Is it possible to be appalled by something, while at the same time being altogether unsurprised?! If so, that’s a decent way to describe my perplexed and deeply disturbed sentiment over a quietly evolving story.
Many Democrats in the Senate want Lieberman out of the Democratic Caucus.
It might seem obvious to some of you – Lieberman, once a democratic candidate for Vice President himself, supported John McCain and actively campaigned for him. He must be punished.
Again I say, “WHAT?!”
The Democratic Party has ridiculed the Republicans for being heartless, soulless, scorched-earth dividers with hate in their hearts and discrimination in their laws. They are the party of Lee Atwater. They are the party of Strom Thurmond. They are the party of Karl Rove.
The Democratic Party is the ‘big tent party’. It’s the party where it’s ok to have a different idea or to be different or look different. It’s the party that counts every vote. It’s the party that cares about the little guy. It’s the party that allows dissent and disagreement and -by all means – thought. At least, it’s supposed to be all of those things.
Senate Democrats – led by Harry Reid – are so mad about Lieberman campaigning for John McCain that they are pushing for the removal of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee and the Governmental Affairs Committee. He was offered chairmanship of a lesser committee if he stepped down voluntarily, but he refused. It’s speculated that should it come to a vote quickly, Lieberman would probably retain his leadership of these committees, but this juvenile outburst of animosity against him from the Dems is outrageous!
My question is simple. How can the Democratic Party seriously be fuming at Joe Lieberman for supporting John McCain, when all through the primaries and all through the general election, they touted with pride every endorsement from a Republican that they could scrape up?! Remember how proud they were of the Colin Powell endorsement? So, why is what’s good for the goose suddenly not good for the gander?
Interestingly enough, this issue is where I find myself doling out my first kudo to President-elect Obama. Senator Obama (deal with it, he IS still a senator) has decided to speak up along with President Clinton in dissent of the notion of removing Lieberman from the Democratic Caucus. What remains unclear however is whether his post at the helm of the two committees will be in tact.
Attention Democrats: you just elected “The One” – the man who is supposed to bring us all together. You just swept into office with an electoral mandate the man who has sworn to bridge the divide and to bring the parties together. You wept and cheered for a leader who campaigned on the idea that we should not use divisiveness to solve our problems, that we need new ideas and people in the fold. And despite his liberal and murky voting record, Senator Obama pontificates time and time again on the need for us to work across the aisle moving forward to bring about the changes this country so desperately needs. Don’t go veering wildly off that message by kicking out somebody who campaigned across the aisle. It’s petty and antethetical to your whole entire message.
Because I keep hearing this, let me put a notion to bed once and for all. Joe Lieberman campaigned for John McCain, NOT against Barack Obama. Lieberman was very disciplined about not blatantly trashing Obama on the campaign trail and instead focused on the postive aspects of John McCain. Yes, he wasn’t all rainbows and rosepedals about Senator Obama, but that’s OK. If you watched him on the campaign trail or if you saw his address to the RNC, you know that he was NOT down in the mud. Yet, sure enough, I got the email from Senator Obama’s campaign on the night of his address to the RNC urging me to be up in arms about his so-called disgusting, negative comments. Is it seriously all that surprising that someone would have concerns about Senator Obama’s candidacy? Give me a break.
Of course, things are rarely as simple as they seem, and there is much backstory and minutiae to be debated. I will say this: The relationship between Senator Lieberman and the Democratic Party was at its most strained during the campaign for his re-election in 2006. At the time, the war in Iraq was at its nadir of popularity and Senator Lieberman was strongly in support of the president over the issue. Democratic response? The Democratic Party gave Lieberman exactly zero support against his primary opponent and refused to even endorse his candidacy for re-election. The man who did win the nomination against him ultimately still lost when Lieberman ran as an independent candidate, and the Democrats fumed with resentment. They fumed with resentment silently for two years however, because without Lieberman caucasing with them, they would have no majority. Then, when Lieberman endorsed and toured with John McCain – his long time friend and ally – the camel’s back broke.
Well, I know a little bit about how Senator Lieberman feels. This is a deeply personal spin on a highly relevant topic. And let me say firmly and directly – if this type of behavior continues from the Democrats, don’t be surprised if I leave your caucas too. Don’t be surprised if many people do.