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By the way, another aspect of the Lieberman committee assignment fight that's being discussed in a less-than-accurate manner, I think, is the question of whether having 60 seats in the Senate under a Democratic banner that's been expanded enough to include Lieberman makes any kind of difference.

It's a central tenet of Ben Pershing's conclusion that Obama's comments on the-thing-not-actually-in-controversy were "the smartest move yet in his (short) stint as president-elect":

On a practical level, keeping Lieberman in the fold helps Obama's math problem, which is: 57 does not equal 60. Obama will need 60 votes in the Senate to accomplish any of his big priorities -- on taxes, health care and so on -- and alienating Lieberman would mean that he would be one vote shorter of that filibuster-proof majority. Holding on to Lieberman means having to woo one fewer Republican.

But as we've discussed before, cloture votes aren't often strict party line roll calls. Having 60 seats, in other words, is only a dependable tool in a tightly disciplined caucus. It's great to have lots of Democrats, no doubt. But the Senate isn't the kind of place where simply being able to count to 60 means you're going to get 60. It's not really built for that kind of operation in the first place, with the amount of power the rules give each individual Senator. Neither are Senators typically inclined to try and exercise that sort of tight control over their colleagues. While the bulk of the votes in any cloture roll call are usually fairly predictable by looking at party affiliation, it's the outcome we're concerned with, not the almost-outcome. Yes, getting as close to 60 seats as possible means Democrats minimize the number of Republicans (or whatever) they'd have to persuade in order to prevail. But if you start with the premise that there are persuadable votes out there based on the underlying issue and not solely on party affiliation, then the obsession with 60 becomes a little less important. And if you're also operating on the premise that Lieberman acts based on a stable set of political principles, then where he comes down vis-a-vis the 60 has little or nothing to do with what party affiliation he chooses for himself.

In other words, you're only actually concerned about Lieberman as part of the 60 if you believe he's a petulant prick who'll put his personality before the country and his constituents. And if you believe that, what the hell are you doing advocating keeping him in charge of anything at all, much less the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee?

It seems to me that since "57 does not equal 60" (and neither does 58), the question still swings on persuasion of people outside the caucus. And if that's a given, how much difference does it really make whether you're persuading Lieberman, or whether you're persuading Olympia Snowe?

One compromise I've seen bandied about is that we/they/someone ought to extract some kind of promise from Lieberman that he'll vote with us on cloture -- sight unseen, amazingly -- in exchange for keeping his committee gavel. But we're just now finishing up with a presidency that couldn't be forced to live up to obligations imposed on it by actual federal law. And this is an "administration" with which Lieberman actually agreed and openly aligned himself! So what makes anybody think that there's any possible promise that'd actually be enforceable? Who's going to arbitrate questions arising under this proposed agreement? Who'd be empowered to call Lieberman on it when he insists that thus and such a question is technically not covered, and even if it is, so what? Nobody. But who'll live with the consequences? Everybody.

None for me, thanks. Not interested.

No, we got sold on the 60 number under different circumstances, and really, nobody who ever threw out the old "can't do anything without 60 votes" line over the past two years never meant that all that was necessary was having 60 Senators call themselves Democrats. The line was always about 60 votes, not 60 seats. Because the Senators offering that line up knew way better than to say that.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:00 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  you are damn right (11+ / 0-)

    60 votes does not equal 60 seats or vice versa

    •  THEN GIVE ME NAMES (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      therion, aaraujo

      49 Dems in the Senate.
      plus Bernie Sanders = 50
      plus 6 new Dems = 56
      plus THE ONLY THREE PRO-CHOICE REPUBLICANS (Snowe, Collins, Specter) = 59
      plus Lieberman = 60

      So if you seriously don't think that the Republicans will filibuster to keep progressive judges off the bench, please, give me the name of these "others" Republicans who will not vote for a filibuster.

      Be specific.  I want names.  Because if you can't come up with any, then you're risking decades of anti-progressive appointees nominated to the Supreme Court.

      That's a lot to gamble, so please, give us names.  

      If the Dem's keep Lieberman on as chair of Homeland Security, there's virtually nothing to lose.  We can outvote him in an up and down vote in the Senate.

      If we piss him off and Lieberman decides to caucus with the Republicans, you're risking reproductive rights, workers rights, civil rights, gay rights.

      So be specific.  Who are these "other" Republicans who would not want to try to block progressive appointees to the Supreme Court??

      •  Isn't the 'gang of 14' still in effect? (0+ / 0-)

        Some of them may have lost or retired, but aren't there a group of Democratic and Republican Senators who agreed not to filibuster judicial nominees?  Or, was that just for Bush, not for Obama?

        You can lead a Republican to the facts, but you can't make him think.

        by Greasy Grant on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:16:44 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  course (0+ / 0-)

        Bush taught us how to get people appointed.
        just wait for congress to go home.

      •  as hard as it is to accept... (0+ / 0-)

        ...there are things that SOME republicans will be willing to voteon.  Hell there are things that MOST republicans would be willing to vote on.

        It's only the most political partisan ploys that cause a fillibuster anyway.

        You are entitled to express your opinion. But you are NOT entitled to agreement.

        by DawnG on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:25:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Two words (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sherri in TX, grasshopper
        Nuclear Option. Secondly, I don't expect Republicans to fillibister as long as Obama remains popular.
      •  Names: Franken. Begich. Martin. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Superribbie, Leftovers

        At least one of those names could still become quite relevant.

        If the Dems keep Lieberman on as chair of Homeland Security, there's virtually nothing to lose.

        Unless he discovers a new passion for executive oversight, that is.

        Lieberman's goal is to remain in the public eye by choosing high-profile "man bites dog" positions and actions.  Gadflying the new Obama administration as a powerful committee chair would be a no-brainer for him.  

        As for the rest, Lieberman has a pretty consistent liberal voting record once you get away from Israel/Iraq/Middle East issues.  If he's truly willing to jettison those principles and vote the other way on judges just because he doesn't get to chair the committee of his choosing, then I don't see how we can trust him under any circumstance.  

        Anyway, where does the extortion end?  He'll be on the outs with the majority for the next 2 years, regardless.  If he votes as Republican number 41 on a crucial filibuster, will we keep hearing the same threats when it comes time to 'reward' him for that?  "Don't piss him off, or he'll do it AGAIN!"

        I say cut him loose and let him show his true colors, 'cause he's gonna do it anyway.

        Wow! I can see America from my house now!

        by turbonium on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:37:39 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're a gambler (0+ / 0-)

          So you're willing to throw away Lieberman today in the hopes that we'll be able to win one of the three contested seats.

          By the way, the odds favor the republicans in these seats so far.

          And if we don't win one of those seats, you don't think it's a big deal that we lose an opportunity to place progessive judges on the bench?

          Amazing, shortsighted and amazing.

