Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Joe Lieberman talks with Katie Couric

Simply put - Joe at his best.
Way to go, Joe!

Watch CBS Videos Online

And so ends the LetJoeStay Blog.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

He Stays!!!

In a 42-13 vote, the Senate Democrats refused to strip Sen. Joe Lieberman of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Lieberman instead will lose his chairmanship of a global warming subcommittee on the Environment and Public Works Commission as a rebuke for supporting John McCain and attacking Barack Obama during the presidential campaign.

Strip Show

Later this morning, the members of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee will determine the fate of Senator Joseph Lieberman. While there is precedent for stripping a Chairman of his position, the situations in which this has occurred are rare and usually involve instances where there are accusations of corruption (e.g. Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. ) or scandal (e.g. Congressman Wilbur Mills). Removing a Chairman for ideological disagreements is almost unheard of. Almost.

In 1974, House Democrats unseated Armed Services Committee Chairman F. Edward Hebert in what amounted to a revolt of the increasingly young and liberal House Democratic Caucus against the seniority system. Many of the younger Democrats were not pleased when Hebert had condescendingly addressed the new members from the Watergate Class of 1974 as “boys and girls.” More importantly, they considered him to be too amenable to the Pentagon.

Similarly today, with the recent additions to their Senate majority having flooded Congress on a wave of anti-Bush/Republican sentiment, the Democratic Party looks to unseat a senior member who they view as too amenable to the Republican Party. Specifically they claim that, as Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Senator Lieberman has been unwilling to conduct their desired investigations of the Bush administration. Endorsing Senator John McCain may have been the last straw, but Senator Lieberman’s real problems stem from the overall perception that he is part of the old system, too aligned with the Republicans and unwilling to adopt the ideology of this generation’s Watergate Class.

What will the outcome of today’s vote by the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee? If history is a guide, Senator Lieberman may find himself reading up on F. Edward Hebert.

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Dodd/Salazar Compromise: Joe Stays

According to tomorrow’s Washington Post, a compromise may be in the works in which Senator Lieberman would remain Chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee but lose one of his low-profile subcommittee chairmanships. The newspaper states that:

A pair of Senate Democrats will offer a compromise plan today to sanction Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) for his support of the Republican presidential ticket but allow him to keep a key committee chairmanship and remain in the party caucus.

Senators and aides said yesterday that Sens. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.) and Ken Salazar (D-Colo.) would present a plan at a caucus meeting that would strip Lieberman of a low-profile subcommittee chairmanship, possibly one on global warming issues. But Lieberman would retain the gavel of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
I’m glad to see cooler heads are prevailing. I’m sure the “base” will love that.

Update: Tuesday 11.18

CNN agrees. Senator Lieberman will keep his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

One Day More

Tomorrow the members of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee will decide whether to strip Senator Lieberman of his Chairmanship positions or if they will Let Joe Stay. What can you do to help? Call your Senators and the members of the Steering and Outreach Committee and tell them that removing Senator Lieberman would be an act of extreme pettiness, unbefitting the new political environment which President-elect Obama wishes to create. Loyalty and friendship are virtues to be desired, not disparaged. Simply put, Senator Liebrman should not be punished for endorsing and campagining for his close friend, Senator John McCain.

Don't have the time? Download the official Let Joe Stay letter and fax it to Senator Harry Reid at 202-224-7327. It is our job to make our voices heard.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Crashing The Party Part II: Pataki vs. Giuliani

I had recently written a post discussing that when former Secretary of State Colin Powell crossed party lines to endorse Senator Obama, he was hailed as a man who put country above party. But when Senator Lieberman followed his convictions and supported Senator McCain he was criticized as being a sellout, a turncoat and a traitor. The explanations I have received have been that the Republicans would have punished Powell had he still been playing an active roll in the Party, but since he’s retired, they chose to leave him alone.

But then what about Giuliani?

In 1994, New York City Mayor Giuliani endorsed Democratic Governor Mario Cuomo against his Republican rival, George Pataki. In doing so, Giuliani stated that:

A moment ago I mentioned the risk we take if we fail to choose wisely. I am well aware of the risk I take as a Republican Mayor endorsing a Democratic Governor. But I have concluded that the risk is worth taking for the sake of the City of New York and the State of New York. Mario Cuomo will simply be a better Governor than George Pataki.

