Joe Lieberman (all tags)



Dump Lieberman from Homeland Security

Lieberman should be dumped. The Committee Chairpersons in Congress are everything. Over the last 228 years of Congress history, these things were worked out to ensure a smooth running operation--when Dems have majority they get the Chairperson positions of the committees and vice versa when the Repubs win. The Dems now control Congress. On the evening of Nov 7,2006 a friend called me and we discussed the victory in Congress that was taking place. I told him this was an historic event for the USA. He asked me to explain this. I told him that the reign of King George's dictatorship was over (unless he planned to take over the government using military force to install himself as "President for Life". When the Dems took control of Congress, Bush and his rightwing agenda went DEAD. The reason is simple. The Chairpersons in Congress were Dems and would never pass through bills and people i.e. like Bush's rightwing appointees to the Supreme Court such as Roberts and Scalia. That time was over. So it is with Lieberman. He is a lousy politican. He played his cards with McCain / Palin and now he should step down from his Chairman's post. He LOST his gamble--get a deserving Chairperson who will assist Obama to get the country going again.

by hddun2008 2008-11-07 11:01AM | 0 recs
Best comment on Atlantic Monthly

"I'm all for forgiveness.

I forgive you, Holy Joe.

And I want you to have an important committee chairmanship.

Seeing as you are an INDEPENDENT, I will fully support your chairmanship on any committee of your choosing, in accordance with your seniority in the INDEPENDENT party, as soon as the INDEPENDENT party acquires majority control of the Senate.

You have my word on it."

by Pravin 2008-11-07 12:57PM | 0 recs

   defense and Obama bashing!! He also endorsed, and campaigned for, the re-election of Senator Susan Collins.

  Sorry Joe. You went all in on a draw. You missed.  

  You no longer have chips to put in the pot. You're done.

by southernman 2008-11-07 11:08AM | 0 recs
Let's not forget the worst transgression

I will keep posting this in every diary because it is that important for people to realize who we are dealing with.

http://thinkprogress.org/2008/11/04/lieb erman-caucus-dems/


Today, in an interview with right-wing radio host Glenn Beck, Lieberman made clear that he firmly opposes Democrats gaining 60 seats in the Senate, saying that the survival of the country is in doubt if Democrats break the filibuster threshold:
    BECK: But do you agree that Senator Hatch said to me that if we don't at least have the firewall of the filibuster in the Senate that in many ways America will not survive?

   LIEBERMAN: Well, I hope it's not like that, but I fear.

by Pravin 2008-11-07 11:21AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Securit

Steve Benen makes a cogent point about the committee chairmanship which should certainly affect the outcome:

This seems to be routinely overlooked, but take a moment to consider what the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs actually does: it's the committee principally responsible for oversight of the executive branch. It's an accountability committee, charged with investigating the conduct of the White House and the president's administration.

As chairman of this committee for the last two years, Lieberman decided not to pursue any accusations of wrongdoing against the Bush administration. Lieberman's House counterpart -- Rep. Henry Waxman's Oversight Committee -- was a vigilant watchdog, holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching multiple investigations. Lieberman preferred to let his committee do no real work at all. It was arguably the most pathetic display of this Congress.

And yet, now Lieberman acts as if keeping this chairmanship is the single most important part of his public life. Why would he be so desperate to keep the gavel of a committee he hasn't used? I'll let you in on a secret: he wants to start using the power of this committee against Obama.

Lieberman didn't want to hold Bush accountable, but he seems exceedingly anxious to keep the committee that would go after Obama with a vengeance, effectively becoming a Waxman-like figure -- holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching investigations against the Democratic president.

Steve Begen - The Rationale Behind the 'Begging' Washington Monthly 7 Nov 08

This seems no time for unilateral good will, under the circumstances.

by Shaun Appleby 2008-11-07 11:28AM | 0 recs
that's the moral reason

here's the practical one - homeland security has had no oversight with Broadway Joe.  They've been paying off their so-called informants with bags full of cash, they've burned through nearly as much as the paper bags in Iraq with no accountability, no oversight and no results other than spying on people who aren't doing anything wrong. They're following up on nutty tips and driving around with their lights out dropped off bags of cash.

Joe's a hack, he thinks the job is an honor, and has no real oversight responsibilities.  

by anna shane 2008-11-07 11:32AM | 0 recs
Simple question to ask Lieberman apologists

So, it's just one issue, eh? OK, so you are aware  about the number of times Lieberman has bashed liberals and Democrats, related to his primary, Iraq war, Obama campaign, Franken election, Collins election, Filibuster issue.
So can you remember(I will make it easy for you and not make you cite instances) if Lieberman has used similar language against Republicans on even one issue over the last year? What's that you say? You can't remember offhand?

Wow, so since he is independent minded, and DEmocratic leaning, shouldn't logic deem that he attack Republicans as many times, at the very least, as he attacks Democrats?


by Pravin 2008-11-07 11:51AM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Securit

Lieberman should be politely shown the door.. If he is- as claims- a man of conscience he will continue to vote with democrats on most issues and if he's not then why would we want him in a position to negatively impact the Obama presidency?

by obama4presidente 2008-11-07 11:56AM | 0 recs
Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Security

Evan Bayh ehh?  Well Bill and Hillary better call this dog to heel right quick.  Evan needs to understand that Obama won Indiana without him, so he should be real quiet for awhile.

by Demo Dan in Dayton 2008-11-07 11:59AM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Security

Hopefully people are starting to see why I've always held Evan Bayh in such low regard.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-07 01:24PM | 0 recs
Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Security?