          •  ...and you're Charlie Brown gambling on Lucy (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            grasshopper

            to hold the football steady this time.  You're making the huge assumption that the giving or withholding of a committee chairmanship determines whether Joe Lieberman will uphold his principles on domestic issues, or vote against them out of pure spite.  

            I say Joe Lieberman is responsible for how Joe Lieberman votes.  Not the Democratic caucus.  Further, I've seen little to indicate that appeasing him produces results.  Rewarding his 2006 betrayal of CT Dems with a plum committee slot didn't exactly keep him from campaigning for John McCain, did it?

            So if we're going to play this game, why not turn it around? Let Lieberman earn his way back into the good graces of the next Democratic Congress (2010) by playing ball on judges and all the rest over the next 2 years.  That way, he'll at least have something hanging over his head.  Giving him the HS chair now makes it a done deal, and he can screw us later anyway.

            Wow! I can see America from my house now!

            by turbonium on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 03:15:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Just ridiculous (0+ / 0-)

              Honestly, this is like posting on Michele Malkin's website.  Lots of sound and fury, and no logic.

              1.  What do Democrats have to lose by letting Lieberman keep his post?
              1.  Polls look bad for Lieberman for 2012, so this will probably be his last four years.  If you don't let him keep some scrap of prestige, why wouldn't he try to screw over the same democrats who stripped him from his chair?
              1.  Why would you be willing to risk giving the Republicans enough votes to fillibuster when it costs you nothing to keep Lieberman on?
              1.  There are only 3 pro-choice Republicans (Specter, Colllins, Snowe), so if you piss off Joe, how do you get to 60 votes to prevent a filibuster.
              1.  Roe v. Wade is the most important red meat issue the Republicans have.  Do you seriously think they're going to let Obama appoint progessive judges when (if they caucus with Lieberman) they have enough votes to filibuster?
              •  Just wondering (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                turbonium

                Are you the anonymous Lieberwhore aide? You know the one who's telling the Dems to be scared, very scared because, well because Lieberwhore has so much leverage and he's been such a wonderful Democrat Senator and how he's promised that he'll be real good Democrat politician now and how President-elect Osama is really  a wonderful man and he's not really a Marxist and he's not a really a danger to the Jewish state and he's a real loyal American and how he will never investigate the Osama administration and he's sorry that he didn't investigate the Bush admininstration on Katrina and how he's sorry he campaigned for Norm Coleman and Susam Collins and how he absolutely promises now that he will not campaign for any conservatives. Also too he says he won't tell anyone now that Sarah Palin is the bestest governor in the whole wide world  now that Joe looked at the polling n'all and besides it won't help Joe in any way now.  

              •  Malkin? Now you're simply being insulting. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                fnb

                I've stated my case and you've made yours--repeatedly, LOUDLY and without responding to my critique of your central assumption, I might add, if we are to speak of "logic" vs. "sound and fury".

                So, I'm done.  Good day to you.

                Wow! I can see America from my house now!

                by turbonium on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 04:47:38 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

          •  Oh, and, don't look now, but... (0+ / 0-)

            ...Mark Begich just took the lead in AK, with more blue-leaning regions left to be tallied.

            By the way, the odds favor the republicans in these seats so far.

            People who were paying attention to this situation are not surprised by this, either.

            Wow! I can see America from my house now!

            by turbonium on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:11:02 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  Cloture is decided on a vote by vote basis. (0+ / 0-)

        Cloture and filibusters are decided Issue bu issue vote by vote. Leadership is a one vote winner takes all for 2 years issue which gives additional powers.  Cloture votes and fillibusters are decided on an issue by issue basis. Lieberman will vote according to his support/opposition on the bill regardless of party affiliation.  If it is a bill to pull all troops out of Iraq , he will vote against cloture regardless if he is a D, I, or R.  If it is a vote to expand SCHIP he will vote for cloture, even if he is an R and the other R's oppose it.  If we let him keep his chair, that means on every issue or appointment, we would have to say vote this way or we'll pull your chairmanship.  If he goes for this, it means he is selling his vote and we are buying it (or extorting it), which puts the Dems in a very bad PR situation.

      •  Republicans who won't block SC nominee (0+ / 0-)

        You want the name of a Republican who won't block a Progressive supreme court nominee-- Joe Fucking Lieberman. Even if he is a republican he won't fillibuster a nominee.

        The idea that we must have Joe lieberman in the caucus to avoid fillibusters assumes that Lieberman will get a brain transplant and oppose everything he ever supported to become a lock step republican.  That just isn't true.

        Then the same people argue that Lieberman votes with Dems on everything but the Iraq war.

        The Paradox is palpable.

  •  Like he's gonna vote our way anyway on the stuff (8+ / 0-)

    The President Elect Championed.

    The GOP has resorted to Cannibalism. Please send Condiments to GOP HQ

    by JML9999 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:02:23 PM PST

  •  My letter to both CA senators (16+ / 0-)

    Dear Senator Boxer/Feinstein,

    I have observed the antics of Senator Joe Lieberman with mounting frustration over the past eight years, beginning with his tepid assistance to running mate Al Gore in the 2000 Florida recount debacle.

    When he ran against the Democratic nominee as an "independent Democrat" in CT two years ago, he promised to support a Democrat in the White House in 2008.  As we well know, that has become the latest of of his broken promises.

    I'll admit I am personally angry about this: I'm tired of watching this guy trash our party, whether it's with critical cloture votes, or appearances as the token "Democrat" on FOX News, or his vocal campaigning against the most inspiring presidential nominee our party has produced in many a year.  

    Still, this isn't about retribution--or at least, not entirely.  Our new president-elect is a pragmatist, and I respect his recent gesture of support for Senator Lieberman's remaining with the caucus.  I support engaging those with whom we do not always agree.  

    I am, however, entirely opposed to his retaining the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee.  This committee should have been leading the way in forcing much-needed oversight upon the recalcitrant Bush-Cheney Administration.  

    Yet under Sen. Lieberman, we got a collusion of silence, even as Rep. Waxman did all the heavy lifting in the other chamber.  His inaction is akin to a major-league slugger who refuses to hit hanging curve balls.  Going forward, we will need someone who shares President-elect Obama's priorities on national security--and also someone who will take point on a "truth and reconciliation" inquiry into the myriad undisclosed abuses of the past administration.

    Joseph Lieberman is neither of those.  It may be his choice to vote with and caucus with the Democratic majority in the future, but he should not be allowed to hold that uncertain allegiance hostage in order to cling to a powerful post he's demonstrated he does not deserve.  

    As your constituent, I strongly urge you to vote to strip him of this vital chairmanship when our caucus next convenes.  

    Sincerely,
    XXXXXXXXX

    Wow! I can see America from my house now!

    by turbonium on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:03:55 PM PST

  •  That Lieberman's fate is even a question... (13+ / 0-)


    ...is disturbing evidence that the 111th will be no better than the 110th.

