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The Lieberman Vote: What It Means and Why



Sen. Joe Lieberman, who faces a secret ballot vote from the Democratic caucus today, may get to keep his chairmanship -- a prospect many thought impossible just a week ago. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

UPDATE, 12:30 pm: As expected, Senate Democrats voted today to allow Joe Lieberman to keep his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee while stripping him of a more minor subcommittee chairmanship on the Environment and Public Works Committee. According to a Democratic source with knowledge of how the meeting transpired, Lieberman appeared remorseful but did not ever say he was sorry for his actions; he claimed that several of his comments on the campaign trail had been misinterpreted by the media. Sens. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Ken Salazar (Colo.) led the "keep Lieberman" faction while Sens. Pat Leahy (Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.) were the most forceful voices in opposition.

ORIGINAL POST

This morning the Senate Democratic caucus will gather to decide the fate of renegade Sen. Joe Lieberman -- a decision freighted with symbolism for the party as it prepares to assume full control of the levers of power in Washington.

Lieberman, as anyone who paid even passing attention to the presidential race knows, was an ardent supporter of John McCain and, according to many Democrats, crossed a line with his speech at the Republican National Convention in September.

And yet, as the hour (9:30 a.m. ET) approaches for Senate Democrats to vote on whether or not Lieberman can retain the chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, knowledgeable party insiders suggested the Connecticut Independent is more likely than not to hold on.

How can that be?

The answer is simple -- and yet complicated. The Senate is a legislative body that was built on and even today relies heavily upon personal loyalties. It's why West Virginia Sen. Bob Byrd (D) and Alaska Sen. Ted Stevens (R) are close friends although they agree on almost nothing from a policy perspective; they have spent decades together on the Appropriations committee and, in the Senate, that connection runs far deeper than party identification.

Lieberman seems to be benefiting from his relationships in a body where he has served since 1988. The "old guard" (in the words of one senior Senate Democratic aide) has aligned behind him -- willing to forgive and forget. The newer members -- at least 12 Democratic Senators have been elected in 2006 and 2008 alone -- as well as the liberal wing of the party are much more upset about Lieberman's apostasy and want to see him punished.

"Members are eager to hear his remarks tomorrow," said one senior Democratic aide. "While some want his chairmanship gone, [Senate Majority Leader Harry] Reid [Nev.] wants him in the tent, the moderates are pushing hard and the bulk of the caucus is playing ball, particularly if they can strip Lieberman of at least one key committee."

Because it is a secret ballot and most senators have refused to answer questions about how they will vote tomorrow, it's nearly impossible to handicap Lieberman's chances. But there is clearly a sentiment that he is far more likely to hang on as Homeland Security chairman than anyone thought when the election ended on Nov. 4.

Perhaps more interesting than whether Lieberman survives today's vote is what the reaction will be among the Democratic base -- particularly the netroots -- to the verdict.

The liberal blogosphere has been demanding Lieberman's scalp ever since 2006 when they helped fuel Ned Lamont's upset victory over the incumbent in the Democratic primary -- only to watch Lieberman run and win as an independent in the general election.

On the eve of the vote, the netroots were a-blaze with anti-Lieberman rhetoric.

"Joe Lieberman has made clear he thinks Barack Obama is a socialist who is a danger to the United States as president," wrote David Sirota on Open Left.

Wrote Markos Moulitsas (a.k.a. "Kos") on his eponymous site:

"The only thing that matters, the only thing that Lieberman wants, and the only thing we don't want him to have -- is the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee. If this is the 'starting point', and given the Senate Democrats' history of capitulations, expect Lieberman to come out of that meeting as majority leader."

If Lieberman were to survive -- given the clear preference of the party base that he be ousted -- it would be the first rift in what had been a harmonious convergence of Democrats (thanks to George W. Bush) over the last two years.

Asked what it would mean if Lieberman kept his chairmanship, one Senate Democratic aide said bluntly: "The left has been foiled again. They can rant and rage but they still do not put the fear into folks to actually change their votes. Their influence would be in question."

That's one way to look at it. The other is that the left would be up in arms and far less willing to go along and get along with President-elect Barack Obama's agenda -- particularly if it doesn't contain the appropriate progressive tilt.

These are the problems of power, the same problems that Republican experienced following the 2000 election. The GOP's inability to make peace between its warring ideological factions led to its decline in 2006 and fall in 2008. Can Democrats avoid the same fate?

By Chris Cillizza  |  November 18, 2008; 6:01 AM ET
Categories:  Senate  
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Comments

"These are the problems of power, the same problems that Republican experienced following the 2000 election. The GOP's inability to make peace between its warring ideological factions led to its decline in 2006 and fall in 2008".

Huh? Please give me one significant example of warring factions in the GOP over the last 8 years. Every disastrous policy and lack-of-policy was put in place without a peep from any Republican. To dissent was to be excommunicated and not a sole was stirring.

Are we to think that some Republicans were not sufficiently right-wing? That there was an active moderate caucus out there? That there was ever a serious intra-party policy debate? Give me a break, Cillizza, or show me the evidence.

I'm serious, someone come with something to prove Cillizza's theory. I think he exhibiting the typical pundit's attachment to the eternal "both sides to it" meme. I think he's full of it.

Posted by: jrw2 | November 19, 2008 6:56 PM | Report abuse

To say I am happy right now would be a great understatement. Sens. Reid, Dodd and others ignored the few, but loud, angry voices calling for retribution against Senator Lieberman and instead decided no to punish Joe for endorsing and supporting his friend, John McCain. We, the netroots community in support of Joe, congratulate him on his recent victory. Way to go, Joe!

http://letjoestay.blogspot.com/

Posted by: letjoestay | November 18, 2008 10:47 PM | Report abuse

It's definitely about the filibuster. Lieberman's no worse than any other politician. He has some radical views on the war and defense, but we've seen what happens when the Republicans control Washington and we've seen what happens when a single vote can keep good legislation at bay or severely compromise it because of the filibuster. If letting a guy who took a pretty big risk to stand up for what he believes head up a committee who's biggest contribution over the next four years will be to repeal some provisions of the Patriot Act allows us to move more quickly on legislation to address the slew of problems this country and this world is facing, I am all for it. If you consider the financial crisis, two wars, the healthcare crisis, the energy crisis, etc., it's clear we need to drop our desire for revenge and take an all-inclusive Barack Obama approach to government or founder in our own mediocrity for another four years while the rest of our world collapses around us.

Posted by: sfroskos | November 18, 2008 9:13 PM | Report abuse

What does it mean that Lieberman gets to do pretty much as he pleases and gets away with it? Think people! THINK!

