Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What's the big Lieberman deal?

I have never completely understood why I'm supposed to hate Joe Lieberman so intensely. For him to have a primary challenge from the left, sure, naturally. For him to have diminished standing as a senator and especially in the eyes of Democrats, yes. I can even see the argument for removing his chairmanship. But I guess I have trouble quite getting the vehemence of the anti-Lieberman faction.

Let's be honest: Lieberman's rhetoric this year was partisan but not equivalent to Zell Miller's odious 2004 rant against John Kerry. His hawkishness is unlikely to be of much import in the new Congress. And isn't Lieberman still a Democratic ally on more issues than he's an enemy?

Or, am I wrong and traitors need to be punished, period? Would one of you lefty types care to explain?


candycanesammy said...

you don't have to hate him intensely (i won't tell you how you "have" to feel), but you do have to recognize he's a jackass and a fucktard. here's some light reading to nudge you on your way to that realization:





Rob said...

All true! So do you think the Dems made a mistake letting him stay on as chairman, and if so how serious a mistake?

candycanesammy said...

yes, i think they are spineless. it was a mistake for two reasons:

1) it shows you can be a complete piece of shit and get away with it.

2) he's really fucking ineffective at his homeland security post.

how big of a mistake i can't say, because i'm not privy to the inner workings of the senate and because it remains to be seen.

but the main thing is: no sir, i don't like it. fuck joe lieberman -- i thought he was a turd in 2000, and he is exponentially more of a shit mountain now.

g33kgrrl said...

My main problem is that he didn't do his damn job as Committee Chairman during the Bush years. No investigations! Didn't use the subpoena power! There's no win here for the Dems: either they get a Chair who doesn't care about his Committee and he keeps not investigating, or he starts investigating under the Obama Administration and there's worries that the investigations are politically tainted. No good.

Also, I'm still seriously annoyed that this site's visual verification for commenting doesn't work in Firefox. What decade is this again?

g33kgrrl said...

Actually, let me amend that - there's no win here for the country. We all deserve the Chairmanship and any potential investigations of the government to be as politically untainted as possible. I know that sounds hopelessly idealistic, but we do deserve it.

Don Hotdog said...

It also shows what a little bullshit club the senate is.

Do a shitty job as homeland security chairman and call a presidential nominee a marxist? Keep your committee chair and continue being shitty!

Get indicted for bribery is Alaska? Standing ovation when you return!

Rob said...

The complaint that he's been a lousy chairman dovetails well with the "little bullshit club" complaint. Because when is the last time anybody got removed from a chairmanship for not doing a good job?

(Actually that's not totally a rhetorical question... but my sense is that it is not common...)

Since this seems to have been basically Obama's doing, let's hope the new administration has a very specific idea of what their end of the bargain is...

Don Hotdog said...

It makes sense for Obama to stick up for him. He looks magnanimous, keeps the unity talk going and maybe he gets a favor from Lieberman in his pocket.

I don't like rewarding bad behavior but maybe everyone should chill the fuck out because Barry's got this one too.

Saxdrop said...

subpoenas need to be bipartisan. Besides the fact that the Senate committees usually get what they want, Senate committees (with the exception of Judiciary) rarely use subpoenas because they dont like to, and because the ranking member has to sign off on it.

These rules change every congress though, so it's possible they will change them next year and lean on Lieberman to do more.

This doesn't negate anything anyone's said here - there are certainly lots of reasons to dislike Lieberman if that's your persuasion. But I'd keep this in mind before making him culpable for an inert committee.

the cold cowboy said...

lieberman has always blown, and he deserves the ire. no, he's never been a good chair, etc. but - and maybe i'm too jaded due to my years as a bullshit club junior employee - i don't think this matters too much in the grand scheme, and it doesn't seem worth getting too pissed about. he's not going to start furiously investigating obama - especially now. and frankly, if he had reason to investigate, maybe he would -- would that be so bad? what if it was warranted for shitsake? dude will fuck up at some point and i'd rather not brush it under the rug Bush-Nixon-Reagan style.

let him pretend he's relevant for the next four years and then kiss his precious seat goodbye.

Jake said...

I think it would have been fine to strip him of the chairmanship -- they're more about prestige than anything else, apparently. His comment that it would be "unacceptable" to him is stupid, because he has no leverage. What is he going to do, start voting with the Republicans? That makes no sense.

Lieberman is what he is, and he'll vote how he votes. I think it would have been more than fair to put someone more loyal in that chairmanship, as that's how things work. It's all a power play, and Lieberman won by showing he can piss on the rug and get away with it. That's all this is.

That said, I'd love for someone to beat him in his next election, and I'm really not all that liberal.