Earlier today, I encouraged people to start calling members of the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, to ask them to oust Joe Lieberman as chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Does this kind of drive stand a chance? Is that really an option on the table for Harry Reid and the Steering Committee?
Yeah, it is, says TPM's Greg Sargent:
Senator Harry Reid's office has just confirmed to me, on the record, that Reid is considering a new step: Asking all the Democratic Senators to vote on Lieberman's fate at their upcoming full caucus meeting if Reid and Lieberman are unable to agree on a way for Lieberman to relinquish his plum chairmanship of the Homeland Security committee.
"If Senator Reid and Lieberman don't reach an agreement, his future chairmanship may be put to a vote by the caucus as a whole on November 18th," Reid spokesperson Jim Manley told me, in response to my questions about the next step being mulled by Reid.
Manley's assertion represents the first public acknowledgment that this possibility is being seriously considered, and is a significant ratcheting up of pressure on Lieberman by Reid's office.
So if you had any doubts about whether this could really happen and were holding back from calling, don't.
Your Steering and Outreach Committee members:
Debbie Stabenow, Michigan - Chairwoman (202) 224-4822
Harry Reid, Nevada (202) 224-3542
John Kerry, Massachusetts (202) 224-2742
Daniel Inouye, Hawaii (202) 224-3934
Robert Byrd, West Virginia (202) 224-3954
Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts (202) 224-4543
Joe Biden, Delaware (202) 224-5042
Patrick Leahy, Vermont (202) 224-4242
Chris Dodd, Connecticut (202) 224-2823
Tom Harkin, Iowa (202) 224-3254
Max Baucus, Montana (202) 224-2651
Richard Durbin, Illinois (202) 224-2152
Kent Conrad, North Dakota (202) 224-2043
Carl Levin, Michigan (202) 224-6221
Herbert Kohl, Wisconsin (202) 224-5653
Barbara Boxer, California (202) 224-3553
Hillary Clinton, New York (202) 224-4451
Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico (202) 224-5521
Mark Pryor, Arkansas (202) 224-2353
But remember, this will ultimately be ratified by the entire Senate Democratic Caucus. So call 'em if you've got 'em. Democratic Senators, that is.
Oh, wait! This just in!
Harry Reid ratchets up the public rhetoric on Joe Lieberman:
"Joe Lieberman has done something that I think was improper, wrong, and I'd like if we weren't on television, I'd use a stronger word of describing what he did," Reid told CNN's John King. "But Joe Lieberman votes with me a lot more than a lot of my senators. He didn't support us on military stuff and he didn't support us on Iraq stuff. You look at his record, it's pretty good."
And by the way, it's looking like the full caucus vote will include the new Democratic Senators-elect. This decision, after all, will be about committee leadership assignments in the 111th Congress, and will be as much their business as anyone else's.
So those of you who've sent us new Senate Dems have some calls to make, too.