    The fact is that the average man's love of liberty is nine-tenths imaginary, exactly like his love of sense, justice and truth. - H.L. Mencken

    by two roads on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:04:54 PM PST

  •  Why does everyone assume (12+ / 0-)

    that Lieberman of the Republican caucus would vote differently than Lieberman of the Democratic caucus?

    "The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself" - Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    by djbender on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:04:58 PM PST

  •  Reaching across the aisle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dolphin777

    I'm with Obama.  Keep Lieberman nominally a Democrat, just not on the committee where he's voted to support Bush.  Consider it an example of reaching across the aisle... a very short distance.

    Look at it this way:  Having Lieberman caucusing with the Democrats but sometimes sounding like a Republican will make the Democrats look like a more divers party.

    It's just a name.  Might as well not start off your presidency pissing off a senator.

    "What doesn't have credibility today is the truth." -- Bill Moyers, The Daily Show 6/22/05

    by Baron Dave on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:05:14 PM PST

    •  this is the whole problem (8+ / 0-)

      The reason many people around here find Holy Joe so objectionable is that he uses his status as a Democrat to go around and slam other Democrats.  It's not bipartisanship or being a moderate, it is backstabbing.  We've got a couple members of our caucus who probably sound like Republicans a lot of the time (Landrieu and Nelson), but they don't use their status as moderate Democrats to slam other Democrats.  They just work with Republicans when they have to, but they don't go out of their way to undercut the rest of the party.

      "At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life. We would resuscitate him, then execute him." - a california prison spokesman

      by cubicalization on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:13:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Goppies for Obama didn't bother you (0+ / 0-)

        And yet, when several Republicans and/or conservatives endorsed Obama, that was cheered around here.  Well, I cheered too:  They made the right choice.

        No, I don't think Lieberman (who I met once, very briefly) is a very good party member.  But I'm not a Democrat either (scrupulously belonging to no political party) and so the party designation doesn't mean a lot to me.

        There are things the Democrats can do just with the numbers.  I think they should do them.  Don't let Obama start off like Bush did circa 2001, pissing off Patrick Leahy.  If Joe wants to leave, fine.  Perhaps we'll get a goppie or two to switch to the Dems.

        "What doesn't have credibility today is the truth." -- Bill Moyers, The Daily Show 6/22/05

        by Baron Dave on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:21:07 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Lieberman is that knife in the back (0+ / 0-)

          just waiting for the stabbing motion.

          IIRC he was one of the so-called gang of 14 who decided that dems didn't need to exercise their power - just let Bush do whatever he wanted to do.

          I would love to see the Senate dems at least strip him of chairmanship.  He can go play with the rethugs if he wants.  Lets just say no to Joe the Bridge to Nowhere!

    •  Clarify your terms. (0+ / 0-)

      What does that mean? The first question is his chairmanship.

      That's the question we're looking for your position on. Chairman, or no?

      What he does with his caucus membership after that is his problem.

  •  I'm officially Over It (13+ / 0-)

    Obama - possibly through expedience, but fully supported by the separation-of-powers principle - has properly left the matter to Reid.

    Reid - being a coward - will finish all of Lieberman's shit sandwich and ask for seconds.

    In other news... THE ENTIRE AMERICAN ECONOMY IS COLLAPSING.

    Just thought I'd mention it.

  •  During the Senate Organizing in January, (7+ / 0-)

    the Republicans will talk Reid to up the filibuster requirement to 2/3 ( ie 67 votes), so the 60 number is irrelevant.

    Notice: This Comment © ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:06:13 PM PST

  •  Besides (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, NoMoJoe, dolphin777

    His claim is that he should be allowed to keep his chair because he agrees with us on 90% of domestic issues.  Now, I wouldn't put it past him to start voting the other way on all domestic issues, but it's not a threat he's made explicitly as of yet.  If that's what he means, he should come out and say it.  If he's not actually doing this, reporting that Joe hurts our math on cloture wrt domestic issues is hooey.

    "At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life. We would resuscitate him, then execute him." - a california prison spokesman

    by cubicalization on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:06:33 PM PST

  •  Obama's position is (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Daxman, dolphin777

    that the Senate needs to do what it wants to do.  You don't seriously argue with that approach, do you?

    The point it that a guy that ran on a theme of we aren't "one party or the other, just Americans," isn't going to yank out a long knife in public.

    In the final analysis, revenge is not what you want demonstrated here.  Hold your water!

    •  No, I don't disagree. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Klick2con10ue

      So get on with it and strip him of his committee chair, as a matter of internal housekeeping, and then leave the decision of what he does in reaction up to him.

      No conflict with Obama's stated position whatsoever, in my view. Not that I care that much. But I mention it to satisfy those who do.

  •  If Democrats had balls (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, Wu Wei, Klick2con10ue

    they would change the rules and limit cloture to the way it worked in pre-Republican, pre-Helms/Coburn times.  They can change the rules by majority vote.

  •  Forget All Of This Junk..... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dolphin777

    Just kick that guy out.

    Would any of us really want a back stabber and a snitch as a co-worker?

  •  I totally agree (5+ / 0-)

    Lieberman is not to be trusted...proven fact.

    Time to shake the tree and let the rotten fruit drop.

  •  I don't think its confusion (5+ / 0-)

    but deliberate distortion or laziness.

    The Village must be preserved.

    You know its going badly for wingnuts when they denounce the Politico as liberally biased.

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:08:49 PM PST

    •  I really don't think we can understate (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur, dolphin777, JaxDem

      how quickly the media jumped on this story because it allows them to be the arbiter and decider of how this works its way out.

      On their terms.

      They get leaks from supporters of both. People hang on every update. They are important again when there is scandal or controversy or an impasse.

      I think this election shook a lot of inside the beltway media elites to the core of their being.

      Drudge didn't work. Rove Atwater didn't work.
      The GOP is not the arbiter of discourse? That is terrifyingly new and different.

      We must re-establish High Borderism and strongly imprint the Village stamp on how this is discussed.

      You know its going badly for wingnuts when they denounce the Politico as liberally biased.

      by LeftHandedMan on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:12:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Lieberman is an asshole, but (4+ / 0-)

    this is precisely how BHO got elected: By downplaying differences, refusing to get drawn into the same old partisan fights, emphasizing unity. Lieberman will owe the President for this if Obama bails him out, and that's a pretty big chit to be able to call in.

    We all hollered for BHO to slice and dice during the campaign.  BHO won by being competent and looking competent. The other side lost bty slicing and dicing.  I'm dying to see Holy Joe's ass kicked, but after what I've seen so far, it strikes me that BHO might possibly be correct in his approach.

    •  Hm. (8+ / 0-)

      Lieberman will owe the President for this if Obama bails him out,

      I doubt Lieberman will see it that way.  He has an enormous sense of entitlement.