First, think back on his run for the Senate where his party abandoned him; for most politicians, that is the kiss of death but not for Lieberman. He changed his party to Independent and was elected anyway. Doesn't that even make you wonder how a Democrat can manage to gather so much support, in such a short time, from a completely separate party, to win the election?? Certainly he wasn't the Republican party's favorite.
Could it be that the jewish lobby mustered all the possible money and clout, to make sure that Lieberman remained in the Senate, the more likely answer?
And doesn't the recent Senate vote to retain Lieberman in his position as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, strike you as more of the same jewish lobby influence? It certainly doesn't represent the views of the majority of the Democratic party.
There's only one power that makes every Senator quake in his boots and each one is deathly afraid of even mentioning its name. As a public service I'll identify this power as AIPAC; yes that same group of lobbyists whose primary interest is Israel and in front of whom all of our elected leaders grovel every year, in a contest to see who can grovel the best and promise the most fealty to Israel. I suggest that an appreciation of these facts will go a long way towards solving the mystery of Lieberman's historic durability. Both Reid of the Senate and Pelosi of the House are deeply in hock to AIPAC and Israel. Pelosi even claims an "unbreakable bond" between Israel and the United States, a bond which apparently exceeds in strength that of the bond with her own constituents. Pelosi has never revealed the origin of this "unbreakable bond" but presumably, it originates from the same nebulous regions that gave us the "special relationship" we're always told we also have with Israel.

Contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to deny the above statements as factual and prepare yourselves for more lies.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 18, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

What does it mean that Lieberman gets to do pretty much as he pleases and gets away with it? Think people! THINK!

First, think back on his run for the Senate where his party abandoned him; for most politicians, that is the kiss of death but not for Lieberman. He changed his party to Independent and was elected anyway. Doesn't that even make you wonder how a Democrat can manage to gather so much support, in such a short time, from a completely separate party, to win the election?? Certainly he wasn't the Republican party's favorite.
Could it be that the jewish lobby mustered all the possible money and clout, to make sure that Lieberman remained in the Senate, the more likely answer?
And doesn't the recent Senate vote to retain Lieberman in his position as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, strike you as more of the same jewish lobby influence? It certainly doesn't represent the views of the majority of the Democratic party.
There's only one power that makes every Senator quake in his boots and each one is deathly afraid of even mentioning its name. As a public service I'll identify this power as AIPAC; yes that same group of lobbyists whose primary interest is Israel and in front of whom all of our elected leaders grovel every year, in a contest to see who can grovel the best and promise the most fealty to Israel. I suggest that an appreciation of these facts will go a long way towards solving the mystery of Lieberman's historic durability. Both Reid of the Senate and Pelosi of the House are deeply in hock to AIPAC and Israel. Pelosi even claims an "unbreakable bond" between Israel and the United States, a bond which apparently exceeds in strength that of the bond with her own constituents. Pelosi has never revealed the origin of this "unbreakable bond" but presumably, it originates from the same nebulous regions that gave us the "special relationship" we're always told we also have with Israel.

Contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to deny the above statements as factual and prepare yourselves for more lies.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 18, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

What does it mean that Lieberman gets to do pretty much as he pleases and gets away with it? Think people! THINK!

First, think back on his run for the Senate where his party abandoned him; for most politicians, that is the kiss of death but not for Lieberman. He changed his party to Independent and was elected anyway. Doesn't that even make you wonder how a Democrat can manage to gather so much support, in such a short time, from a completely separate party, to win the election?? Certainly he wasn't the Republican party's favorite.
Could it be that the jewish lobby mustered all the possible money and clout, to make sure that Lieberman remained in the Senate, the more likely answer?
And doesn't the recent Senate vote to retain Lieberman in his position as chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, strike you as more of the same jewish lobby influence? It certainly doesn't represent the views of the majority of the Democratic party.
There's only one power that makes every Senator quake in his boots and each one is deathly afraid of even mentioning its name. As a public service I'll identify this power as AIPAC; yes that same group of lobbyists whose primary interest is Israel and in front of whom all of our elected leaders grovel every year, in a contest to see who can grovel the best and promise the most fealty to Israel. I suggest that an appreciation of these facts will go a long way towards solving the mystery of Lieberman's historic durability. Both Reid of the Senate and Pelosi of the House are deeply in hock to AIPAC and Israel. Pelosi even claims an "unbreakable bond" between Israel and the United States, a bond which apparently exceeds in strength that of the bond with her own constituents. Pelosi has never revealed the origin of this "unbreakable bond" but presumably, it originates from the same nebulous regions that gave us the "special relationship" we're always told we also have with Israel.

Contact your Senators and Representatives and ask them to deny the above statements as factual and prepare yourselves for more lies.

Posted by: Doubtom | November 18, 2008 7:40 PM | Report abuse

This is disturbing. Senator Lieberman should be made to beg for being allowed to remain in the Caucus, not dictate the terms for his staying in the Caucus. The Senate Democrats lack spine. So does our new President. They just wasted a chit with those who supported Obama, and for no good reason since Lieberman will stab them in the back again at the first possible opportunity. Idiots!

Posted by: johnsonc2 | November 18, 2008 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Apparently, those cowardly wimps who are the majority of Senate Democrats are going to leave Independent Joe Lieberman in place as chair of a committee where he can continue to do great harm. Their reaction to getting slapped in the face by enemy Joe is apparently say "You didn't hit me hard enough. Do it again. In the meantime, we'll let you be our glorious leader as we totally lose the respect of those Democrats who care about issues as opposed to the old boy's club." The number of Democrats to whom I will never again contribute funds or aid in any way seems to go up by a few every year because so many of them truly stand for nothing except keeping their personal power position.

Posted by: ksteve | November 18, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Please don't forget Joe highly endorsed Sarah Palin as well as his good friend John McCain. He stood up for her beliefs and against everything I thought we, as a party, represented. He spit in the face of everyone who gave money for his VP run. He does not think like our party thinks and his only conscience is directed toward money and power. The Homeland Security Chair is tied in and to the executive branch, a very dangerous place to have a turncoat. It is healthy to have divergence, but not disloyalty. Obama better watch his back as he is dealing with a true asp.

Posted by: txajohnson | November 18, 2008 6:55 PM | Report abuse

I have never had much respect for Lieberman because I have also believed he is nothing more than a lobbyist for Israel, putting its interests ahead of ours. If there were any justice, he would be drummed out of the Democrat fold; however, this is politics and they want his vote. So much for change in Washington.

Posted by: Diogenes | November 18, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse

"Wrote Markos Moulitsas (a.k.a. "Kos") on his eponymous site"

No-o-o-o-o-o! The website is the namesake, Markos is the eponym. Dear Mr. Fix, the dictionary is your friend. Please use it.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | November 18, 2008 4:40 PM | Report abuse

It means a shift towards more tolerance of diverging viewpoints and perhaps the beginning of the end of "brain-dead" politics.

Posted by: LiveFree | November 18, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

What, do you want to do as the GOP did to Specter back in 2004? Arlen Specter had to put his assurances to conservatives in writing and then read them aloud to the public to gain the Judiciary chairmanship that he was next in line to win. That was the party that got a thumping in 2006 and 2008. Santorum pushed for it, and he was out next election. Be careful with inflexibility.

