Joe loses a few minor subcommittee spots but keeps his big perch on homeland security.
On one level, I guess its good to be tolerant of dissent within the ranks. On another, this guy played both sides and got away with it.
[QUOTE]Democrats Allow Lieberman to Keep Committee Post
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: November 18, 2008
Filed at 12:09 p.m. ET
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Sen. Joe Lieberman will keep his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee despite hard feelings over his support for GOP nominee John McCain during the presidential campaign.
The Connecticut independent will lose a minor panel post as punishment for criticizing Obama this fall.
Lieberman's colleagues in the Democratic caucus voted 42-13 Tuesday on a resolution condemning statements made by Lieberman during the campaign but allowing him to keep the Homeland Security Committee gavel. He loses an Environment and Public Works panel subcommittee chairmanship, however.
Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he was very angry by Lieberman's actions but that "we're looking forward, we're not looking back."
Added Reid: "Is this a time when we walk out of here and say, 'Boy, did we get even?"' said Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Lieberman's grasp on his chairmanship has gotten stronger since President-elect Barack Obama signaled to Democratic leaders that he's not interested in punishing Lieberman for boosting McCain and criticizing Obama during the long campaign.
"This is the beginning of a new chapter, and I know that my colleagues in the Senate Democratic Caucus were moved not only by the kind words that Senator Reid said about my longtime record, but by the appeal from President-elect Obama himself that the nation now unite to confront our very serious problems," Lieberman said after the vote.
Anger toward Lieberman seems to have softened since Election Day, and Democrats didn't want to drive him from the Democratic caucus by taking away his chairmanship and send the wrong signals as Obama takes office on a pledge to unite the country. Lieberman had indicated it would be unacceptable for him to lose his chairmanship.
Lieberman, who was Democratic presidential nominee Al Gore's running mate in 2000, was re-elected in 2006 as an independent after losing his state's Democratic primary. He remains a registered Democrat and aligns with the party inside the Senate.
"It's time to unite our country," said Lieberman supporter Ken Salazar, D-Colo.
On the other side were senators who feel that one requirement to be installed in a leadership position is party loyalty.
"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," Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said in a statement Friday. "Appointing someone to a major post who led the opposition to everything we are fighting for is not 'change we can believe in."'[/QUOTE]
As a CT resident who doesn't particularly like Joe L or dislike him, I feel I'm entitled to my representation in Congress. I totaly resent the Seniority system and the party system that allows a handfull of party leaders to strip me of my representation in Congress based on party loyalty. The entire seniority system and party mechanism in Congress is designed to maintain the power of the Party at the expense of the publics fair representaion. The Seniority/loyalty system that the parties have instituted is the prime reason we have a bought government.
[QUOTE=Winstonbiggs;2868891]As a CT resident who doesn't particularly like Joe L or dislike him, I feel I'm entitled to my representation in Congress. I totaly resent the Seniority system and the party system that allows a handfull of party leaders to strip me of my representation in Congress based on party loyalty. The entire seniority system and party mechanism in Congress is designed to maintain the power of the Party at the expense of the publics fair representaion. The Seniority/loyalty system that the parties have instituted is the prime reason we have a bought government.[/QUOTE]
You make some good points there.
Thinking about the politics of this some more, Obama's intervention on Lieberman's behalf makes sense: Obama has an ambitious domestic agenda (energy, healthcare, etc.) and Lieberman has historically been a reliable Democratic vote on domestic issues. He might not have been so reliable while caucusing with the GOP.
Plus, Obama has often promised to be a unifier and letting Lieberman off the hook is both easy to do and highly visible. He'll be seen as practicing what he preached in this instance, which every politician wants to be seen doing.
I have to concede the politics are smart, even if I can't quite get over Lieberman's effusive praise of Sarah Palin --who he'd barely met-- at the GOP convention. Ugh.