      •  He owes the Republican party for supporting (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Inland, Hastur, NoMoJoe, dolphin777, gchaucer2

        him in his election, big time.  

      •  Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dolphin777, JaxDem

        Nobody, but nobody bucks the favor bank. It's the lifeblood of legislation. Lieberman knows it, Obama knows it, and we know it. And if the favor is your chairmanship, and is granted by the President, I really doubt een Lieberman will fail to return it.

        I suspect what we're seeing in BHO with this is a high order of political instinct and savvy--maybe something we haven't seen since LBJ. It bodes very well, and the guy's track record so far is pretty decent.

        •  Well, Joe bucks the "favor bank". (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          rlharry, NoMoJoe, gchaucer2

          He either doesn't repay favors, or he doesn't consider having a committee chairmanship a "favor" at all.  To the extent I see him trading favors, I see him looking for a position in the McCain administration, in a sort of heads I win, tails you lose.

          In reality, if chairs were handed out on merit, he wouldn't get one.  If they were handed out by party, he still doesn't get one.  If they were handed out by seniority, he wouldn't get a good one.  And if they were handed out to keep Lieberman from torpedoing the democrats, I would say that without a chair, Lieberman can't torpedoe the democrats.  He can only be a republican, and a pretty weak one at that.

        •  Sorry, I should have (0+ / 0-)

          scrolled down to read all the comments; I posted the same friends/enemies upthread.  Oh well, great minds...

          The art of teaching is clarity and the art of learing is to listen. Vanda Scaravelli

          by JaxDem on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:36:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  I'm in favor of a quiet visit to Joe from Rahm! (0+ / 0-)
    •  bho won by being competent (7+ / 0-)

      But if Joe gets to chair a hugely important committee, that will not be because of "competence."  That will be because of the hard work of partisan Democrats getting Democratic senators elected.  It's wrong for him to benefit an effort he tried actively to undermine., and sets a bad example that will make the caucus impossible to whip.

      "At no point are we not going to value the sanctity of life. We would resuscitate him, then execute him." - a california prison spokesman

      by cubicalization on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:16:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  hear hear n/t (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Klick2con10ue
      •  To reach out to your enemy always risks a bitten (0+ / 0-)

        hand. The expected thing is to knock the guy down. As I say, I would relish the sight. But I (and most of you, I'll bet) am the same voter who was hollering for Obama to kick bloody ass and confront, confront, confront--and I was wrong; the other side did that and looked bad, while Obama came off the cool head in the storm.

        He's doing the same thing now. He's neutralizing his adversary with these moves, getting him into the fold again, establishing control over him. The more I think about this, the more I think he's doing the clever and politcally effective thing.

        Of course I would like to see that visit from Rahm. Preferably late at night.

    •  All well and good. (0+ / 0-)

      But actually precisely opposite the point I was making, which is that what Obama's talking about isn't actually the question at hand.

  •  Caucus is relevant to ONE vote only: (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    glitterscale
    setting up the committees.  Being in the caucus commits people to the votes on organization and that's it, AFAIK.

    So Lieberman basically is going to caucus with dem, vote for the committee chairs, and will remain a free agent with regard to every other vote.

    Granted, the same is true for any other senator, but Lieberman has shown himself to be such an incompetent when it comes to oversight, such a doof when it comes to exec branch organization, such a sucker for every republican talking point, that there's not reason to give him a chair.  If chairs were awarded solely on merit, he wouldn't get one.  If solely on party, he doesn't get one.  If solely on seniority, he doesn't get a GOOD one.

  •  My Congressman didnt listen to me on the bailout (7+ / 0-)

    why do I think my Senators will listen to me on Lieberjerk?

    Off with their heads.

    "It stinks." - Jay Sherman

    by angry liberaltarian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:11:19 PM PST

  •  Is there a rumor, which I've missed out here (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Skid, Greasy Grant, Cay

    on my island in the middle of the sea?  That Holy Joe is NOT a "petulant prick"?!

    Aloha   ..  ..  ..

  •  I Never Believed the 60 Vote Story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elishastephens, Skid, Hastur

    Repbublicans barely got their 40 votes on many occaissions.  Now Dems have six to eight votes more. For most all of Obama's issues that is plenty enough.

    You lose more by caving on the principle of party discipline than you gain by placating Lieberman.

    All fillibusters and fillibuster threats are on specific issues where Senators votes their constituency.  Dems joing Republicans,  Repubicans vote with Dems. It all depends on the issue.

     

    "I can't believe that the noblest impulse of man-- his compassion for another-- can be completely dead here."

    by Daxman on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:12:33 PM PST

    •  It was a farce because Reid rarely (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlharry

      (IIRC- it was ONCE he made them actually have to philabuster) took them all the way.  If they had had to pull several all-nighters it would have been a different story You Betcha.  Reid is a limp noodle as well as a Blue Dog.

  •  It's laughable (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    racerx, rlharry, Skid, Hastur

    that keeping Lieberman is somehow part of the "change" mandate.  

    I can't stand to look at the guy anymore.

    •  Yep. More mealy-mouthed Reid/Pelosi crap. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hastur, Cay

      Making creative excuses for striving to fail or tow the other party's line.

      "Its a grave digger's song, Praising God and State. So the Nation can live, So we all can remain as cattle. They demand a sacrifice..." -Flipper

      by Skid on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:19:29 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Snowe & Collins ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Hastur, math4barack

    If the R's ever want to get back into power again, they better start drinking our KoolAid and some of them will start voting passage of our bills.

    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -Thomas Jefferson

    by ezdidit on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:17:09 PM PST

  •  Leave him be on Homeland Security (0+ / 0-)

    Bush supporter Lieberman is Obama's insurance policy against Republican criticism of Homeland security.

  •  I'll make this point again: (0+ / 0-)

    The Dems in the Senate will gain at least one seat on EVERY one of the Senate committees, giving them a three seat majority.

    This means, of course, that the GOP will be LOSING one seat on every committee.

    And on the HS&GA committee (17 total seats) its worse for the GOP, as four of the current GOP members will be gone: Domenici and Warner retired, Sununu lost, and Stevens will be in jail. Add to that that Coleman may lose to Franken, and of the 7 seats that the GOP will hold, 3, maybe 2, will be veterans.

    Throw Lieberman out of the Dem caucus and you almost force the GOP to put him in a GOP seat, with Susan Collins, one of his BFF's.

    •  OK. (0+ / 0-)

      But two whole stories today have been about how I'm not arguing that he be kicked out of the caucus.

      How many seats do we get if we let unicorns into the caucus?

      •  Not arguing with you Kagro X - we are both (0+ / 0-)

        arguing with the spineless Dem leadership.

        It's 2006 all over again, except that this time it's happening just days after the election.