Posted by: loco358 | November 18, 2008 3:32 PM | Report abuse

King of Zouk: You're just a plain-out right-wing apologist and mindless hack.
You're a joke. You're boring, you're done, you're over. Go outside and get a life, loser.
Your sainted GOP lost for good reason. Quit attacking Obama and take a long, hard look in the mirror. It's extremist idiots like you who cost McCain the election.
Too bad you lack the class, depth or decency to admit that.
The rest of us have your number.
But please continue with your usual by-the-book attacks and stupidity. It's a free country -- even for know-nothings like you.

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | November 18, 2008 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is a two-faced, backstabbing piece of garbage. Let him grovel to the Dems now; he's good at kissing rear ends --look at him and John McCain!
After all, Lieberman has survived longer than his integrity.
Only in Washington ...

Posted by: vegasgirl1 | November 18, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Not hard to tell which direction most of these posters lean. The biggest problem I have with the far left and the far right is the perceived need to demonize those who don't share their beliefs. Maybe that's because it's harder to come up with some intelligent criticism of a persons beliefs or actions than it is to call him names. Anyway, I think the guy did what he thought was right. You don't have to agree, but maybe some of you should work a little harder on the reasons and get above the mindless juvenile name calling.

Posted by: bigtom6156 | November 18, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

really?
there is no one that could possibly do what Joe the Leiberman does?
It is completely disappointing that this backstabbing do whatever he feels like pus bag is allowed to get away with his bad behavior.
truly..."SAY IT ISN'T SO JOE, HAS IT REALLY ALWAYS BEEN ALL ABOUT YOURSELF" The Democrats nice guy act is stale and doesn't serve anyone...

Posted by: mertisrules | November 18, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

another thank-you to Senator Leahy for styanding up when others dither. For eight (8) years Senator you have been the lone voice that spoke out against torture the war, wiretaps, re-interpreting the constitution. I wanted you to run for president but that shows your courage... wherein a Rodham Clinton does not have to read an intelligence report, can vote lock step with the repug President and still claim to represent the opposition. I also supported you for Veep, as Joe the Biden supported the war and is wishy washy. The Democrats are doomed because they do not reward courage.

Posted by: angriestdogintheworld | November 18, 2008 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Yes, I don't understand why in America a Democrat can't be a leftists as well as a tough, manly, ready to fight S.O.B. when it come to protecting his/her interests? The Old Left was like that but not the New Left.

In Italy it's the opposite: the Left is the tough muscular force with strong family values and ethics but the "fascisti" and the Republican-like Northern Leaguers are the wimps.

Posted by: VMR1 | November 18, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"The answer is simple -- and yet complicated. The Senate is a legislative body that was built on and even today relies heavily upon personal loyalties. "

DISGUSTED

That's the feeling of this Independent.

BUBBLE PEOPLE

That's the Senators on the Hill

DISGUSTING
The Senators on the Hill acting in their OWN SELFISH SELF INTEREST and ignoring the VOTERS.

"CHANGE"
Some idiotic slogan thought up by a POTUS campaign who didn't believe in it in the first place.

Posted by: mommadona00 | November 18, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

"As Lyndon Johnson once said of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover: "It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in.""

He's pissing inside the tent, though.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 18, 2008 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"The number of Americans who self-identify as liberals continues to fall, to 21% in 2008 from 22% in 2004, according to CNN. (The number of self-identified conservatives held steady at 34%.)

A dying breed. darwinism works. the weak and stupid fall away."

So in spite of the election results over the past two elections, and in spite of the fact that people strongly favor the more liberal side on the issues, a stupid poll about self-ID is evidence that the liberal brand is weak and dying?

I love this. So among what Republicans branded as a contest between the most liberal member of the Senate and a centrist who reaches across the aisle, the extreme liberal won in overwhelming fashion.

You're missing the talking points. Blame it all on the fluke, but faultless economic meltdown and the liberal media.

Posted by: DDAWD | November 18, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

I am not a liberal, I am a fiscally conservative, socially moderate registered independent and Obama supporter.

That said, I am furious about the Senate reaction to Lieberman. It just goes to show that there is no difference between Repubs and Dems, they are all corrupt, sucking at the teet of greed. They voted for Lieberman to save themselves. Cronyism over the will of the people.

This election, I gave some of my hard earned money to a candidate for the first time. I invested myself in time and effort in the hope for change. Now I know that it was all an illusion and a farce. These bloated brotherhood don't care about the public; they only care about themselves staying in their seat of power, whether it keeps the public safe or not. THAT was the reaction to Lieberman.

I am done with politics and I will no longer give time, effort or money to any campaign. They can all rot as far as I'm concerned.

Posted by: Pupster | November 18, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

As Lyndon Johnson once said of FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover: "It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out than outside the tent pissing in."

Posted by: cwh2 | November 18, 2008 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I see the Dems are back to being spineless jelly fish.

I've called my Dem Senator and told him I'm switching back to being an independent and taking my wallet, checkbook and volunteer time with me.

Everyone else who supported "Change we could beleive in" should as well.

It's just more of the same. 8 years the Dems bowed and capitulated to King George, now they are bowing to Prince Joe.

No thank you, I've seen this moving too many times.

Posted by: Tom_Payed | November 18, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

The base will need to remember this:

. Chris Dodd (Conn.) and Ken Salazar (Colo.) led the "keep Lieberman" faction while Sens. Pat Leahy (Vt.) and Bernie Sanders (Vt.) were the most forceful voices in opposition.

This was a decision totally AGAINST the wishes of the grassroots. Dodd and Salazar (and Bayh) no longer represent us. They need to be challenged by other democrats in the next race.

Harry Reid has shown a major lack of leadership. He needs to go..

Hopefully CT will take care of Lieberman next time around.

Posted by: RandomGuy | November 18, 2008 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Hopefully the people of Connecticut will abandon him the next election cycle. He is a two face weasel. It makes no sense to let him chair a committee - homeland security - where his views are opposed to those of the American people and the democratic caucus. He should have been allowed to keep positions in the committees where he still does agree with Dems in general. The day he leaves the senate can not come too soon.

Posted by: jswallow | November 18, 2008 12:54 PM | Report abuse

To put it bluntly, in an ideal world, we vote our senators and representatives in to reflect the values and beliefs of their constituents.

As I understand it, Connecticut Dems, who elected Sen. Lieberman to represent their views, were strongly against the war in Iraq.

In suddenly deciding to vote his "conscience" and support that bloody and pointless Bush/Cheney enterprise that has been the war in Iraq, Lieberman conveniently forgot that his "conscience" is antithetical to the job he was supposed to do: i.e. to represent and vote the views of his constituents.

It amazes me that, because he changed his designation from Democratic to Independent, the good people of Connecticut conveniently forgot his sudden attack of "conscience" and sent him back to the Senate.

It also amazes me that no one appeared to be listening when, at the time of Lieberman's endorsement of John McCain, he gave a very telling reason for giving it: "No one else asked me."

So he betrayed his constituents, and he betrayed the principles of his party, and he proved he would not support the party he once was respected in because his ego was bruised.

On the most important issue of all the ones that arose during the Bush administrations, he failed. He wasn't elected to grow a conscience, and whatever his own views on the war were, he took an oath to vote the consciences of his constituents, not his own.

