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The W - Current Events & Politics - Lieberman's position
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Guru Zim
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Since: 9.12.01
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.41
I wanted to spin this off as its own thread because I think it is interesting and deserves a discussion separate from the election results.

While Lieberman definitely didn't toe the party line, is he any less qualified to run his committee than he was before? Are there specific people that you have in mind that would be better qualified to replace him?

I don't think that Obama and the Democrats should clean house of everyone who has an ideological difference from them. That was part of what the Contract for America folks did wrong in 94, wasn't it?

If Lieberman is the most qualified person for that position, should he be removed just because his party isn't in power?




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Since: 2.1.02
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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
There is a difference between someone having an ideological difference and someone who has basically defected from the party. When you appear continuously and enthusiastically over a period of month's with the candidate for POTUS of the other party, you are effectively repudiating your own party's beliefs. It is possible to disagree with your party and remain a firm supporter of the party. And no one is suggesting the Dems engage in some sort of great cleansing of any non-ideologues.

As for the committee thing, do you want your Homeland Security Comm. Chair to be someone who ran for months on behalf of your opponent whose campaign was that you could not be trusted with homeland security? I see no reason why someone like Carl Levin or Mark Pryor couldn't take over and run the committee just as well.

Also in the end there are boundaries that you need to respect. No one made Joe Lieberman choose to be a Democrat. No one forces him to caucus with that party. And I see no reason why they should feel compelled to caucus with him simply because it would be very difficult for him to win re-election in his home state if he were to be considered a GOP-affiliated "independent" rather than a Dem-affiliated one.



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Since: 9.12.01
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#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.41
"Politics as usual" means taking out all of the other guys people and putting in your own, or at least that is part of it.

Is Lieberman qualified or is he not? That's the question I want answered. I don't care if he is a Democrat or a Republican.

If he isn't the best person for the job, is there a better R, I, or D for it? What are the merits we should be judging this on?

Let's get out of the old "Now we're in charge, we're gonna do it our way" mentality.




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#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
    Originally posted by Guru Zim
    "Politics as usual" means taking out all of the other guys people and putting in your own, or at least that is part of it.

    Is Lieberman qualified or is he not? That's the question I want answered. I don't care if he is a Democrat or a Republican.

    If he isn't the best person for the job, is there a better R, I, or D for it? What are the merits we should be judging this on?

    Let's get out of the old "Now we're in charge, we're gonna do it our way" mentality.


Problem is the whole concept of Committee Chairs being decided by seniority removes any hope of "the most qualified" people being in charge. I don't see anything in Joe Lieberman's skillset that makes me believe he is any more qualified than any other member of that committee to be the chairman, except that he's been there the longest and he's nominally part of the majority party. So if the Democratic leadership is looking at the committee and the choices are two equally qualified people, one of whom has been a loyal member of your party, the other of whom has taken great delight in working against your party at every turn, why should that man be rewarded. Joe Lieberman is not inherently any better for that post than anyone else in the committee.



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Dahak
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Since: 12.5.02
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.02
Punishing Lieberman might be satisfying for a lot of the DNC but I think it's short sided. If Obama wants to be POTUS of the whole United States and not just the "Blue States" then leave Lieberman where he is at.
Do you think that Rush and the other right wingers will not make a big deal out of pushing Lieberman out? Why give them the ammo?
Let the voters of Conecticut decide if the want Joe as their Senator either as a D, I, or R.



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#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
Dahak, the voters of CT decided to elect Joe Lieberman as an Independent. No one can take that away. No one wants Joe Lieberman impeached or censured in the Senate itself. But there is no reason to continue to reward a man who spits in your face. By that logic they should give GOP senators committee chair spots as well.



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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.41
    Originally posted by spf
    Dahak, the voters of CT decided to elect Joe Lieberman as an Independent. No one can take that away. No one wants Joe Lieberman impeached or censured in the Senate itself. But there is no reason to continue to reward a man who spits in your face. By that logic they should give GOP senators committee chair spots as well.
They probably should, if they are the best people for the job, and the position can't be adequately filled with a Democrat.




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Since: 12.5.02
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#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.02
SPF there is one major difference. Democrats spend a lot of time telling us that they are better than us mere Republicans (the R's do the same thing). So this is a chance to show the people who might be somewhat hesitant about Obama that he is not a radical liberal blue stater but someone who will cross the party lines. Punishing Lieberman just proves Obama's opponents right so why do it?
Lieberman is a Senator for 4 more years so pissing him off and driving him (more so) into the Republican camp to me seems like a dumb choice. Obama told us about change not the reversal of one party politics. Sure a lot of it was just campaign talk but tell me how in anyway punishing Lieberman will get more Republicans and Independants to vote Democrat in 2010 and 2012? Maybe he sucks but it doesn't seem worth it to me.