        Imagine what the Neocons would do with a victory the breadth of Obama's. I have already braced myself for how disappointed I'm going to be with him and the Dem Congress - and know that I've not braced myself enough.

        Cheers

  •  Am I the only here who doesn't give a shit about (0+ / 0-)

    Liebermann?  All the shit that's flying around today and 3 out of the last 5 front page posts are about this asswipe?  Who cares?  At worst he's an annoying fly buzzing around.

  •  I still want "Jimmy Stewart" filibusters (4+ / 0-)

    Make them stand up there before C-Span and have it replayed over and over on cable if they want to filibuster.

    Why this phoning it in shit? Cowards!

    "extravagant advantage for the few, ultimately depresses the many." FDR

    by Jim R on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:19:29 PM PST

  •  Every committee seat that Lieberman holds (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    racerx, rlharry, Hastur

    on to is a seat that a MORE DESERVING Democrat doesn't get.

    Democratic senators that campaigned for President-elect Obama will not have a place at the table because the fuckwad Lieberman is sitting in their chair.

    It's pretty straightforward.

  •  I think it's larger than Liberman (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JaxDem

    as I have said elsewhere. Hmm, maybe I should just quote myself!

    ...I think the strategic plan is to carve away the left of the Republican Party from the wingnuts who have no chance of winning anything much. If you ditch Lieberman, you really ditch this strategy and it's just bigger than one man, however you feel about him and I don't like him. But I think I see a long-range plan here in the works. I am wondering whether the second act in this drama revolves around the magic number 58. With 58 Senators, should we prevail in Alaska and Minnesota, the way is open to peel off Snowe and Collins, by getting them into cabinet positions or offering them nice ambassadorships. Their seats are really personally held, and would not be GOP holds in a mid-term. So if we see that happen over the next 2 years - cabinet position for one now, ambassadorship for the other later - then I think the strategy will become clear.

    Obama's object is not to punish Lieberman but to marginalize the uber-rights of the GOP. In that context, suffering Lieberman may not be too high a price to pay.

    McCain: Out of touch and out of time.

    by Anne Elk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:20:30 PM PST

  •  Trusting ... (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fnb, rlharry, Hastur, Hey BB, salmonleap

    Sen. Nutmeg to always vote in favor of cloture in return for his chairmanship would be one of the most galactically stupid agreements ever made.

    The Republican brand: "Consequences, schmonsequences, as long as I'm rich"

    by D in Northern Virginia on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:22:34 PM PST

  •  There are a lot of GOP moderates up in 2010... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fnb

    ...they can read the tea leaves, Harry...they will vote for cloture and even with you OFTEN...do not give this self-loving prick any kind of love, got it?

    Abortions for some, miniature American flags for others.

    by Aqualad08 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:23:18 PM PST

  •  yawn. i'm sorry but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    claxtonious the liberal

    not ANOTHER lieberman story? Must I scrape the bottom of the barrel over in recent diaries just to have something new to read?

    Is there nothing else going on today, tomorrow this week?

    sigh.

  •  I'm not a Dem, but I am a citizen... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Klick2con10ue
    I don't think the Dems should allow Lieberman to caucus with them.  If he caucuses with the repubs, or votes with them for that matter, it will only prove to the country what kind of scum bag he really is.
  •  crossovers? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Joon, Klick2con10ue, salmonleap

    I'd like to see an effort to get a couple of GOP Senators to jump ship and become Demcocrats.  That would be a lot better than whoring ourselves to make Lieberman happy.  He'll screw Obama in the end anyway.

    Regulate banks, not bedrooms

    by Eagleye on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:27:49 PM PST

  •  The heart of the matter: (0+ / 0-)

    One compromise I've seen bandied about is that we/they/someone ought to extract some kind of promise from Lieberman that he'll vote with us on cloture -- sight unseen, amazingly -- in exchange for keeping his committee gavel. But we're just now finishing up with a presidency that couldn't be forced to live up to obligations imposed on it by actual federal law. And this is an "administration" with which Lieberman actually agreed and openly aligned himself! So what makes anybody think that there's any possible promise that'd actually be enforceable? Who's going to arbitrate questions arising under this proposed agreement? Who'd be empowered to call Lieberman on it when he insists that thus and such a question is technically not covered, and even if it is, so what? Nobody. But who'll live with the consequences? Everybody.

  •  who needs 60 when you have a ... (0+ / 0-)

    MANDATE from the People...I can't wait to see the pols that stand in the way of Obama Mania especially any that are up for re-election in 2010...bring 'em on!

  •  Man, I hope Kos is paying you (0+ / 0-)

    twice what WaPo is paying Pershing.

    Although this isn't brain surgery.

    McCain, Republican Party, Palin = Captain, Sinking Ship, Anchor.

    by Pescadero Bill on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:34:11 PM PST

  •  Why was a 60 person caucus not the requirement of (4+ / 0-)

    the Republican majority?  They seemed to be able to shove through a disastrous agenda with a 55 seat majority.  The Democratic majority is larger now...yet it's not enough.  That's a hell of a lot of goalpost moving.

    As for Lieberman- strip him of his chairmanship and dare him to vote against the Democratic caucus.  Remind him that he's all alone in 2012, and if he wants to immolate himself in a fit of pique then we'll be more than happy to remove him from office (using his own petulant voting record.)

    I don't see how he has any leverage.  If he stomps off from the caucus, then he'll lose his seat.  He sought to do real damage to the caucus; under no circumstance should he be allowed to hold so powerful a seat.  He's just going to use it to further harrass the sitting Democatic president.

    "and the people bowed and prayed to the neon gods they'd made" The Sound of Silence

    by electricgrendel on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:37:11 PM PST

    •  Spot On! (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      rlharry, electricgrendel

      This kind of grasping (for JL's vote, promise, etc.) bothers me beyond the obvious consequences for bad behavior thing.

      It seems to presume that carefully crafted legislation which follows the wishes of the American Voters who handed Obama and Democrats a mandate will be summarily rejected out of hand by the very people whose platform was soundly rejected by those same voters.

      Can we just, for a minute, set the bloviators and naysayers aside and focus on getting done what the American People want done and let the chips fall where they may?

      It's like McCain's refrain that Obama "never bucked his party on anything."  So what?  If my party has a better idea, a better plan, why wouldn't I vote with them?  Geeez.  

    •  Recent History (0+ / 0-)

      Because, most Blathercrat Senators are spineless morons that just wanted to be friends with Lott and Thurmond and the rest of the thugs. The Blathercrats should have been sandbagging the Klepticans on every single vote since the coup d'etat in 2000.

      "You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately.... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God,—go!"—Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches, vol. 3, part 7, pp. 34–35 (1897).

  •  Really strange situation (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elishastephens, Joon, rlharry

    I don't recall who said they'd run the government like they'd run a business.