He can call himself an Independent, but the fact remains that he consistently, over this election cycle, curried favor with the worst elements of the conservative movement. For that, he deserves nothing but contempt.

Posted by: ktartiste | November 18, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The reaction from the people who got them elected will be disgust and outrage if they let that man keep his chairmanship. Speaking at the hatefilled republican convention and lying about Barack Obama crossed a line. I don't care who he votes with, or caucuses with. Just get him out of his chairmanship of the HS committee.

Posted by: Ami_Blue1 | November 18, 2008 12:27 PM | Report abuse

I don't care what reason they give, he should go......period

Posted by: woodard3 | November 18, 2008 12:16 PM | Report abuse

What that Senate aide doesn't realize is that aside from ranting and raving if Lieberman keeps his chair, the net blog community will withhold contributions to those who spit in their face, much like Lieberman did to the Democratic party. Change really needs to begin with replacing Harry Reid as majority leader.

Posted by: ahopewell55 | November 18, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

LIEBERMAN ESCAPES ANY PUNISHMENT, KEEPS COMMITTEE CHAIRS...

NOW IT'S TIME FOR PROGRESSIVES TO CALL FOR A NEW SENATE MAJORITY LEADER


The Daily Kos brigade and other progressive supporters of Barack Obama have just been told how much they are valued by the Democratic leadership...

... not much.

Lieberman keeps his committee assignments and receives no reprimand.

The GOP leadership has got to be rolling in the aisles... yet another demonstration of Democratic-liberal cowardice.

Not even a call for Lieberman to adhere to his core principles. Nothing.

Reid even let Lieberman hisself deliver the news to the cameras. The leader couldn't face the media in person?

Say what you will about Republican demogogues -- at least they stand for SOMETHING.

Just what does a miscreant have to do to earn reprobation from Sen. Reid and his limp-noodle crowd?


TARGETING OF AMERICANS BY GOV'T AGENCIES
A ROOT CAUSE OF THE FINANCIAL CRISIS?

http://www.nowpublic.com/world/targeting-u-s-citizens-govt-agencies-root-cause-wall-street-financial-crisis OR
http://members.nowpublic.com/scrivener


Posted by: scrivener50 | November 18, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Joe bolted the Democratic Party. Committee chairs are assigned by the majority party, traditionally to loyal veteran members of that party.

Boltin' Joe isn't loyal and he isn't a member of the majority party. He should get the boot, especially from Homeland Security...of all places for a Quisling!

Posted by: Iconoblaster | November 18, 2008 12:02 PM | Report abuse

they are making plans to do precisely the opposite of what they promised during the campaign?

Posted by: mibrooks27


which one - the primary or the general. It is so hard to keep up with the change. I never suspected that change and hope meant clinton III. but with thugs in place instead of perverts and thieves.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 11:56 AM | Report abuse

I love it that the right wing, which went through the election claiming that obama was the "most liberal vote in the Senate," now claim that he was elected to be a centrist.
Guys, a lot of people have learned that you lie through your teeth, but not quite everybody.

Posted by: F_L_Palmer | November 18, 2008 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Barney Frank on the Bailout [Greg Pollowitz]

Barney Frank's latest nonsense:

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Key Democrat says a House auto industry bailout would require that U.S. automakers immediately repay $25 billion in government loans next year if they can't show they're financially viable.

How, exactly, would an automaker that isn't viable pay back the loan?

this is the kind of clear thinking that got us into this mess. It is known in intellectual circles as Liberal thought.

It begins with a mandate to loan money to anyone who wants it, regardless of ability to repay. vote for me, I'm santa claus.

silly Libs. learn some math.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 11:49 AM | Report abuse

as you see, this blog is kingofzouk's life. he posts approximately every 5 minutes. must be boring be rush's parrot.

Posted by: drindl | November 18, 2008 11:48 AM | Report abuse

The number of Americans who self-identify as liberals continues to fall, to 21% in 2008 from 22% in 2004, according to CNN. (The number of self-identified conservatives held steady at 34%.)

A dying breed. darwinism works. the weak and stupid fall away.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

scrappyc20001 - Quit clinging to "hope". It is what he SAID he was going to do on Sunday! Moreover, virtually the whole of his cabinet is composed of advocates of free trade and jobs outsourcing, advocates of increasing the number of H1-B visas. The time to let him and the Democrats know that we wont stand for this is NOW, not after they have done it! Or, maybe you just don't care that they are making plans to do precisely the opposite of what they promised during the campaign?

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 18, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

If the Democrats punish him for voicing his opinion, they are no better than the Republican "politics as usual." The politics of CHANGE has to begin with the Dems. or they will start,next election, with at lest one less vote. I,for one, am tired of ,supposed , adults squabbling about revenge!Its no wonder Congress' rating is in the sewer!

Posted by: asclepious2 | November 18, 2008 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I want him out because he's a bad senator, and I'm embarassed that he represents me.

Posted by: Jimibristol


It seems that a majority of your state does not agree with you. and in the end, even if you moonbats are loud and obnoxious (see for example dribbl), that does not lead to elected majorities. the Libs are surviving on a razor thin precipice. One false step and the whole hope and change experiment tumbles to disaster. If you think all those DINOs are going to support fiscal and military suicide along the lines of moveon, NYTimes and Kos, you are a creature of the loony left and belong with dribbl in the asylum.

how dare Joe go against immdediate surrender. for that he deserves oprobrium - if you are a loon. for there is nothing, policy wise, else this guy is not an ultra lib. no wonder you Libs always seem so confused.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman is a swine-eating dog. He has no place defecating on the lawn of the new occupants of the White House. He belongs in the pound with the other mad animals caged by their own fear and driven by self-serving greed and hate.

What? The GOP lost due to the "inability to make peace with its warring factions?" Sorry, but that's just way too nice of a way to say the GOP went fascist, and the American people rejected it.

Posted by: wayoffbaseguy | November 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

How can Obama be a disappointment already yet he has not even taken office? I expect criticism to occur but it should at least happen after the President-Elect has ACTUALLY done something not because of what you ASSUME he will do.

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | November 18, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

drindl - If Obama and the party ledership continue on the path they have outlined, as of last night - four times more H1-B visas, more "free trade" doing nothing about outsourcing jobs, KOZ will have the last laugh. You, my dear, have been SUCKERED. All of those promises about doing something to end outsourcing? Those promises about ending or curbing those guest worker visas like the H1-B? They are doing precisely the opposite of what they promised. All of them. The platform and the promises of Obama and the Democratic Party are what we waned, what we voted for, but it looks like we're going to get more Bush.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 18, 2008 11:29 AM | Report abuse

And Zouk,

Jeffords was protesting GW Bush because he knew what a terrible, terrible president he would be. And he probably realized that Bush would end up hurting the GOP because of it. Even you must realize by now that this is true. If you think the world is unkind to GWB now, just wait to see how history judges him; Hoover had it easy. Besides, it was not a power play because JJ was set to retire anyway. He had nothing to gain and everything to lose by boltin.

