Friday, November 14, 2008

Homeland Joe, I Think No

I'll blame GWB for as long as the name Homeland is attached to any official agency for the hair standing up on the back of my neck every time I see it. I have very nearly the same reaction to Joe Lieberman keeping his chair of the Senate Committee bearing its name.

I approve of politicians acting on the basis of their conscience rather than votes or personal gain. I don't have a problem with politicians disagreeing with their Party, frequently the most effective resistance to stupidity comes from inside. It has automatic validation as sincere. It is something to have attention paid to it and it is fairly rare.

Anyone who paid attention to politics and foreign affairs over the past six years knows where Joe Lieberman stands on Iraq and over the past four years where Obama stands and they are opposed. Lieberman supporting McCain on the basis of Iraq alone wouldn't be a surprise and shouldn't have been. Given Joe's views, it was the right thing to do, a lot of important aspects of that issue were heavily weighted by who won. So far, so good.

Then the train runs off the track. A former Democratic VP nominee, a Senator supported by Obama in his contested Primary - which he lost - and an Independent caucusing with Democrats and holding an important Chair not only criticizes that Party's nominee on that issue, but goes on about experience and the security of the nation in very negative terms. Once you've gone past disagreeing about a policy to questioning the very patriotism of your Party's nominee you've signalled your complete opposition to your Party's President Elect and your determination to harm him politically.

There is absolutely no reason for the Democratic Party Senators to give such a platform and such power to an avowed opponent. If you are to excuse his McCain backing on the basis of principle then you cannot discount his vote on the issues you'd expect him to support as a part of the Democratic Caucus simply because he shifts to Republican Caucus. If he is so childish as to switch his social issues positions over that Chair, then he is a dangerous ally. If he is that untrustworthy and unprincipled there is no forgiving his Election behavior. Supporting him in his quest to keep his Chairmanship is not rational thinking, it is wishful thinking to avoid a conflict which is inevitable in either scenario.

I have respect for Evan Bayh but his position that avoiding this conflict helps to keep Lieberman's vote within the Caucus' positions is poor thinking. This needs to be resolved cleanly and quickly, there is no reason to leave a scab to be picked at. I'm real sure a bunch of Senators have been waiting with bated breath for my analysis...


crallspace said...

With a fairly more significant Congressional majority for the Dems, perhaps he'll be less relevant. Those who argue that we've had a liberal congress since 06 don't seem to account that Lieberman is the tipping point for the Senate. Some majority... right.

Good post. Hello from Corvallis.

Chuck Butcher said...

Nice to see you Crallspace,
At 57,8 what happens is that the couple reasonable R Senators are in play. Giving a bit to get them isn't a bad thing, I'm a fan of govt having to work for it.