    But imagine the scenario. You're the CEO of the company. One of your VP, in public events, trashes your brand and pushes the competitor's brand instead. I don't know, but I'm pretty certain that the VP would be offered, at the absurdly uncertain best, a loss of status and start over as the copy boy. In reality, his ass would be out the door at E=MC2 speed, not in some Survivors' Voting Off The Island idiocy.

    Wall Street: It matters because you have to know when to bring a steel reinforced umbrella on days it's raining stock brokers.

    by Deltones on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:38:30 PM PST

  •  What was George W. Bush's (0+ / 0-)

    Defending bad taste and liberalism since 2005.

    by jurassicpork on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:39:46 PM PST

  •  Did Joe get a strongly worded threat? (0+ / 0-)

    "The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in times of great moral crisis maintain their neutrality." - Dante

    by jazzence on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:41:52 PM PST

    •  Nah, just a letter (0+ / 0-)

      Reid was too chicken to do it orally. The letter said:
      Dear Darling Joe,
      I was mildly disappointed by your actions during this past presidential campaign. Now that the campaign is over can we just let bygones be bygones. Will you please, please agree to stay on as DHS chair because I am relying on you for the 60th vote.  Pretty please, please don't embarrass President Obama by investigating anything. If you however do choose to investigate him can you please do it in 2009 and not 2012. Also too, if you investigate in 2009 I will promise that all Democratic senators will come out and campaign for you for 2010 and if you don't invesitgate at all then they'll all donate $5,000 to your senatorial campaign. Additionally you can have my parking spot if you keep your word. I hope you find this acceptable. Please feel free to call me if you have any further requests.

      Hugs and kisses, your good friend also, Harry

  •  Well said, but... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Klick2con10ue

    you omitted the whole discussion of cloture and the filibuster itself (which I know has been discussed before). The idea that "you need 60 votes to get anything done" is utter nonsense, or would be if people actually had to filibuster if they wanted to stand in the way of majority rule.

    Of course, that also begs the question - whatever happened to "majority rule"? Last I checked, a "majority" was 51. The whole supermajority filibuster thing is completely undemocratic and should be attacked at every opportunity.

    Amending the Consitution - supermajority by all means. Normal legislative business - NO!

    Eli Stephens
    Left I on the News

    by elishastephens on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:44:44 PM PST

  •  example: issue pro choice judge for SCOTUS: Snowe (0+ / 0-)

    Specter, Collins, ...

    This is an example where Republicans make up the difference to get us to 60 to be able to invoke cloture and get our Supreme Court Justice confirmed.

    It will depend on the issue in most cases.

    And there will be some defectors from our side and some defectors on their side.

    Hopefully, those who won't vote with us on the actual piece of legislation who are democrats will at least vote for cloture.

    And their defectors will also vote for cloture to at least give us an up or down vote on the legislation.

    So, as Kagro X says, traditional media is totally confused about this.

  •  I stand with the President-elect (0+ / 0-)

    I can't stand Lieberman; I wouldn't walk across the street to insult him.  However, if Obama has done the math, thinks he can use the vote, I put my loyalty above my emotion.  Who the hell am I to let my anger override the judgment of the man I worked to elect.

  •  Well said, I've tried, but not said it as well. (0+ / 0-)

    Really, who cares. Either LIEberman will vote his beliefs or he will vote for his best interest.

    Either way, Democrats have no control over this guy. We can demonize him or idolize him, but neither view produces any enforceable effect.

    Anyone as unreliable as that has no business heading a committee that exercises oversight on OUR president ... OUR President Obama (BIG smile).

    What possible benefit do we derive from keeping LIEberman in a position of power?

    My Senator (FLs Nelson) is pressing for LIEberman's continued power. Can anyone ask him why Democrats would want that?

    In a nation that votes for leaders, a "silent majority" has "silently" voted for it's own destruction.

    by FeloniousMonk on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:49:07 PM PST

  •  I'm getting really angry (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry, Jason Mannino, math4barack

    Why do we have to make all these arguments to kick Lieberman out when it should have been an automatic response by the Dem leadership?
    Why is he so powrful?
    who are behind him?

    Who helped/financed him when he ran as an independent after being defeated by the democrat in the primary?
    Why the republican chose a laughable nominee during his senate election (the republican did not vote for their candidate, they voted for Joe)

    Who in the media is supporting Lieberman?
    Who is trying to justify keeping him in his current position?  
    Who is spreading the rumor suggesting that obama is OK with keeping lieberman as chairman? (in reality he only suggested that it would be ok if lieberman caucus with the democrats. no mention of the chairmanship)

    If people don't get to the bottom of the origin/source of Lieberman's  power he will always out-manuever us. So far he has been able to do this. Hopefully not anymore.

  •  I mean the math is easier the that (0+ / 0-)

    We don't have 60 Democratic Senators even if AK, MN and GA go D.  Lieberman isn't a democrat any more, the voters decided that for him.  The voters decided it's really not for the Senate to over turn that decision.  Elections matter, and he lost the one where he got to be the Democratic Senator from Connecticut.  If he wants to vote with the Dems fine but we can't start over-turning the decisions of the voters.  Throw him out as we should have as soon as he lost his primary.

  •  Yes yes yes BUT (0+ / 0-)

    There's an interesting point to be made, which as usual was made much more eloquently and directly by Driftglass earlier today:

    http://driftglass.blogspot.com/

    where he suggests an alternative interpretation on this whole thing, at least as regards how Obama might be seeing things.

    Worth a read and a thought.

  •  Lieberman could throw a McCain tantrum (0+ / 0-)

    Republican senator John McCain threw a multi-year temper tantrum against his Senate caucus and president. Lieberman could certainly do the same thing.

    On the other hand, Lieberman is a fanatical neo-con, dedicated to Christian-Muslim war, so he would feel free to break any promises he made.

  •  No arguement (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rlharry

    What I am in favor of, is throwing Mr. Lieberman out on his ass. Talking reason to Olympia Snowe, it seems to me, beats the hell out of trying to talk reason to Joe.

    Common Sense is not Common

    by RustyBrown on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 03:02:58 PM PST

  •  Send Harry and Joe home! (0+ / 0-)

    I hate Harry almost as much as Lieberman. Send 'em both packin'.

    I was not lying. I said things that later on seemed to be untrue. Richard Nixon, discussing Watergate

    by roydoe on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 03:15:35 PM PST

  •  If there is no difference re the numbers (0+ / 0-)

    Then it seems like the Lieberman in debt is better than the Lieberman scorned, even if everybody here is pissed off at him.

    •  I don't believe he'll honor his debt. (0+ / 0-)

      So we're just left holding the bag.

      •  Why? Because he lined up with Bush (0+ / 0-)

        on Iraq, and Bush is a lying sack of shit, therefore Lieberman is also a lying sack of shit?  That's your thesis, from what I can tell.  Guilt by association, Bushie-style.  Even though I want Lieberman chairing the Dog-Catching Committee instead of Homeland Security, I say your reasoning sucks.