Joe is a different story. We in CT have seen him tranform from a somewhat principled politician into a power-hungry Washington player whose only principle is more power for Joe. It should to nation first, party second, me third. For Joe, it's Joe first, Joe second, Joe third.

I don't want him out because he is a "traitor", I want him out because he's a bad senator, and I'm embarassed that he represents me.

Posted by: Jimibristol | November 18, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

Barak Obama is already turning out to be a disappointment

how could it not be so? when you promise the moon to simply get elected, you are bound to come up short. get used to it. It is going to be a long two years for the Lib majority. and its last.

the fun part for me is that the loony left moveon types will be the most dissappointed, as a result of Repubs in the Senate standing in the doorway to chaos.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 11:27 AM | Report abuse

zouk -- i see you crawled out of the cave you always retreat into to lick your wounds, after your increasingly small, fact challenged and destitute party of losers loses bigtime once again. how does it feel to be a loser, zouk?

and how's rush? feeding you enough birdseed?

gonna be here all day as usual, loser?

Posted by: drindl | November 18, 2008 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Liebermann is more of a friend to ordinary workers than Obama. For those of us who worked for him, contributed money and spent hundreds of hours campaigning for him, Barak Obama is already turning out to be a disappointment. He is proposing to increase, by a factor of four, the number of H1-B visas. At a time when more than half of the engineers and computer programmers I know are out of work, when HP has laid off tens of thousands, when SUN just announced they will lay off 70,000, when the largest employer in my little Oregon town just laid of 1,400 software programmers, when these people and myself aren't just employed in some other area, we are UNEMPLOYED, Obama proposes to bring in more than half a million, more than 500,000 new Indian guest workers? This is INSANE. What happened to his promise to help us keep our jobs, to create new ones? We want the H1-B and L-1 visas ended, not enlarged. Since 2003, the number of H1-B visas alone has been more than double the number of hi-tech job openings. This has meant that the new Indian and Chinese guest workers have been used to displace U.S. workers. And those displaced? They are usually men and women with families and they are dumped like so many unwanted pets merely because they cost a few extra dollars in medical benefits and retirement costs. So much or "working families". Congress, President Obama, quit listening to the corporate heads and Wall Street bankers that wrecked our economy. It was millions of ordinary people like me that gave you $100, $200, $300, whatever we could afford, so that you would stop this nonsense. FDR certainly wouldn't have allowed this. George Bush would an did! Liebermann, whatever his failings, did not and would not do this.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | November 18, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

dribbl - are you on work release now?

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 11:20 AM | Report abuse

Ok - here's a comment from the Nutmeg State responsible for Joe-mentum. What to do with Joe, what to do with Joe. Sigh.

Ideally - invent a time machine, go back to 1988 and vote for Weicker, a pragmatic R. As a left-leaner myself, I think it's sad that Southern New England has banished its moderate R's like Weicker, Chaffee, and Shays. These were decent people who wanted better gov't and created good debate, while Joe wants better for Joe and that's it.

Really though - I am on the side that says kick him out, filibuster be damned. Bottom line, I want him out of politics in my state.

The truth is that Lamont was a pretty poor candidate, but Joe's # may be next time (still 4 years away though). The different scenarios for that election are so interesting:

1. Let's say Joe is an ind. for re-election. Shays comes back, the one R in the state who I think could potentially win (maybe Gov. Jodi Rell, but I don't think she would want it). I think CT will miss Shay's honesty and comittment to gov't, and he'll look good next to Joe for a lot of us.

2. State AG Richard Blumenthal finally decides to run. He's the strongest national candidate from either party in CT in my opinion. A real power player in hiding. He beats everybody if he does run, whether Joe is a R or I. Caveat - he seems to have a good relationship with Joe (a former AG) and may be waiting for Joe or Dodd to retire.

3. One of our house reps (all D's) runs with Joe as a R on the other side. This could be a sqeaker because our house reps, other than Courtney, are pretty to very liberal. If it's, lets say Larson or Murphy against Joe as an I or R, I think the R's mught come out and join with enough I's to keep Joe in there.

I'm hoping for #1 or #2. It's not that I don't like Republicans, I just don't like Joe.

Posted by: Jimibristol | November 18, 2008 11:19 AM | Report abuse

how dare a liberal voice his views in opposition to the understood self-annihilation of the Dem party using foreign policy as a vehicle. don't they know independent thought is anathema to liberal intent?

funny how Jeffords was brave and principled but Lieberman is a traitor. silly Libs. trapped in that little dark box you call rightousness.

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Obama was elected. That makes me happy. The Senate is full of pansy Democrats who are too afraid to kick out a traitor. Good luck President-Elect Obama you are going to need it with such a wimpy congress.

Posted by: scrappyc20001 | November 18, 2008 11:16 AM | Report abuse

for those who don't know, kingofzouk is rush limbaugh's pet parrot. he just flies over here to spew rush's lies and crap on the carpet. he has no other life.

Posted by: drindl | November 18, 2008 11:15 AM | Report abuse

I have never heard a liberal speak out in favor of school vouchers. Instead, they wave the flag for public schools, even though everybody in his right mind knows that, in spite of the No Child Left Behind program, a majority of public schools in America are a disgrace. The system has routinely passed along youngsters who wound up graduating from high school lacking self-discipline and even rudimentary math and reading skills. Yet, every liberal in Congress can be counted on to pay lip service to public education, although not one of them has a child enrolled in the Washington, D.C., school system!

Posted by: king_of_zouk | November 18, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

IF PARTY LEADERS SELL OUT OBAMA'S MOST LOYAL SUPPORTERS BY ENABLING A SELL-OUT SENATOR, PERHAPS IT'S TIME FOR SOME NEW PARTY LEADERS


The very people who put Barack Obama in the White House are now being dissed bigtime by the spineless Democratic leadership.

Sen. Lieberman has disrespected his party, their candidate, and his constituents -- and yet the leadership rushes to his defense, even when the election has rendered his vote much less significant.

If Lieberman can threaten to vote against the Dems if they rightly seek to punish him for his disloyalty, then he is unprincipled, because his vote and his principles are up for sale.

This is political blackmail; yet the Democratic leadership, from Reid right down to supposed progressives like Klobacher, seem willing to pay whatever ransom Lieberman demands.

Aside from Lieberman's election defection, there's the issue of his sorry stewardship of the Homeland Security committee. For example, what has Lieberman done to ensure that the agency does not violate the civil liberties of American citizens?

For a lot more on that subject, please see
http://members.nowpublic.com/scrivener

Posted by: scrivener50 | November 18, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

As a Democrat, I knew things were going too well to last. Sure, we gained House seats, Senate seats, and Obama won. Great. But when it comes to Lieberman, our traditional instincts for timidity and stupidity asserted themselves. Heaven forbid we punish a disloyal, self-righteous, pompous member who actively campaigned against Democratic ideals. Harry Reid is a gutless and spineless little man who knows nothing about leadership. I assume he will oppose some of Obama's plans just to show how bipartisan he is. OK, Democrats, let the self-destruction begin!

