“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.Jason Zengerle writing for the New Republic says,
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?”
“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.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.
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.”
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.