        Obama himself might just as well be un-trustable because he voted for a couple of Bush budgets.  In fact, didn't he actually vote for the Administration position over 50% of the time?  So we can't trust him either, I guess.

        Guilt by association is just as stupid when you're linking Lieberman to Bush as it is when you're linking Obama to Bill Ayers.

        There are real reasons we have to get Lieberman off the chairmanship of Homeland Security.  The most important reason is that that particular chairmanship positions Lieberman to be a gadfly or worse on the so-called War on Terror, the very issue for which he vilified Obama.  I'm just guessing, here, but I bet that Obama has this base covered one way or another.  Either Lieberman has already privately caved to Obama on key points, or Obama won't let him stay in that chair, or Obama otherwise has his nuts in a nutcracker and will force Lieberman to do what Obama wants when the time comes.  Or maybe it's just better to have Lieberman in the open where his moves against Obama on the terror war are on the record.  In any event, I learned not to second-guess Obama a while back.

        A secondary reason is that it would make everyone feel better if a turncoat gets a comeuppance.  But the only person who has the right to grind that particular axe is President-Elect Obama, not you or me or anyone else like us who itches to slap Lieberman upside the head.

        Like The Man says:

         title=

        "The old boy's network. In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting."

        by Simian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:56:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow, you won this with a picture. Not. (0+ / 0-)

          I don't think he'll honor his debt because he doesn't have to. There's no security in it.

          You can't just remove a chairman in the Senate by snapping your fingers. You have to pass a resolution on the Senate floor naming a new chairman.

          And if you believe you have to have 60 Democratic seats in order to pass anything, guess what happens to the new resolution Democrats propose?

          You got a picture that answers that one?

          •  Make up your mind. (0+ / 0-)
            You claimed to want Lieberman removed from the chairmanship of the HS Committee because you deem him untrustworthy since he sided with an untrustworthy President on Iraq.  But when I point out the guilt-by-association fallacy that we all decried when it was applied to our side, and hand  you a much better reason to strip Joe of the chairmanship (his views on the subject matter of the committee are diametrically opposed to Obama's), suddenly you're citing how hard it is to remove a committee chair and how impossible it will be to pass anything if we piss off poor, untrustworthy Joe.

            So which is it?  Do you want him out, or do you only want him out if it is made explicit that the reason is that he can't be trusted since he sided with Bush?

            "The old boy's network. In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting."

            by Simian on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 11:17:52 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's not guilt by association. (0+ / 0-)

              It's straight up guilt. The fallacy is your own. There's no "association" necessary. The guy committed his own affirmative acts.

              The electorate -- and Obama -- have been pretty clear about the country being on the wrong track as regards homeland security and the efficacy of Congressional oversight. He's aligned himself affirmatively with the side identified as the wrong track. Obama was crystal clear about the need to put us on a different track.

              So, let's do it already. He was at least as clear about that as he was about putting partisanship behind him.

              This idea you have in your head that I'm unfairly "associating" Lieberman with someone else is extraplanetary in its disconnect from reality. It's hardly worth discussing, and surely not worth discussing with silly photos and captions.

              •  We agree that Lieberman is guilty by his acts. (0+ / 0-)

                Jeez, lighten up on the picture thing.  It was supposed to be funny.  Sorry if it hurt your feelings.

                We agree that Lieberman's actions make him guilty.  What I questioned was your argument that he can't be trusted to abide by any hypothetical deal.  You said

                But we're just now finishing up with a presidency that couldn't be forced to live up to obligations imposed on it by actual federal law. And this is an "administration" with which Lieberman actually agreed and openly aligned himself! So what makes anybody think that there's any possible promise that'd actually be enforceable?

                Sounds like guilt by association to me.  If you say it's not, fine.  But if that is so, then the only reason you give for why Lieberman can't be trusted to abide by the terms of a deal is that such deals are difficult to enforce.  That argument is unpersuasive.  There's no particular reason that a deal with Lieberman would be any more difficult to enforce than any other such deal.  And yet that's the way things are done.  These things can certainly be enforced, e.g., if Lieberman reneges he could be frozen out of earmarks.  He could be kicked off the party caucus.  He could find that any bill he offers gets no traction from whatever committee has jurisdiction.  And so on.  

                Lieberman has demonstrated open hostility to both President-Elect Obama and to Obama's approach to security.  For that he needs to step down from the chair of the HS Committee or be thrown off.  But he has not demonstrated that his word cannot be trusted.  Hence, I dispute your assertion that no deal should be considered.

                "The old boy's network. In the McCain campaign, that's called a staff meeting."

                by Simian on Thu Nov 13, 2008 at 11:11:51 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

  •  Bush did just fine with Dem majority (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Klick2con10ue

    Well said.  

    I think it's clear where Lieberman's loyalty is.

    Is was ousted by the Dems in CT, elected by the others.

    He has broken his promise to work for withdrawing from Iraq.  He has campaigned with McCain, even speaking at the convention, even after he knew he didn't have the VP spot.  He campaigned for other Republicans.  He even propped up Hagee.

    This is not just a man voting for the war because of a difference of opinion.

    Obama needs a Senate that will support him, not party members that will undermine him, as Lieberman has done, and may continue to do.  

    Personally, I agree with the diarist, Lieberman needs to be take out of the Homeland seat.  

    I also feel that he should be kept close, by giving him a seat that isn't so important.  If he walks, that's his choice, and he wasn't really on our side anyway.  Better to know that now.

  •  60 is overrated (0+ / 0-)

    As so much attention has been paid to the magic number of 60 simply because it's filibuster-proof, and as much as I would like also to see 60 Democrats in the Senate, I think that it could work to Obama's advantage to not have what on the surface appears to be a solid 60 votes.

    The more legislation he and the Democrats are able to pass with the vote tallies not being strictly 60D-40R (or 58D/2I-40R), the less loud the drumbeat from the right about partisanship will be. (Which you know will dominate the media.)

    With Obama and Reid (and to a lesser extent Pelosi) having to work on developing a more bi-partisan coalition, their efficacy ratings will go up, furthering the notion that Obama is someone that can get things done and — in coattail fashion — lifting opinions of the Democratic congress.

    Of course, with Martin, Franken and Begich swelling the numbers closer to 60, I think there are plenty of Republicans who will see the writing on the wall — especially regarding good, sound programs — and vote with Obama and the Democrats. Certainly, just as there are plenty of right-leaning (wallowing?) Democrats capable of mucking things up, there are also a few left-leaning Republicans who can rise to the occasion and do the right correct thing.

  •  FUCK PERSUASION. THREATEN THE F'KERS (0+ / 0-)

    do to them what they did to us:

    1. give them 2 REAL shitty choices,
    1. Call them names for NOT picking A over B!

    what the fuck is so complicated?