Posted by: vfazio | November 18, 2008 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman = Benedict Arnold
Strip him and if he leaves to join the Republican caucus that is his decision, so be it. You don't reward bad behaviour by letting him keep his prized chairmanship, take it away and let him scream and cry like the bad behaved child he is.

Posted by: info4 | November 18, 2008 10:44 AM | Report abuse

Filibusters or not, I say kick him out of the caucus. At the very least he should lose any chairmanships or committee memberships related to security, the guy is a jumpy fear-monger and shows bad judgment anywhere national security is concerned.

What bothers me most is that Lieberman will justify his actions in terms of his friendship for McCain, his principles .. and the other Senators will eat it up.

I'm convinced that Lieberman just took that path that would get him the most attention, the most camera time. The guy is a primping preening peacock.

And I still have doubts that the USA is foremost in his concerns. No it's not a cheap shot based on his religion it's an informed speculation based on his behavior since we started those stupid wars.

Posted by: chrisfox8 | November 18, 2008 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Here's irony for you: Joe Lieberman has done everything he could to enable the Republicans and destroy the Democrats over the past four years. His punishment? He'll get to keep his chairmanships, giving him enormous power and oversight over the new Democratic Administration. There's every reason to expect that he will abuse that power.

In the meantime, Howard Dean launched a brilliant 50-state initiative over the objections and bitter enmity of Democratic "leaders" like Rahm Emmanual. That initiative was the literal salvation of the Democratic Party, and has been utterly vindicated. Dean's reward? He's no longer going to be head of the DNC, and Rahm Emmanuel is Obama's new Chief of Staff.

I have to laugh, because it hurts too much to cry.

Posted by: PMaranci | November 18, 2008 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Senator Leiberman should openly declare himself as a Likud Party member. That would be truthful accurate and settle any disputes.

Posted by: martinwerner2 | November 18, 2008 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman defies all democratic values and clearly has a history of choosing whichever side benefits him the most. He ignored the primary results in his own state and chose to run against the Democrats. He campaigned against the Democratic party while sucking up to John McCain in the most recent election. But most important, he continues to vote against Democratic values regarding Homeland Security, Defense and Foreign Policy. He will be the best Republican in the Democratic Caucus. If he must be a committee chair then he should be given a committee where he shares Democratic values.

Posted by: dvdpiano | November 18, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

As chairman of the Homeland Security AND Governmental Affairs committees, it was Senator Lieberman's duty to direct his committees in conducting oversight of the Bush Administration and investigation of their incredibly numerous violations of the law.

Instead, Lieberman blocked ANY oversight or investigation. He protected Bush and the Republicans to the utmost of his ability.

Does anyone honestly think that he WON'T launch investigation after investigation of the Obama Administration, though? He'll be tearing them apart from day one.

While the Homeland Security chairmanship is the "flashiest" position, it's the Governmental Affairs chairmanship that gives Lieberman the most power when it comes to enabling a criminal Republican Administration or crippling a Democratic one. And that's exactly what he's going to do...with the willing capitulation of the old-boy network of Senate Democrats and
President-Elect Obama.

They've proved once and for all that they can't even be an effective opposition party when they're in the clear MAJORITY. It must be something like the Stockholm Syndrome; they really have come to believe the Republican line that Democrats ARE evil, and immoral, and that all Democratic positions are wrong.

That's the only thing that would explain the past eight years. And it's the only imaginable reason why the Democrats willfully insist on capitulating to the Republicans and even giving them MORE than they asked for, despite fact that the overwhelming majority of their constituents want them to actually show some backbone.

The Democratic leadership in Congress seems determined to do everything in their power to destroy the Democratic Party. Historians of the future are going to have a field day with this era! Assuming that our species survives all of this stupidity, of course.

Posted by: PMaranci | November 18, 2008 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Joe L. has a disease called traitorism. Traitors left inside the tent will not serve the President, they will be discontented and ought to be with their ideological mates. Considering his political waffling, Joe should understand that his throw of the dice will cost him his position, not think he's so valuable he can't be spared.

Posted by: naahbob | November 18, 2008 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Joe survived because he had the backing of the strongest coalition, the real one he leads - the gutless narcissists. Lieberman is a piece of $hi+ that should have been shown the door long ago.

Posted by: bondjedi | November 18, 2008 10:24 AM | Report abuse

You make it sound like opposition to Lieberman was driven by some alleged left wing of the Democratic party. It's not like he is popular with any part of the Democratic party. The people opposed to him are those who have worked hard for the party - who've volunteered and who've donated money. Lieberman on the other hand has campaigned against a Democratic victory, and not just that - he campaigned in a dirty way, he was slinging mud.

To leave Lieberman in this position is telling all volunteers and donors that they are not important, that their votes and efforts don't count. This is not ignoring the opinion of a wing of a party - it's separating the party from the base.


Posted by: stefanmuc2k | November 18, 2008 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Amazing. The Democrats have become so spineless that it is now almost literally possible to defecate upon Nanci Pelosi and Harry Reid's heads and get away with it, so long as you act sufficiently like a REPUBLICAN(!) to claim that you ought to keep your job in the name of bipartisanship. This is why, despite being a lifelong Democrat, I no longer contribute money to the Democratic Party as a whole.

Posted by: Bartron | November 18, 2008 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman's survival would be the first rift? Cillizza, did you not pay attention last fall, winter, spring, and summer to the FISA debate? The progressives were fighting the Democratic party tooth and nail on that one.

But I think that it is quite right to say that a vote today for Lieberman is a vote against the progressive wing of the party - an attempt to cow it into submission.

Posted by: JonHendrix | November 18, 2008 10:15 AM | Report abuse

It's a shame that the Senate is such a clubby little place that someone as slimy, traitorous and, with his loopy neocon views -- as outright dangerous, as Leiberman is, should be allowed to keep his seat, especially on THIS committee.

He failed miserably in his previous tenure, so they reward his failure and his treachery by allowing him to do more damage. Democrats in the Senate, you will regret this, for you have clasped an asp to your bosom. It's not a question of whether he will turn on you, only when.

Posted by: drindl | November 18, 2008 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Doesn't anyone see the 800-pound gorilla in the room?

The system, the structure of the U.S. government sucks. It has long since become a subsidiary of the Big Business and is incapable of effective and equitable governance for the rest of us. It is hopelessly outdated, unwieldy, extremely corrupt and is not at all conducive to attracting and retaining the best possible people.

Smell the smelling salts guys - you need to seriously update your constitution and Bill of Rights and scrap this stupid system of states, the electoral College, the whole rotten structure and replace it with a multi-party parliamentary system, perhaps in more of an "anglo-saxon" or northern European style rather than Latin, Oriental, or Mediterranean (ex. New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Ireland, Germany, Denmark, Norway, etc.)


Posted by: VMR1 | November 18, 2008 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Keep it simple....JOE the Traitor should go!

Posted by: jrubin1 | November 18, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I'd prefer to see Lieberman stripped of his committee chair. His actions were beyond the pale in attacking Obama to support McCain, and he should not be allowed to profit from them.
If he lost the chair and threw a hissy fit, let him caucus with the Republicans. They won't enjoy his presence in their midst and he'll get all the perks of being in the minority, with no seniority whatsoever.

