Friday, November 14, 2008

So what’s being said about the future of Joe Lieberman?

The Daily Kos, one of the largest forces opposing Lieberman, said:
But as we've discussed before, cloture votes aren't often strict party line roll calls. Having 60 seats, in other words, is only a dependable tool in a tightly disciplined caucus. It's great to have lots of Democrats, no doubt. But the Senate isn't the kind of place where simply being able to count to 60 means you're going to get 60.

It seems to me that since "57 does not equal 60" (and neither does 58), the question still swings on persuasion of people outside the caucus. And if that's a given, how much difference does it really make whether you're persuading Lieberman, or whether you're persuading Olympia Snowe?”
Jason Zengerle writing for the New Republic says,
Of all the things Democrats should be worrying about right now, Lieberman isn't one of them. If he does keep his Homeland Security chairmanship, it's pretty doubtful he'll use it to cause major headaches for the Dems. For one, that's just not his style, as Ambinder points out. Secondly, it's not in his self-interest.”
Ryan Grim at Politico gives some insight into the forces working to keep Lieberman in his Homeland Security chairmanship. He writes:
Several top Democratic senators have launched a behind-the-scenes effort to save Sen. Joe Lieberman’s chairmanship, despite calls from a Democratic base seeking retribution for Lieberman’s vocal support of John McCain’s presidential campaign.

Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) are all involved in the effort, according to top Senate Democratic aides. These four senators — along with other Lieberman allies — are reaching out to the rest of the Democratic Senate caucus to try to ensure Lieberman survives a secret ballot vote on whether to strip him of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.”
The Daily Kos bit is not surprising. When I was living in Connecticut, they furiously pushed for Ned Lamont in his battle to throw out Lieberman, forcing Joe to run as an independent in the election after being defeated in the Democratic primary. They Kos kids hate the DLC (Democratic Leadership Council) and its centrist minded foreign and domestic policy. They went as far as banning all Clinton supporters from the blog after they threatened a strike. So their hate for Lieberman is not surprising, particularly since he spoke out against the disgusting way many Democrats have conducted themselves throughout the Iraq War.

But what they don’t seem to comprehend in their partisan furry, is that Lieberman’s positions are representative of many American voters, and these voters are inclined to work with the Democratic Party on a number of issues. These are individuals who would be content to labor with Democrats on hefty swaths of their agenda. By going out of their way to chastise Lieberman for deviating from the party line will give America a very clear signal as to the direction Obama and his Congress plan to take.

Is this going to be an administration that is serious about breaking down old partisan lines, or are we going to experience 4 years of “payback” directed at Bush, the Republicans, and anyone who happened to believe everything they did wasn’t wrong or stupid? Removing Lieberman from that chairmanship will be a fighting move, and one that we should not stand for.

The Kos kids are having their supporters call their senators and congressman, asking them to force Lieberman from the position. While I hardly pull the same influence as the Daily Kos, calling your representatives and telling them that you support Lieberman and want to keep him in that chairmanship can’t hurt.

Update:

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I have been looking to read the new book by Gary Bass titled “Freedom's Battle: The Origins of Humanitarian Intervention.” Christopher Hitchens has a review of the book at Foreign Affairs, and is well worth your time.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Looking Good for Lieberman

If Obama was serious about “fixing” Washington, I have recently argued that he should not only keep Lieberman happy in the Democratic caucus, but let Lieberman hold is chairmanships as well. It looks like he may do just that.
"President-elect Obama has told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid he's not interested in seeing Democrats oust Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman from their ranks over his endorsement of Republican John McCain.

Obama told Reid in a phone conversation last week that expelling Lieberman from the Democratic caucus would hurt the message of bipartisanship and unity that he wants for his new administration, a Senate Democratic aide said Tuesday. This aide spoke on condition of anonymity because the discussions were confidential."

While Lieberman endorsing McCain observably gets under the skin of many Democratic activists, this is still a man that overwhelmingly supports the Democrats on the social issues. Throwing him out of the Party for his continued support of the Iraq War (something many Democrats supported) while ignoring the fact that he is staunchly Democratic on a large swath of their program, would be foolish for Obama and the Democrats to do.

Broken Clock Being Right Twice a Day

I’m no fan of Keith Olbermann, but he is right on this point.

(HT Harry's Place)