There is now a rumor going around that Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT-McCain) will be kicked out of the Democratic Caucus and lose his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee. He was given that position after he agreed to caucus with the Democrats in 2006, when they needed him to give them the lead.
Now, a website, LiebermanMustGo.com, is asking people to sign a petition for Lieberman to lose his chairmanship and be kicked out of the caucus after the November elections, when the Democrats are expected to pick up more seats, so they won’t need him anymore. The petition has now gathered over 48,000 signatures. Robert Greenwald, who helped design the site, said, “Given that Lieberman is actively and aggressively attacking the candidate for presidency of his party, it seems pretty clear he should not be given any of the perks that come with being a member of the Democratic Party.”
The whole thing started when Lieberman agreed to address the Republican National Convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Lieberman told reporters that he left the weekly lunch of the Senate Democrats on Tuesday when criticisms of McCain’s energy policies came up, saying, “I just didn’t feel it was appropriate for me to be there.” Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) said that a Senator came up to him to complain about Lieberman. Durbin told reporters, “It was the right thing to do. This is a delicate situation.” Sorry, Mr. Durbin, but that’s not being a very good party whip right there. Good for Lieberman, bad for you and the party.
Asked about crossing a point of no return, Lieberman told reporters, “I don’t have any line that I have in my mind. If it happened, I’d know it when I saw it.” He, however, said that he doesn’t expect to leave the Democratic caucus any time soon: “Senator Reid has been easy to work with. I have a lot of good friends in the caucus, and I don’t have any intention of doing that before the end of this session of Congress.”
And Lieberman isn’t worried about getting kicked out of his position, saying, “That decision is up to my colleagues in the Democratic caucus next year. I’m going to do what I think is right now and not worry about what the political consequences may be for me. I strongly support John McCain. I believe in him, his strength, his principle, his effectiveness, so if he thought that I could help him by speaking at the Republican convention, I would do that. And I would do it really not to go and attack anybody but to explain why I as a Democrat have crossed party lines to support John McCain and why I hope a lot of other Democrats and independents will do the same.”
Lately, Lieberman has been critical of Barack Obama; on a CNN interview he called him “naïve” on Iran, and said, The fact that the spokesperson for Hamas would say they would welcome the election of Senator Obama really does raise the question, ‘Why?'”
He criticized Obama’s lack of a consistent stance on issues during a FOX interview, saying, “Senator Obama has really moved. Since he clinched the nomination a month ago, he has altered and nuanced more big positions more quickly than I can remember any other presidential nominee.”
Here are some reactions from Senators:
- Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): “I very much regret what he’s doing, candidly, but there isn’t anything I can do about it, and that’s really all I want to say.”
- Chris Dodd (D-CT): “I think they’re heading in the wrong direction. And I see Joe as an ally on most matters and a person who’s been supportive of Democrats here on most issues.”
- Susan Collins (R-ME) (Lieberman has donated to her campaign): “My hope is that he will not be punished for doing what he thinks is right.”
- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV): “Anytime we have a problem here, with the exception of Iraq, Joe Lieberman’s with us. So I wish people would leave him alone. We’ll get to next year when we get there.”
I say he should just stand up one day, give ’em the finger and move to the other side of the aisle. That’s some C-SPAN daytime drama for ya!
If I were him, I would not let them use me, just to kick me to the side of the road when they don’t want me anymore. Show them that they can’t just use you and then dump you.
Now, I say all of this, but I should note that I disagree with Lieberman on most issues. If McCain were to pick him as his VP (which Lieberman said he does not want, nor expect), it’d be stupid of McCain. You don’t pick a VP because you agree with them on one main issue.
I like Lieberman, but he’s a liberal – but the Democrats would be stupid to do this to him. It could come to haunt them.
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