Posted by: dbitt | November 18, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I'm all for bipartisanship and inclusiveness, but really, even Lieberman's Connecticut constituents would have handed him defeat if he was up for re-election this year. The Dems should not be blackmailed or threatened by a man who clearly disdains our president-elect enough to question his patriotism. The caucus must do the right thing and remove him from Chair of the Homeland Security Committee. Anything less would be rewarding him for being a traitor. If he chooses to bolt from the Democratic party, so be it.

Posted by: billbolducinmaine | November 18, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Reid and his GUTLESS cronies dhould be replaced along with Lieberman. The scumbag--Lieberman--will say and do anything to get what he wants. He tried to be VP in both parties. The Senate Democrats should give him what he deserves--a long rest with NO reponsibilities!!!

Posted by: jamstolba | November 18, 2008 9:59 AM | Report abuse

What it means is that the Senate Democratic Leadership will continue, and justifibly so, to be labeled as weak tinklers.

Posted by: danielfboone | November 18, 2008 9:55 AM | Report abuse

My bad. I think Homeland Security and Government Affairs are one committee, Blarg.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 18, 2008 9:38 AM | Report abuse

This cozy country club that is called Congress should be broken up.
When they are so unprincipled and corrupt (and they are...) that they are only there to serve themselves and NOT the country, it is time for them to go.
WHAT a way to run a country! Congress is so unprincipled and incompetent, it's a crime against the nation and the world that they , these immoral cretins, have so much power and DO they ever know it, too.

Lieberman has been an obvious Quisling since he made a noisy, self-rightous speech about Clinton during impeachment and it hasn't stopped since. This man has no integrity or morals.
He hates this country, he is only in it for himself and his "real" country, Israel. Americans should resent this fact, not reward it.
Since when does the person become more important than what is moral and just for the nation?
He is awash in the blood of American soldiers and over a million Iraqis. He has no honour or integrity. He should be condemned, not rewarded for his craven evil conduct.
Is America really, completely, insane, or what?

Posted by: strohblumen | November 18, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Blarg's approach makes perfect sense.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 18, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

OfficerMancuso and Quite Alarmed each point correctly, I think, to flaws in CC's column.

As a counterfactual example, to make OfficerMancuso's point, does CC believe that the opposition of McC, Graham, John Warner, Hagel, and Lugar to torture of prisoners was a dispute with the neocons that led to R decline? Does CC believe that the Gang of 14 compromise opposed by the R leadership was a dispute that led to the R decline? What internal dispute [McC was the insurgent in many of them] led to the Rs decline?

And Lieberman traveled well beyond loyalty and love for his old friend, both of which were within political bounds, especially for an independent.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 18, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

All one needs to do is look at the low approval ratings of the Senate to understand how little Americans care about decisions made in that body on the basis of friendship.

If the Democratic caucus allows Senator Lieberman to retain chairmanship of Homeland Security and Government Affairs, it will be viewed by loyal Democrats as a cowardly sellout.

Those senators preparing to cast their secret ballots in favor of Lieberman should be on notice that if they are going to run for re-election in 2010, they will be punished by the same people who worked so hard this year to elect Barack Obama. The secrecy of the ballot simply means that every incumbent Democrat will be presumed to have slapped each of the nation's Democrats in the face.

Posted by: SDWalters | November 18, 2008 9:14 AM | Report abuse

I worked hard for the Democratic ticket in the Tidewater, starting door-to-door in July when I really would have preferred to be sitting by the Bay with a cold one. I did this because being a Democrat means something to me, and I wanted a change in Washington.
Joe Lieberman, meantime, was playing "I have a little shadow" with John McCain, attacking Obama as lacking in patriotism and experience, and working to continue a Republican administration up and down the ticket.
Even if he were a good Homeland Security chair--and what's his plus for that assignment?--he should be stripped of all his perks, chairs and seniority, and left to caucus where he will.
He brings nothing to the table except an overweening interest in the fortunes of Joe Lieberman and Israel--in that order. Ask Connecticut Democrats how well he can be trusted to keep his promises.

Posted by: kstack | November 18, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

He has to pay some sort of penalty for attacking the party's presidential candidate and supporting Republicans in senate races.

Posted by: pjkiger1 | November 18, 2008 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman is chair of the Homeland Security Committee. That's one of the issues on which he disagrees most strongly with mainstream Democrats. Considering that he campaigns for Republicans and won't advance Democratic interests as chair of the committee, he should lose the seat.

I'm not sure whether he should be kicked out of the caucus entirely. I dislike Lieberman for many reasons, but I'd rather have him caucus with the Democrats than the Republicans. He should be allowed to keep his chairmanship of the Government Affairs committee, and given a position on another domestic policy committee, since he's more of a Democrat on domestic policy.

Posted by: Blarg | November 18, 2008 9:05 AM | Report abuse

This analysis is fundamentally misleading. Cillizza suggests that the objection to Leiberman is that he supported McCain. That's not correct, as anyone who has been closely following this controversy knows. If Leiberman had merely endorsed and spoken in support of McCain, then there would be no issue. Instead, the objection to Leiberman is that he attacked Obama and other Senate candidates. That's a critical distinction that this analysis shabbily obscures.

Posted by: QuiteAlarmed | November 18, 2008 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Chris Cillizza wrote, "The GOP's inability to make peace between its warring ideological factions led to its decline in 2006 and fall in 2008."

Eh?

Not that an unnecessary, bungled war, a major city lost to a bungled hurricane recovery effort, and an economic catastrophe unparalleled since before WWII had anything to do with it.

Posted by: officermancuso | November 18, 2008 8:50 AM | Report abuse


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Telling over the past few weeks was when the idea of an auto bail-out got out, the reaction was "Why don't they let them go bankrupt, jettison the debts and restructure the union contracts."

Such a position would have been unthinkable 30 years ago.


However that reaction appears to have stopped the talk of a bail-out.

We are in uncharted territory right now.


Let's recap: We have a Treasury Secretary who went to Capitol Hill asked for $700 Billion for the bail-out with the stated purpose of purchasing toxic assets.


NOW HE SAYS HE IS NOT DOING THAT -


Why doesn't he give the money back ? -


At the same time WHAT IS HE DOING WITH THAT MONEY -

AT THE SAME TIME THEY APPEAR TO HAVE QUIETED THE OBAMA PEOPLE BY PROMISING TO GIVE THEM CONTROL OVER HALF THE MONEY.


Chris would you please write a piece on this topic?


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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 18, 2008 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The Republicans had extraordinary disipline in their years in power. They lost because they passed the wrong programs.

As for Leiberman, if he survives he will be on a short leash. What is done today can be undone tomorrow.

Posted by: adhardwick | November 18, 2008 8:46 AM | Report abuse

For Lieberman to retain his committee chairmanship as Republican Norm Coleman is poised to remain in the Senate by the barest of margins is a travesty. Regardless of where in the party spectrum one lies, Lieberman's having stumped for Coleman was beyond the pale. (I'm even willing to give him a mulligan for Collins, given that she won handily.) This is nothing more than a matter of party discipline. To spin it otherwise is to accept Lieberman's disloyalty to the party as acceptable.

