Just Say No To Joe!

Call Your Senators NOW

Jane Hamsher at FireDogLake outlines the case against keeping Joe Lieberman as a member of the Democratic caucus, specifically as a committee chair.

But it was with the 2008 presidential election that his bitterness became his rocket fuel.  Lieberman was unbound. In addition to acting as McCain’s sidekick and protector, he stumped for Republican senator, campaigning for Susan Collins of Maine and Norm Coleman of Minnesota against their Democratic opponents.

Lieberman promised Reid privately that he would not attack Obama directly and personally. But when prevailed upon by the McCain operatives, Lieberman could not help himself. He played the paragon of decency even as he gleefully accepted the role of snarling attack dog:

  • He said that “Obama has not always put country first.”
  • He thought it was a “good question” to inquire whether Obama is a Marxist.
  • He misleadingly accused Obama of having “voted to cut off funding for our troops.”
  • He repeated the claim that “Hamas endorsed Obama” and said it “suggests the difference between these two candidates.”
  • He sent out an email for McCain, referring to the “Democrat” Party, the derogatory term of art preferred by the most partisan Republicans.

Lieberman went on to deride Obama in a speech before the Republican National Convention (after promising Reid he would not do so), saying he was an “an eloquent young man” who lacked the experience to be President. Reid’s office said that Lieberman’s seniority within the Democratic caucus, and his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee might be in jeopardy. Obama’s press secretary Robert Gibbs went on CNN to declare that Lieberman engaged in “flat out lies.” But Lieberman would not let up against Obama.

McCain had wanted to name Lieberman as his running mate. He would then have become the first man to run for vice president as both a Democrat and a Republican. But McCain’s handlers warned him that Republicans would not accept a Democrat on the ticket and that the right-wing would mount opposition to it on the floor of the convention. Instead, McCain chose Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska. Lieberman’seffort to secure Jewish votes for McCain, especially in Florida, were undercut by Palin’s presence. In the end, his strenuous efforts had no effect.

After the meeting between Reid and Lieberman last week, it was reported that Reid told him he was welcome to stay in the Democratic caucus if he traded in his powerful chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee for a less influential one as chairman of the Veterans Affairs Committee.  Lieberman gave a press conference afterwards in which he threatened once again to caucus with the Republicans and called Reid’s offer “unacceptable.” But how big a threat was that? Would Lieberman join a diminished Republican minority, have no chairmanship whatsoever, and enter a party in which he could never hope to win a 2012 election in Connecticut?

Lieberman’s aides say he is mulling over his options, whatever those might be. Reid says the discussions will go on. But Lieberman’s call to let bygones be bygones rings as hollow as his promise to draw troops down from Iraq.

During the Bush administration, as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Lieberman showed no interest whatsoever in investigating a multitude of scandals, including those of Hurricane Katrina. He abandoned his promise to investigate them after Rove helped him hold his Senate seat.

If Reid buckles to Lieberman’s threats, permitting him to keep control of the Homeland Security Committee, the Democrats will no doubt discover that Lieberman has a new zeal for investigating that will be a thorn in Obama’s side for the next four years. Still wielding power the turncoat would exact his revenge on the new president.

This really should be a no-brainer. But of course it isn’t, so please take a moment to call Democratic members of the Steering and Outreach Committee and ask them to strip Lieberman of his committee chair.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s