What was the Republican Party’s response for this treachery? Did they support a challenger against Mayor Giuliani during the 1997 primary (ala Ned Lemont)? Did the Republican Party shun Giuliani with the hope that he would quietly fade away? Of course not. As we all know, Giuliani easily won reelection and then ran as the Republican candidate for the United States Senate in 2000 before having to withdraw after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Moreover, not only did he seek his party’s nomination for the United States presidency, but early polls showed him to be the front-runner. Clearly his decision to follow his convictions and cross party lines to endorse Governor Cuomo did not cause his party to seek his ouster. So then why isn’t Senator Lieberman seeing the same consideration and understanding from the Democrats that Giuliani saw from the Republicans? Was his endorsement of Senator McCain somehow more offensive than Giuliani’s endorsement of Cuomo? No. Actually, he pretty much said the same thing:

Political Parties are important in our country, but they are not more important than what’s best for our country. They’re not more important than friendship. They’re not more important than our future and that’s why I’m proudly here.

So, I ask again: Why is it acceptable for Republican Rudy Giuliani to endorse the opposition, but Democratic/Independent Senator Lieberman cannot do the same?

Double standard anyone?

Contact Senator Harry Reid and tell him to Let Joe Stay!

Senator Harry Reid
528 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3542 / Fax: 202-224-7327

Friday, November 14, 2008

A View From The Other Side

A guest post by Ron Reagan

If you asked a Democrat what their biggest problem with the Republican party, a lot of their criticisms would come down to one word - intolerance. Democrats believe that due to the influence of the rich and the religious, the Republicans exclude anyone who doesn't buy into their world view. This criticism has many valid points, and this is coming from a Republican. But if a Democrat wants to make this argument, then the only way to have the moral authority to make it would be if the Democratic Party was a party of tolerance. A party of tolerance is one where many ideas and peoples are allowed to take part and coexist. And while the Republicans are failing at doing this, this is an opportunity for the Democrats to show national leadership and to prove that they are a party of inclusion.

What is the great sin that Senator Joe Lieberman has committed? What Senator Lieberman did was support a man that is universally respected for his service to this country, both in the military and as a legislator. He criticized Barrack Obama during the campaign. OK, I get it. But he said nothing which was not in line with the criticism levied at him by lots of Democrats, including VP-elect Joe Biden and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Sure, one could argue, that was during their own campaigns, but it was wrong to do it during the general election. The problem with that logic is that it says that it is OK to criticize someone when it is for your own benefit, when you can still win, but if you really believe your criticisms, you have to sit on them and support someone you do not believe in. Isn't conviction and principles and wanting the best for your country more important then either careerism or love of the Democratic Party?

What Senator Lieberman has done is something very brave, politically speaking. Unlike all the other Democrats who critized President Obama (just wanted to write those amazing words) when it was beneficial to them, he did it when it was actually going to HURT him. Senator Lieberman knew that the Democrats were going to be mad, and he also knew that he wasn't going to be the Republican VP-nominee because the Republicans didn't support him (he has been a loyal Democrat for a long time don't forget); yet he still endorsed a man he believed would make the better president. He even continued to do so during the end of the campaign when it was obvious that McCain was going to lose. He stood by the man because those are his principles.

I don't think you have to like what those principles are. And you don't have to applaud him for what he did. But I think when you put things into context and his sins, I think you can begrudgingly give the man some respect and not hurl such vitriol at him. He's not some sort of a beast who killed someone in a drunken rage while trying to avoid his lover to whom he owed a copious amount of child support. He just stood for what he believes in.

Barrack Obama is President for one central reason - change. All of us who voted for him desperately want to see the divisiveness of our governance to change. We want something new- a place where people can actually discuss and come together and do what they think is the best for the country. Obama was not elected due to his political ideology or for policy reasons - if you think that then his presidency will not work because it will be too far to the left for what Americans want. We didn't vote to exchange the Republican hit squad for a Demortic hit squad. What we want is something else- people to rise above the pettiness and to try and unite this country. Though you might not have liked his stance, this is what Joe Lieberman tried to do this election. He had his principles and party lines be damned he stuck to them. This is the sort of voice and mindset we need in Washington. To punish and to banish him to the sidelines after a lifetime of nothing but honorable and principled service would be nothing short of showing the intemperate, imperious vindictiveness that was shown by the previous administration. If we have another administration where freedom of thought and the ability to speak one's mind and beliesf is yet again branded as unacceptable, then hope once again is defeated by humanistic greed and vitriol. That's not what we voted for, so don't let it happen again!