Posted by: aravir | November 18, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

How could anyone of us have paid "passing attention" to the presidential election? That's all that's been drilled into our heads for two years. I'm happy with the result; love prospects for an Obama presidency, but I think Joe should go...
He's a betrayer. How can someone who vacillates so wildly between one pole and another ever truly be trusted? He should lose his Homeland Security chair. His erratic political mood swings are reflective of the man he supported for president.

Posted by: tony_regusters | November 18, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

That SOB traitor should drop dead on the Senate floor in front of the C-Span cameras so everyone can see him writhing in pain, foaming at the mouth, shaking uncontrollably, and finally expiring into the lying, stinking sack of liquid crap (thank you Stephanie Miller)that he is.

Posted by: adrienne_najjar | November 18, 2008 8:42 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats have shown time and time again that they are a "Big Tent" with a lot of tolerance for diverse opinions. That's why they let Lieberman caucus with them. This sets them apart from the Republican leadership, who have habitually strong-armed their own party memebers when it comes down to votes on the Hill.

As admirable as this is, it also makes the Democrats look pretty wimpy at times. Lieberman has made a lot of trouble for the Democrats, and they have taken it. But Joe wants to have it both ways: he wants to make trouble for the Dems (appearing at McCain rallies and denigrating Obama) AND THEN he wants to be rewarded by the Dems. A Chairmanship is a reward. The party reserves these positions for party stalwarts and party memebers with unsusual skills and backgrounds. Joe Lieberman no longer qualifies for awards from the democrats, and he should now step into his proper position: an Independent and minority opinion within the party.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | November 18, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman's "I" stands for ISRAEL not Independant!

He has remained true to his ZIONIST masters in Israel. He supports WAR and more WAR against Israel's foes at the expense of America and Americans!

He is nothing but a spy and a traitor!

Posted by: fixitj | November 18, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

Less willing to go along with President-elect Obama? Where'd that come from? He's not even voting.

No, the netroots will not come unglued. We will become more glued together. We will simply primary-out the losers like we did Lieberman. (Talk to the voters in Connecticut about whether they wished they'd listened to the netroots.) Why do you suppose they're having a secret ballot?

Barbara Boxer, I'm looking at you. When you don't respond to emails like you normally do, you're looking mighty guilty.

Posted by: terryolson | November 18, 2008 8:13 AM | Report abuse

As all of New England goes democratic, you have Lieberman sitting out there - what does that tell you? Something.

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Posted by: 37thandOStreetRules | November 18, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

See Don Jasper at 6:51A. The issue is defined by the "I" label. An "I" who chooses to caucus with a party need not walk in lockstep - but the party defines the boundaries, not the individual. It might be legit for a party to set a low threshhold, say, voting with the party 51% of the time, for caucusing. For plum chairs, as Don posted, the threshhold must be higher.

Posted by: mark_in_austin | November 18, 2008 8:00 AM | Report abuse

The real power of Obama's victory is that he has engaged the people in the process. I'd like the people of Connecticut (pro and con)to let their opinions known now. Letters, demonstrations, phone calls. Come on folks, real change doesn't come by sitting back and letting a small number of elected officials duke it out.

Posted by: ellen610 | November 18, 2008 7:59 AM | Report abuse

What it means is that the Dem "leadership" is going to p!ss in our collective faces and tell us that it is raining again.

That means no more money or time from me in 2010. That kind of arrogance and stupidity does not deserve support or a super-majority.

Posted by: mf2112 | November 18, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

" Let him quit the Party and try and run for re-election as a Republican in Connecticut. "

ah, political ignorance at it's peak.


Sen. L. was elected as an independent and has caucused with the democrats since then.

If the dems throw him out, then when the GOP comes back(and they will, it's politics) the democrats will eat crow

Posted by: newagent99 | November 18, 2008 7:46 AM | Report abuse

It's pretty obvious that lobbyists are pressuring Senators to keep Leiberman in control of our security. Looks like we've been sold out to foreign powers.

Posted by: hhkeller | November 18, 2008 7:41 AM | Report abuse

"... These are the problems of power, the same problems that Republican experienced following the 2000 election. The GOP's inability to make peace between its warring ideological factions led to its decline in 2006 and fall in 2008 ..."

Disagree that the Republicans ever had this type of problem. Factions schmactions, the GOP has lock step on everything on their 'governing' debacle ... even the Maverick quit mavericking to get to the top of the ticket.

Posted by: dcsween | November 18, 2008 7:26 AM | Report abuse

This may be a moot point in 4 years when Lieberman tries to run for re-election and could conceivably lose, particularly if Democrats field their own candidate in a very blue state...

That said, it is a tricky issue. The Senate Democrats probably don't need him for votes (and how reliable is he)? If he truly believed McCain was the better candidate, then what impact will that have working with President Obama?

Posted by: RickJ | November 18, 2008 7:02 AM | Report abuse

Believe me the Democrats will do what it takes to try to get a super majority.

They would throw Lieberman to the dogs if they didn't need him.

They can't stand anybody that doesn't parrot the party line.

Posted by: bdobbin | November 18, 2008 6:56 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats should boot Lieberman out of the leadership positions that he has. Let him quit the Party and try and run for re-election as a Republican in Connecticut. Yeah, right...that would be fun to watch. He is squirmy toad that needs to be pushed out, if necessary.

Posted by: bobcra | November 18, 2008 6:55 AM | Report abuse

What does it mean? It means the pathetic Democratic party of 2002 is still around. It also means we have a lot of work left to do. Lieberman will get his, I'm not worried about that. I'm more worried about fundamentally changing the mindset in Washington that would allow a Lieberman to thrive.

Posted by: mmartino109900 | November 18, 2008 6:54 AM | Report abuse

My primary interest is how this plays out with regard to party discipline. While not a huge fan of political parties – they do serve a vital role in getting things done.

“Sure Joe, campaigning for the other guy is Ok, but he lost and the plum chairmanship will now go to a more loyal member of the tribe. Don’t take it personal – it’s just business. After all your side - McCain - lost the election. We have to do something to keep the troops in line. Here’s the chair of a less prominent committee, we still want you around. But you might consider falling in line for awhile.”

Posted by: DonJasper | November 18, 2008 6:51 AM | Report abuse

I would think that the Democrats would want to wait until the outcomes of the remaining Senate races are decided before they take the Homeland Security Committee chairmanship from Lieberman (and thereby cause him to leave the caucus). After all, the difference between 60 and 59 in the caucus is a lot bigger than the difference between 59 and 58, or 58 and 57 would be. At this point, it's all about the filibuster.

Posted by: sea-lioness | November 18, 2008 6:44 AM | Report abuse

It also means that at best, those Senators who vote to keep him as Chairman of Homeland Security will not receive the support from the Netroots that they would have otherwise have received and at worst, the Netroots will actively seek out and support primary challengers against them.

Posted by: MariaAntoinette | November 18, 2008 6:37 AM | Report abuse

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