Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's To Be Done With Treacherous Joe Lieberman Now That McCain Has Lost And Lieberman Has Come Crawling Back?


Call Your Senators NOW

Unless today is your first visit to DWT you probably have some idea that Joe Lieberman has been one of this blog's least favorite members of Congress... for many, many, many years. I was forced to deal with his narrow minded bigotry, vicious racism and manipulative triangulating when I was an executive at Warner Bros and he was busy whipping up hysteria about lyrics to help his fundraising and raise his national profile. In February, 2006 I helped kick off the progressive drive to expose him as a warmonger and hypocritical reactionary by spreading out to Huff Po, here and here.

Since then, Democratic voters in Connecticut rejected his bid for another term and he then humiliated himself running as an "independent" with the help of Karl Rove and the Bush Regime, whose interests he has served ever since. More recently he was hired as a traitorous attack dog against Barack Obama and Democrats running for the Senate, particularly, though not exclusively, Tom Allen (D-ME) and Al Franken (D-MN). When Harry Reid offered to let him stay in the Democratic caucus if he gave up his sensitive chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee-- after doing an astoundingly horrible job since he got it-- he went screaming to his friends in the right wing media and said he would become a Republican officially. Grassroots Democrats shrugged and said we'd be much better off without the viper in our midst. Evan Bayh, Ben Nelson and other reactionary Democrats came to his defense and Reid has now declared he would leave it to the full caucus to decide.

Obama has said he holds no grudge but certainly hasn't said he wants Lieberman to hold onto his chairmanship. Two of the most senior Democrats in the caucus, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin, have publicly come out and announced that Lieberman doesn't merit the chair he insists on. And, as always, the Clinton's have some kind of murky, unsavory and serpentine relationship to all this.

Jane at Firedoglake (and again at the Daily Beast) has made a great case against clinging on to Lieberman.

Let's skip lightly over Lieberman’s part in the culture wars, his sanctimonious rebuke of President Clinton on the floor of the Senate at the start of the impeachment charade, and his critical role as part of the so-called “Gang of 14” breaking Democratic resistance to putting Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court. Let’s jump straight to Lieberman’s December 6, 2005 speech where he rebuked his party:

It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical months, and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.

While Lieberman was quick to denounce Clinton for a private matter he leaped to the defense of Bush as even Republicans realized his strategy in the Iraq War was disastrous. Criticize George W. Bush and his conduct of the war and you're a traitor.

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

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

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

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

And today Brave New Films compiles a good part of the argument about Lieberman on a short film well worth watching:


My guess is that because the world's most exclusive club is also inordinately conservative and self-protective the chances of Lieberman losing the chair of the Homeland Security Committee is hovering around zero percent. I suspect that this whole brouhaha is just a ruse to make grassroots activists think someone gives a damn what they have to say about anything after the sign the checks at election time. Front and center in the Save Joe Movement are both the reactionary Nelsons (NE & FL), the odious Evan Bayh (IN), Ken Salazar (CO), Chris Dodd (CT) and Tom Carper (DE), all Democrats-- yes, even Dodd-- who vote with the GOP on substantive matters far more than the average Democratic senator. It will be a secret ballot, of course, but it wouldn't surprise me one bit if it favors Lieberman unanimously-- or nearly so. After all, that's a fair representation of what the Senate Democrats are made of and why they share so much blame with the Bush Regime for what has transpired over the past 8 years.

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At 4:28 PM, Blogger VG said...

Howie, I hope people follow the YT link to a great interview with er, SOMEONE who called what's his name that horrible right-wing psycho...

LOL. I love that interview! (2 parts)



At 11:22 PM, Blogger KELSO'S NUTS said...

The late Rev Dr William J Sloane Coffin had a great line about Joe Lieberman, who had been Coffin's student at Yale: "Joe Lieberman's an Orthodox Jew and a Conservative Democrat. How I wish it were the other way around!"

I've never made any secret of my admiration for Dr Dinosaur himself, Howard Dean. He's my favorite of the "power" Democrats. He's one of a handful of American politicians I'd pay to listen to.

I have written about this over and over again on my team's blog but I've always found the close relationship between Barack Obama and Joe Lieberman as peculiar as I find Obama and Dean's mutual dislike, especially given the dirt Lieberman has done to Obama, and the help Dean has given Obama despite every reason to want to exact revenge.

I think it's some kind of religious thing. Obama's kind of a Christian Christianist and Lieberman's kind of a Jewish Christianist, whereas the liberal Congregationalist Dean with his Reform Jewish wife and sons is far away from that superstitious stuff.

I assume you followed the 2006 CT Senate race. Of all of Howard Dean's races that year, with so many winners across the country, THIS was the one he wanted most of all. Ned Lamont is a close friend of his. Dean's brother Jim ran Lamont's campaign. And the whole thing was sort of to be a eulogy for Dean's mentor, the Rev Dr W S J Coffin.


Though I can't vote both Obama and Clinton were hardly my first choices for president. I liked them in this order: Kucinich, Paul, Dodd, Richardson, Edwards, Obama/Clinton (either), Romney, Biden.

Obama's a great president for America. I'm glad my president is MARTIN TORRIJOS, though!

At 11:27 PM, Blogger KELSO'S NUTS said...

I was in grad school at UCLA when Body Count came out. I'd been a pretty big Ice-T fan having lived in New York (TM's from Teaneck, NJ, I think) and was excited to see what he could do in the rock genre. I managed to get a copy of the first run of CDs.

I am happy to be living in Panama again, but sadly my ex wife has that CD back in NY!

At 10:18 PM, Blogger radlib1 said...

The whole problem with Joe could be solved by making him Secretary of Agriculture. He's so full of shit he could fertilize half of our country's farmland all by himself.

At 11:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it any wonder that congress has such a dismal rating? What do they care, as long as they have their own arses situated securely in the inside-the-beltway country club crowd. What are we going to do about it?


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