One of the big perks of this election, after getting Obama elected, and after all those positive changes that lie in the days to come, was the ouster of Joe Lieberman. He undoubtedly holds the title of “Most Despised Democrat” in the Senate. His betrayal of his party, his slanderous comments about Barack Obama, and his contstant sucking up to John McCain and the Republicans had many Democrats seething, staring at the clock and waiting for the day they could strip him of his key committee chairmanship.
Seeing the writing on the wall, Lieberman made a donation this summer- a big FAT donation – to the DSCC to the tune of $100,000. This contribution came on top of last year’s donation of the same amount. Apparently Joe thinks that’s what the going rate is to buy friends. Behold the grown-up political version of “If I give you my lunch, can I sit with you?”
Insiders were saying that he was scrambling to keep his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, which several Democrats who were actually loyal to their party, were champing at the bit to pull from him after the November election.
On top of this year’s $100,000, his PAC has donated an additional $30,000 since last year. Will this be enough to change the opinion of those who regard Lieberman as the Benedict-Arnold-turncoat-McCain-hugging-Judas-Escariot-war-monger of the Senate? Is $130,000 the cost of a chairmanship, or will the Democrats ‘pull the Chair out from under him’?
In addition, the Senate is perilously close to the coveted veto-proof, filibuster-proof Democratic majority that seemed like a dream until recently. With the races of Begich vs. Stevens, Franken vs. Coleman and Martin vs. Chambliss hanging in the air, things are uncertain.
A few Senators have come out in recent days calling for Lieberman’s removal – Senator Bernie Sanders, and Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee Senator Patrick Leahy, both from Vermont. “I am one who does not feel that somebody should be rewarded with a major chairmanship after doing what he did,” Leahy said in a Vermont Public Radio interview on Friday.
Some of Lieberman’s attacks on Obama “went beyond the pale,” Leahy said. “I would feel that had I done something similar that I would not be chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee in the next Congress.”
“To reward Senator Lieberman with a major committee chairmanship would be a slap in the face of millions of Americans who worked tirelessly for Barack Obama and who want to see real change in our country,” said Sanders in the statement sent our way by his office.
“Appointing someone to a major post who led the opposition to everything we are fighting for is not ‘change we can believe in,'” Sanders continued. “I very much hope that Senator Lieberman stays in the Democratic caucus and is successful in regaining the confidence of those whom he has disappointed. This is not a time, however, in which he should be rewarded with a major committee chairmanship.”
The in-boxes of Democratic Senators across the nation are being filled to capacity as we speak. I don’t have a Democratic Senator…..yet. But if I did, I would be adding to the electronic pile of outrage in my Senator’s email account.
This will be voted on by the Senate NEXT WEEK, so time is of the essence if you want your voice to be heard.
And I’d like to post again one of my all-time favorite political cartoons for all the Senate Democrats (and those who caucus with them) except for the two distinguished gentlemen from Vermont.