So it looks like Lieberman will be allowed to keep his gavel on Homeland Security, mainly because Obama and Dick Durbin want him to. That’s really amazing, considering all the grimy shit Lieberman has pulled over the last eight months and because his chairmanship on Homeland Security gives him subpoena power and means he could open all sorts of baseless investigations into an Obama White House.
That wouldn’t be a big deal were we talking about someone who wasn’t vindictive, petty or self-serving, but sadly, we’re talking about Joe Lieberman here. Maybe a chastened Lieberman will grateful that he dodged the bullet — they’re not kicking him out of the Democratic caucus, either — and treads lightly.
I have plenty of animus in storage for Lieberman. The worst thing about him, to me, is that he uses bipartisanship as a cover for rank political opportunism. His sanctimony is grating, and more importantly, deeply dishonest. I thought Evan Bayh made some good points on Rachel Maddow tonight. The strongest case against Lieberman is that you can not have a guy who claimed that the President-elect is for defeat in Iraq have subpoena power. Furthermore, there is a long-term question of discipline. If Joe simply gets off scott-free, what’s to prevent other senators from doing whatever they want in the future? Moreover, anytime you penalize a caucus member you risk losing a vote, are you supposed to be held hostage to that? …
I don’t agree that Lieberman was motivated by a particular hatred of Obama. I think he was generally pissed at the Dems for backing Lamont (the right decision) and maybe he resented Obama’s swift ascent given the utter failure of Lieberman’s own campaign. I don’t know. I’m not in his head. I think they probably should take his chairmanship, because you have to have some sort of precedent, some sort of standards. But I don’t think they will, mostly because they need all the votes they can get.