Because it would set a horrible example for him to have one and Hillary not.

by the mystical vortexes of sedona 2008-11-07 12:25PM | 0 recs

That's not a very good argument.  Committee chairs are determined by seniority.  Lieberman was first elected in 1988; Clinton in 2000.  She simply ranks too low to chair any of her committees.  You want to dump Kennedy from HELP or Levin from Armed Services?  Dumping Lieberman most benefits Daniel Akaka (elected 1990) and Patty Murray (1992), not Hilary.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-07 01:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman/Clinton

The whole strict seniority thing is one of the dumbest practices I have ever seen. It should be a factor, not the only factor.

by Pravin 2008-11-07 01:34PM | 0 recs
Re: Lieberman/Clinton

I disagree, but it's beside the point here.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-07 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Securit

by antiHyde 2008-11-07 12:29PM | 0 recs
Re: It just doesn't make sense.

When did anything Reid did make sense? $10 to the charity of Jerome's choice if Reid doesn't cave to Lieberman.

by antiHyde 2008-11-07 12:31PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman

Kick his ass out of the caucus, we don't need him. Let him join the Republicans, 56-44. I'd rather that than we try and keep him sweet.

by liberalj 2008-11-07 12:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman

Hey Hey HEY....

There are still 3 uncalled races thank you very much.... don't assume they finish in GOP hands....

56-41 with 3 pending.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-07 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman

Alaska is gone and our chances in Georgia are less than 5% i think. Minnesota we may win but i prefer to be cautious.

by liberalj 2008-11-07 05:11PM | 0 recs
Why are Evan Bayh and Roger Simon so stupid?

HOw do such people get ahead with no intellect? Evan Bayh thinks Lieberman is strong on national security. So is he implying Obama is not? Is he aware that the biggest criticism Lieberman had of Obama was on this issue? Do these morons even think? I am calling out any Evan Bayh supporter(you know we have some of those here0 to debate me on this guy's intelligence.

Roger Simon was on Hardball. And while he did not directly say Lieb was good on National Security, he indirectly did by saying Obama should be magnanimous and give him a role in the administration on national security, the very issue both disagree on. what a genius. He gets paid for appearing on tv uttering such nonsense.

by Pravin 2008-11-07 12:55PM | 0 recs
To H88L w. Lieberman

Lieberman chose his side many, many months ago. Campaigning for McCain was just his latest error. Show him the door. Don't get cute with possible vote calculations, just show him the door.

by Diagoras 2008-11-07 01:22PM | 0 recs
Barbara Boxer won't make a stand

People like Boxer are cowards.

It is all and well when Boxer talked tough with the Bushies knowing well she had no power to do anything at the time. Now Boxer has the power to undo some of the damage done in the Homeland Security area under Bush, yet she remains silent. BARBARA, real courage is doing something when it counts. Otherwise you are no better than the guy who pretends to want to fight another guy while he is being restrained by his buddies. Once the buddies ease up on restraining him, the true test is whether he will actually fight. she failed the test once when you backed Lieberman against Lamont.
But at least, she had an excuse since Lieb was still a democrat back then. What is her excuse now. Or is she just a soft California democrat stereotype? Whatever  Boxer thinks of Lieberman and whether he had a momentary lapse of loyalty, she has to know that a guy who has bashed Obama repeatedly on National Security and praised Palin on the same issue has no business chairing Homeland Security. It is a no brainer. You can take the loyalty thing out of the equation and it still does not make sense for someone like Boxer to be so passive on this issue if she really was outraged by what Bush did related to the war on terror. She has proven that she puts friendship over country with her passive stand on Lieberman chairing such a crucial committee.

People may think I am overreacting. But this is the moment of truth. Let us keep it simple. Even if lieberman was a loyal democrat, he has no business chairing this committee with his views.

No matter what angle you take on this issue, it simply is incomprehensible how a guy like Lieberman can chair this committee.

by Pravin 2008-11-07 01:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Barbara Boxer won't make a stand

Let me make it clear that I do not think Boxer is the same as Bayh. She is better. That is why  it is all the more disappointing when she is unwilling to take a stand on such an important issue involving Homeland Security.

by Pravin 2008-11-07 02:09PM | 0 recs
Re: Barbara Boxer won't make a stand

What's Boxer's transgression?

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-07 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Securit

Reid wants him out...

If this goes to the caucus vote as it looks likely, it needs to be known that PRIMARY CHALLENGES will be pursued against anyone who votes for Lieberman and further more our fundraising dollars will NOT go to those candidates who survive the Primary Challenge.

by yitbos96bb 2008-11-07 04:01PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Securit

Don't make empty threats.

by Sandwich Repairman 2008-11-07 04:58PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Securit

Well, keep applying your standards and every Democrat will be primaried sooner or later if you keep applying rigid litmus tests.

But no worries about such foolishness...caucus votes are secret, so you won't know who to primary.  You wouldn't last a week in D.C.

by InigoMontoya 2008-11-07 09:32PM | 0 recs
Re: Why Lieberman Shouldn't Chair Homeland Securit

Btw, fwiw I'm behind dumping Lieberman.  I'm just not willing to cut off my nose to spite my face with respect to members of the Democratic caucus.

by InigoMontoya 2008-11-07 09:35PM | 0 recs
Dump Lieberman

You're either for Lieberman or you're for Obama. I'm for Obama.

The Dems do not need his vote. They have a mandate. Republicans are fools but they aren't so foolish as to filibuster against Obama's mandate.

by CSears 2008-11-07 06:39PM | 0 recs


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