    We control Congress and the executive - have 1 of these ivy hot shot policies fucking dorks put together a spreadsheet of EVERYTHIGN each asshole senator gets,

    THEN START TAKING EVERYTHIGN AWAY.

    Persuade them? WHAT THE FUCK!

    ugh.

    rmm.

    Yond Cassius has a lean and hungry look; He thinks too much: such men are dangerous

    by seabos84 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 04:54:16 PM PST

  •  Democrats need 60 (0+ / 0-)

    Democrats need 60 ... The Republicans needed only 50.  Must be the new math.

  •  51 needed for legislation (0+ / 0-)

    51 votes are needed to pass legislation, not 60.

    We don't need 60 votes to advance progressive causes.  We need 51.  Which we have.  Stop falling into this trap.  If Repubs want to filibuster, then MAKE THEM FILIBUSTER.

    We fold too easily whenever they threaten a filibuster.  Make them actually do it, instead of backing down every time and going around claiming we need 60 votes to pass any legislation.

    •  Force them to pull all-nighters (0+ / 0-)

      Well said, the other way to fight filibusters is to force the Senatorial gasbag to talk continuously to maintain his filibuster. That's the way it used to be done you know. Sure a few Senators can keep a filibuster going for a day or two, but 3, 4, 5 days without a break to sit down, use the john, or sleep? I think not. When the Klepticans threaten a filibuster, call their bluff damnit. Force them to do a good old-fashioned round-the-clock chinwag and I bet the filibuster threats decrease in number thereafter.

      "You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing lately.... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God,—go!"—Thomas Carlyle, Oliver Cromwell’s Letters and Speeches, vol. 3, part 7, pp. 34–35 (1897).

  •  Calling All Senators (0+ / 0-)

    Today I called the following members of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee to urge them to vote to strip Joe Lieberman of his committee chairmanship.  Most were respectful, but short, as expected.  However, Senator Kennedy's aide said he had been receiving hundreds of calls just like mine.  My message was:  I believe in forgiveness, but I honestly don't believe Lieberman's policies and philosophies are in alignment with the Democratic party.  I said I had worked very hard to get Senator Obama elected, and I did not appreciate Lieberman's attacks. There needs to be consequences for his behavior.  

    Senator Debbie Stabenow, Michigan, Chair
    (202) 224-4822
    Senator Harry Reid, Nevada
    (202) 224-3542

    Senator John Kerry, Massachusetts
    (202) 224-2742

    Senator Daniel Inouye, West Virginia
    (202) 224-3934

    Senator Robert Byrd
    (202) 224-3954

    Senator Edward Kennedy, Massachusetts
    (202) 224-4543

    Senator Joseph Biden, Delaware
    (202) 224-5042

    Senator Patrick Leahy, Vermont
    (202) 224-4242

    Senator Christopher Dodd, Connecticut
    (202) 224-2823

    Senator Tom Harkin, Iowa
    (202) 224-3254

    Senator Max Baucus, Montana
    (202) 224-2651
    Senator Richard Durbin, Illinois
    (202) 224-2152

    Senator Kent Conrad, North Dakota
    (202) 224-2043

    Senator Carl Levin, Michigan
    (202) 224-6221

    Senator Herbert Kohl, Wisconsin
    (202) 224-5653

    Senator Barbara Boxer, California
    (202) 224-3553

    Senator Hillary Clinton, New York
    (202) 224-4451

    Senator Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico
    (202) 224-5521

    Senator Mark Pryor, Arkansas
    (202) 224-2353

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

    by rlharry on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 05:41:05 PM PST

  •  Dem senators try to save Lieberman (0+ / 0-)

    Politico is reporting that:

    Several top Democratic senators have launched a behind-the-scenes effort to save Sen. Joe Lieberman’s chairmanship, despite calls from a Democratic base seeking retribution for Lieberman’s vocal support of John McCain’s presidential campaign.

    Sens. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), Ken Salazar (D-Colo.), Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) are all involved in the effort, according to top Senate Democratic aides. These four senators — along with other Lieberman allies — are reaching out to the rest of the Democratic Senate caucus to try to ensure Lieberman survives a secret ballot vote on whether to strip him of his chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    Even though Lieberman said the following, they want to save his butt. I guess I'm dense but I don't understand it.

    "The real ticket for change this year is the McCain/Palin ticket."

    "I'm not going to go to that convention, the Republican convention, and spend my time attacking Barack Obama."

    "Colleagues like Barack Obama were voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield."

    "On Iraq, John McCain has been right and consistent, and Senator Obama has been wrong."

    "The fact that the spokesperson for Hamas would say they would welcome the election of Senator Obama really does raise a question..."

    "Senator McCain has more experience, more balance, knows when to be tough, when to be soft. I worry that Senator Obama has not had that experience and therefore ultimately will compromise our security."

    "Senator McCain was the one who said 'I'm going back to Washington and I'm suspending my campaign.' Senator Obama followed him here yesterday and left right away."

    "The Democratic party has been taken over by people who are not from the mainstream of America."

    "Is, notwithstanding his celebrity status, Barack Obama ready to lead? And my answer is no."

  •  Pershing's comment also assumes (0+ / 0-)

    that there will rarely if ever be 3-4 Republican Senators willing to join the Dems on major issues despite the slaughter on election.

    It's amazing what people will do to others in the name of themselves.

    by ABlueKansas on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 09:27:40 PM PST

  •  The Neutron Bomb Option (0+ / 0-)

    No one, as far as I know, has talked about the neutron bomb option as a way of eliminating this controversy.

    What's that you say? Well, it's a nuclear option that leaves all the buildings standing, so to speak.

    The nuclear option, if you remember, was the idea of eliminating cloture altogether. This could theoretically be done by a simple majority vote, since cloture is a Senate rule and not a constitutional requirement.

    The neutron bomb option would not eliminate cloture--it would just reduce the required number from 60 to 55. This is still a super-majority, and it still protects the rights of the minority to blab get their point across. What it does do is eliminate the need to have Joe Lieberman on board. It's a better option than negotiating with him because it also eliminates the need to have any Republicans on board to get legislation passed.

    I personally think we should eschew the neutron bomb option. Really, the long-term good of the country is probably served by keeping the gentile old-boys' club intact, up to a point. (That point would be that it would be open to old girls, too.) But I do think that Lieberman and the Republicans should think seriously about what could happen if they decide to become obstructionist. It could end a centuries' old tradition.

  •  LIE-berman (0+ / 0-)

    LIE-berman the Sneaken Decon is very GOOD at the KNIFE in the back. The Internet is Ripe for one of LIE-bermans late night Knives in the Back. Just wait and see, LIE-berman put one in CLINTONS back do not forget that, and the whole SENATE was knifed by LIE-berman and they still stick up for this SNEAK-N DECON where is your backbones.

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