Friday, November 07, 2008

Among Democrats’ Leadership Questions: What to Do With Lieberman?



What does one do with a traitor? What does one do with a man who stood on the platform of your opponents and urged the public to vote for the other guy?

There was a time when he gave the Democrats a 51-49 advantage, a position he exercised on most issues with the notable exception of the Iraq war. But, since the public chose not to take Joe's advice, the situation is now very different.

With the Democrats now guaranteed to hold at least 56 seats without Mr. Lieberman, he could be stripped of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, a move that could prompt him to join the Republicans.

The majority leader, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, met with Mr. Lieberman for a half-hour Thursday and issued a terse statement saying no decisions had been made. Aides, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Mr. Reid had suggested that Mr. Lieberman relinquish his chairmanship in exchange for a less prominent position.

At a brief news conference after the meeting, Mr. Lieberman promised to support President-elect Barack Obama, but he did not disclose his plans and did not take questions.
It is one thing to hold a different opinion from other members of your caucus, especially on something as divisive as the Iraq war, but it is quite another to speak out against your your caucus' nominee in the way in which Lieberman did. Lieberman went as far as to claim that Obama did not always put his country first which was a scurrilous charge for which he provided no proof.

He claimed that Obama was not ready to lead the country and that Obama was "choosing to lose" the war in Iraq. And he did all this well aware of how much he was infuriating the democratic leadership.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman on Wednesday for campaigning against Barack Obama, calling Lieberman's characterizations of the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee "totally irresponsible."
Indeed, he actually went as far as to stand before the Republican National Convention and urged the nation to vote for McCain rather than Obama.

It now sounds as if Reid might be ready to take action.
Mr. Reid restated the dismay felt by many Democrats. “While I understand that Senator Lieberman has voted with Democrats a majority of the time, his comments and actions have raised serious concerns among many in our caucus,” he said.
That's hardly a statement likely to reassure Lieberman that his position is safe.

I really do hope that they kick him out of the caucus. He went way beyond simply disagreeing with the Democrats on Iraq, he actively fought for a Republican administration in which he hoped to be given a position. I really do hope the Democrats grow a spine here and evict him.

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8 comments:

daveawayfromhome said...

Thank God the Democrats didnt get 59 seats in the Senate. Then they would have felt compelled to keep Lieberman in order to get their Fili-Buster. Now they can send him packing, like he so richly deserves.

Kel said...

I hear you Dave. There is no advantage to keeping him and his behaviour has been disgraceful.

Will Conley said...

That's a good point, about the advantage of lacking a tempting vote. As of this comment, have they evicted him from that chair yet?

Kel said...

Not yet Will. They are being unbelievably generous to him by simply asking that he gives up the chair. I would honestly kick him out of the caucus. If he wants to behave like a Republican then become one. And lets see of he gets re-elected once he's done that.

Will Conley said...

Agreed, Kel. Having just now spent the two minutes required to watch his little speech of explanation, I find him to be a complete wus. Yes, the election is over, and yes, it's nice that Lieberman wants to join with Obama and be all non-partisan and squishy-wuvvy-duvvy, but I found his delivery of this explanation to be really wimpy. Euphemisms galore. Not even saying McCain's name. What a weakling. Come on, Lieberman: say his name. McCain. "I supported McCain." Take some goddamn responsibility.

Kel said...

Will, he took his chances and hoped that McCain would make him VP. The word is that this was indeed what McCain intended, so he could appear to reach across the aisle, but that the religious nutters wouldn't buy it so McCain chose Palin instead.

Lieberman took his chance and blew it, the Democrats are mad if the only punishment they give him is the loss of a chair.

Force him to declare he's a Republican and let him try and save his sorry ass in those circumstances. And run Lamont against him again. I would bet that with Lieberman running as a Republican, Lamont would win.

daveawayfromhome said...

Funny thing is, a couple years ago, I suggested a McCain/Lieberman ticket, thinking it seemed a good center to rule from (I was suggesting a new third party). Then Lieberman betrayed his party, and McCain lost his mind (and honor) while sucking up to the base. Dodged a bullet there, and is my face red.

The word they need to apply to Lieberman: "quisling".

Kel said...

They both fooled a lot of people for quite some time.