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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
Dahak, there are plenty of ways to reach across the aisle in ways that don't reward guys who made a point to relentlessly attack your party's standard-bearer. This isn't just about party. Joe Lieberman made very clear his disdain for Barack Obama's ability to lead. Why would anyone want to put someone like that in a position of power? I guarantee Obama will be picking people from all ends of his party, and some members of the GOP who he does think he can work with for crucial roles. And for all this talk about Lieberman, what makes anyone think that people will give two craps about if Joe Lieberman gets punished? It would be a story for a few days and be buried under everything else.

Guru, this logic might hold more water if U.S. Senators weren't mostly just politicans. If the Senate were a body of people from across all professions and specialties this might have more of an impact. But mostly these are all lawyers and career polticians who all know one thing, and that thing is government. If you want to create a dream Senate where the 25 or so committee chairs are filled by uniquely qualified men for the jobs, show it to me and if you've found a way to do that I'll ride shotgun on the bandwagon with you. Until then I see nothing special about Joe Lieberman other than the fact he was lucky enough to be given the post in the first place that makes him deserving of keeping the post.



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Since: 24.3.02
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#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.62

If the Democrats are no longer sure that Lieberman's opinion on Homeland Security matters matches theirs, as expressed by his support for the Republican candidate, then they have to put someone in there who more closely follows the Democratic Party platform. Lieberman himself said "I agree more often than not with Democrats on domestic policy. I agree more often than not with Republicans on foreign and defense policy."

And given the way the committe chairs are given out (to the highest ranking members of the majority party), I agree with spf that it hardly seems to matter who the committee chair is. I thought Homeland Security was the department where the President did whatever he wanted to do anyway ;-)

For anyone who is intersted, here is the seniority of the Senate Democrats as it is expected to stand after Inaguration Day, given that Democratic appointments to the Senate from Illinois and Delaware will be placed somewhere at the end. Byrd, Kennedy, Inouye, Baucus, Levin, Dodd, Bingaman, Kerry, Harkin, Rockefeller, Mikulski, Reid, Conrad, Kohl, Lieberman, Akaka, Feinstein, Dorgan, Boxer, Feingold, Murray, Wyden, Durbin, Johnson, Reed, Landrieu, Schumer, Lincoln, Bayh, Nelson, Carper, Stabenow, Cantwell, Nelson, Clinton, Lautenberg, Pryor, Salazar, Menendez, Cardin, Sanders, Brown, Casey, Webb, McCaskill, Klobuchar, Whitehouse, Tester, M. Udall, T. Udall, Warner, Shaheen, Hagan, (Franken), (Merkley), (Begich)

Up through Boxer, every one of them chairs a committee except for Mikulski and Reid. Biden has chaired the Foreign Relations committee, so that's at least one chair position open.

EDIT:
    Originally posted by Dahak
    So this is a chance to show the people who might be somewhat hesitant about Obama that he is not a radical liberal blue stater but someone who will cross the party lines. Punishing Lieberman just proves Obama's opponents right so why do it?

The President has a lot of power, but he does not decide who gets committee chairs. That would be Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader.

(edited by Mr. Boffo on 5.11.08 1537)
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Since: 4.1.02
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.92
Obviously if Merkley, Franken, Begich and Martin somehow ALL win, then Lieberman will be in the catbird seat for the next two years. Given now it's far more likely that the final total for the Dems with one or two of those seats at most, there's really no excuse not to turf Lieberman.
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Since: 8.10.03
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.74
The Dems aren't at 60 and can't reach 60. Lieberman's positions are a little out there but people here seem to imply that the leadership has a solid majority and doesn't potentially need him. I don't believe you have a monolith in the Senate or House last I checked. They may need him.



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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.54
You wanted the best, you got... Out of Context Quote of the Week.

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    Originally posted by spf
    Dahak, the voters of CT decided to elect Joe Lieberman as an Independent. No one can take that away. No one wants Joe Lieberman impeached or censured in the Senate itself. But there is no reason to continue to reward a man who spits in your face. By that logic they should give GOP senators committee chair spots as well.


Except he may as well have been running as a Republican in 2006. The Republican Senatorial candidate was so little of a factor the entire race that they're still inventing units of measurement to express it.

