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November 16, 2008

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This is more partisan, but I also think it matters A LOT that he campaigned for Republican Senators. The McCain endorsement is bad, but there's at least a plausible argument that it had no effect on control of the Senate.

However, by campaigning against Dems, he should forfeit the right to benefit from the majorities the Democrats won.

That's the last straw for me -- though I agree with the oversight point too. I think he would use his post vindictively b/c he's a petty spiteful man

The linked news item, which repeats previous reporting by Politico and others, leaves no room for ambiguity: Lieberman's committee chairmanship will be decided on by all the members of the Democratic Senate caucus in a vote on Tuesday.

Yet Sens. Feinstein, Brown, and others have been trying to bamboozle constituents who urge them to remove Sen. Lieberman with replies saying that it's too soon to make any decision and that they'll look at the question when the 111th Congress convenes in January. This is a level of insulting constituents' intelligence and me-or-your-lying-eyes-ism that tells me the 111th Congress will be just as effective as the 110th at holding officials accountable for failure, lies, and betrayals.

Gosh, the future's so bright I've gotta wear shades.

once upon a time...

...when i was a teenager and becoming a politics junkie, giants strode the halls of the senate.

men like lyndon johnson and mike mansfield. and on the gop side, robert taft and everett dirksen.

how the HELL did we come from that to harry reid, for gosh sake?

if he (reid) had even ONE ball, old turncoat joe would already be on the outside looking in, with his metaphorical nose pressed against the metaphorical glass of the dem's caucus.

i mean, this is just ridiculous. liebeman lost, badly, the dem primary in his state. so he ran on his name and familiarity and the bleeping GOP re-elected him. then he spent the whole year campaigning against the dem prez nominee.

why is it even a close question?

WRT 'mere' political considerations, I think there's some expectation that Obama and the Dems are going to at least investigate and prevent Bush-era corruption, if not prosecute outright. With someone like Lieberman at the helm obstructing any attempt to look into the wrong-doing, Dems look bad by nt working on some of their mandate.

how the HELL did we come from that to harry reid, for gosh sake?

Better question: how the hell did someone like Harry Reid become Minority Leader, and later Majority Leader?

The Party is at fault here, not just one individual.

why is it even a close question?

I think one of the reasons is that back in the day, a peon like Lieberman (and some may say 'but he was a VP candidate', which gets us into how the VP position has changed since the days of Johnson) would be essentially a non-entity. Now, there are any number of people who would be eager to mine such an event as Reid handing Lieberman a part of his anatomy, and exploit it, where as if Johnson had done it, the victim would have no recourse but to go off into obscurity.

This is not to defend Reid, but the fact that Lieberman and others like him now have outlets that weren't available back then postpones, if not prevents, some actions from being taken.

MeDrew, I'd be very happy to yield to someone who's actually knowledgeable, but I don't think that Obama needs a subpoena from the Senate to look into past actions by the executive branch once he runs said branch. And if the idea were to set up a commission (likely to resemble the 9/11 Commission more than the Truth And Reconciliation Commission) - and much as I'd like that I doubt it's likely - it would require Congressional action, presumably starting as a bill in a Committee, quite possibly in a Government Oversight Committee, but there's no reason that should be the Senate committee (where Holy Joe might thwart it) rather than the House committee. So, while I believe there are excellent and important reasons Joe should become a backbencher, an ability to thwart investigation by Obama is not so far as I know one of them. Although this still leaves the question of an independent investigation by the Senate, unlikely to happen under Joe. Still, as a Democrat I am accustomed to disappointment and all the signals have been bad, so if as I fear Joe gets to stay on I can only cling to some small hope that rather than it actually being the reflexive capitulation it appears it is more like ths scenario John Scalzi blogged last week (I'd link, but html entered by my phone doesn't work on ObWi).

WT, was it this? Where there's life, there's hope.

Liberal Japonicus, that's the one. I thank you. Probably not what happened, but, well, a guy can dream ... and the allcaps rendering of the critical word (with which word I shall not sully ObWi) was just priceless.

Warren, it's a nice story, I guess, but I don't see how it relates to reality. What leverage would Obama have once Lieberman has the committee chair?

If he gets the chair, the Democrats have given him everything he wanted, he's given up nothing at all, they have no realistic way of keeping him in check, and no Democratic senator has any reason to pay any attention to the leadership in the future because there are zero consequences for even the most flagrant misbehavior.

If he gets the chair, the Democrats have given him everything he wanted, he's given up nothing at all, they have no realistic way of keeping him in check, and no Democratic senator has any reason to pay any attention to the leadership in the future because there are zero consequences for even the most flagrant misbehavior.

Yes. Surely Reid understands this, doesn't he?

It seems to me that taking a vote of the caucus to remove Lieberman as committee chair is a fine way to handle things. If it doesn't go that way, I will definitely complain about the caucus.

But I'm not clear what the objection is now, before the caucus. If the caucus does it, it will be completely clear that it's the will of the majority of Democratic Senators. If Reid were to do it unilaterally, that would threaten all Democratic Senators, and I expect few would appreciate the idea -- assuming Reid could get away with it, since they're perfectly capable of voting him out as Leader by majority vote -- that the Majority Leader can remove any of them from chairing a committee on the Leader's sole authority.

Politics often, surprisingly, tends to involve politics. Including the politics of a caucus.

Similarly, Senators historically get pissed off when a President tries to tell them how to manage an issue of Senate organization, so it seems utterly unsurprising to me that the President-Elect wouldn't take a position on who should or shouldn't be chair of a committee, and leave it to the Senate to be the bad cop, while he stands off and reaps the benefit of seeming the good cop. However he actually feels about what should happen to Joe Lieberman, which he can handle behind the scenes.

Again, politics often involves not doing everything in public.

Mind, if too many Senators object to removing Lieberman as committee chair, I'll be very angry with them, think they've made a dreadful decision, and support punishing them in some way. But I'll wait until Tuesday to see if that happens or not.

Warren- I didn't realize that the House could effectively do the same thing. So, sure, while we nerds (well, me at least) might see a House investigation as good, the Senate carries a lot more weight/prestige. I would guess that most people wouldn't really care about the difference, though, and my concern was mostly with the optics of the whole thing.

Working on the Scalzi article now.

The "deal" that's rumored to be in the works is that Lieberman issues some kind of apology or statement of regret in a closed-door caucus session, and then he's allowed to keep his chairmanship.

This seems to me like the dumbest possible thing you could do: Humiliate the guy, and then give him the power to investigate you??

There have been suggestions that with the magic 60 being a real possibility some are reluctant to offend Holy Joe because he would be the deciding voice (and thus the natural blackmailer). Thre have even been voices that wish for "just" 57-58 votes (including independents), so Joe could not play the linchpin. Personally I am for throwing him into the outer darkness where there is howling and gnashing of teeth (teeth provided if lacking).

Can;t say I'm too pleased about this:

"Senate Democrats appear willing to let Sen. Joe Lieberman keep his powerful Homeland Security Committee chairmanship, even though the Connecticut independent campaigned vigorously for John McCain's White House bid, two congressional sources told CNN Monday."

The fact that Obama would associate with such a traitor is deeply troubling. Maybe he thinks that Lieberman is "rehabilitated," but Lieberman is clearly unrepentant, saying "I wish I did more."

Just appalling.

The fact that Obama would associate with such a traitor is deeply troubling. Maybe he thinks that Lieberman is "rehabilitated," but Lieberman is clearly unrepentant, saying "I wish I did more."

Just appalling.

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