Besides, Lieberman came out and said he'd support Obama today. Even though he thought enough of out new President-elect to campaign for McCain. Either he knows this is going to get swept under the rug or he's just hoping it does and putting a public face on it.



redsoxnation
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Since: 24.7.02

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.86
On Lieberman deserting the Democrats: It was the Dem leadership who jumped on the Ned bandwagon in '06 and then remembered how much they respected and admired Lieberman after he won the general election and at 49-49-2 with a Republican VP was the difference between the majority and minority party.
Let me throw a scenario where Lieberman becomes more valuable long term as an ally than an enemy. Election returns come back 54-44-2 with a Dem VP. 2 Senate seats open up with Obama and Biden, but those will be static when they are replaced by fellow Dems. At some point due to age it is possible that Bobby Byrd goes to that great Klan meeting in hell, and possibly a seat opens up for a Republican to take. Down to 53. Ted Kennedy very possibly doesn't make it through this term, but that seat should stay static and maintain 53. Now, say a Jack Reed from RI is chosen for Defense Secretary. Seat is then taken by the last Republican left in RI, the lame duck Governor who has presided over the Republican Party becoming less than irrelevant to the point where the union leaders are pitying it not being a 2 party state. Down to 52-46-2 going into 2010. I'm sure the Dems would much rather go into that election knowing the Republicans would need to take 5 rather than 4 seats to swing the Senate.
And, if the Democrats try claiming they are doing this on principle, wouldn't that principle have been more in place when Lieberman was doing the campaigning than after he does the campaigning. But, principle would have cost Harry Reid the nice office space.
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Since: 4.1.02
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#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.92
    Originally posted by redsoxnation
    On Lieberman deserting the Democrats: It was the Dem leadership who jumped on the Ned bandwagon in '06 and then remembered how much they respected and admired Lieberman after he won the general election and at 49-49-2 with a Republican VP was the difference between the majority and minority party.


Well, I wouldn't say 'jumped on the Ned bandwagon.' The Dems supported Lamont, who won the Democratic primary in the state. What were they supposed to do? In fact, even Obama himself campaigned FOR Lieberman in the primary, along with some other high-profile Democrats. But after Lamont won, hey, fair play, he got the party's support.
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Since: 5.9.02
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#16 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.53
I think people are hyping up this whole "supermajority" idea just a bit too much. This election populated the 111th sitting of the United States Congress. The last Congressional session to feature a Senate supermajority was the 95th, which sat in 1977. This was a great year for the Democrats, but realistically, 60 plus was probably a bit out of reach anyway.

Going off of that premise, the decision should belong to the rest of the caucus, and if they were to ask me, I'd say turf him. He was elected as an Independent, he sits as an Independent. If he wants to support propositions, fine, but he shouldn't be able to be directly behind McCain in every shot of him I saw in the last days of the election, and then return and say "I knew you'd do it all along, what do I get to chair?"

Now, as people have said, the decision becomes a bit murkier if Obama decides that some of his Senate brethren are ready for promotions that put them into the Line of Succession, and the decision will never be as simple as I or anyone else thinks it is. As it stands now though, I don't see a reason why Lieberman should be expecting any position of prominence in the Democratic Caucus.



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Since: 2.1.02
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#17 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.16
One thing that could weaken Lieberman's position even more is that they are now calling the OR senate race for Merkley. That puts the Dems up to 56 counting Sanders. Even if they don't get any of the remaining three seats that's still a solid majority.



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Since: 24.3.02
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#18 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.63
It appears to be official, Senate Democrats will vote next week on whether to strip Lieberman of his chairmanship. Lieberman himself has said that he would like to remain in the Democratic caucus, but that losing his chairmanship is unacceptable. If he is stripped of the chairmanship, the ball would be in his court to decide whether he wanted to join the Republican caucus. If you live in a state with a Democratic Senator, and you feel strongly about this either way, feel free to contact them and tell them why they should/should not strip him of the chairmanship.
Lexus
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#19 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.36
Wait, I thought reaching across the aisle was in vogue in Washington. Partisan politics taking a backseat to resolving the issues. Wasn't it a notion discussed by both candidates earlier in the election?

On that note, why is Lieberman's attempt to reach across the aisle that big of a deal? Did everybody assume republicans were going to reach out to democrats, and not vice versa?



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#20 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.75
    Originally posted by Lexus
    Wait, I thought reaching across the aisle was in vogue in Washington. Partisan politics taking a backseat to resolving the issues. Wasn't it a notion discussed by both candidates earlier in the election?

    On that note, why is Lieberman's attempt to reach across the aisle that big of a deal? Did everybody assume republicans were going to reach out to democrats, and not vice versa?


Lieberman went to the RNC convention and politely trashed Obama. He also campaigned for McCain. That isn't reaching across the aisle, that's sleeping with the enemy. That being said, Obama would like him to stay with the caucus and has suggested as much to Reid. I would wait til MN and GA are settled. If they can reach 60 with him, I say send him roses and chocolates. Even if they can't I would rather keep an eye on him and leaving him his chairmanship looks spot on for the 30 days of bipartisanship we will se in January.

On the reaching out note, getting Karl Rove as far away from D.C. as possible would help a bunch. And I wish people would stop confusing bipartisanship with agreeing and compromising on all things. Good healthy, respectful debate is what will work best. We need solutions, not ideologies. And Obama must see successes ASAP while the bloom is still on the rose.

(edited by DrDirt on 12.11.08 1250)


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