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A couple of Ohio commenters -- Ninepatch and besseta -- have noted that when they contacted Sen. Sherrod Brown to express their opinion about whether or not Joe Lieberman should keep his gavel as Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, they received the following response:

   Dear XXXXX:

   Thank you for contacting me regarding Senator Joe Lieberman’s role as chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs.

   While Senate Ethics rules prevent me from commenting on the content of your letter, Senate committee assignments, including chairmanships, are typically determined at the beginning of each Congress. I do not expect any changes to committee assignments until the beginning of the next Congress in January of 2009.

   Thank you again for contacting me.

   Sherrod Brown

I'm here to tell you, Sherrod Brown is snowing you if he's sending you this response.

This is a half-truth at best, and it's a prime example of how Senators use people's confusion over procedure to tell them something bamboozling and slip out the door while you're scratching your head over it. The old "Senatorial Steak Sauce" act, where they feed you bullshit with A-1 on top and tell you it's a porterhouse steak. Because after all, what do you put steak sauce on? Steak, right? (Well, I don't. Because I like to taste the steak. But this is supposed to be about bullshit, anyway.)

Brown doesn't want to answer. Fine. But what he does here is seize on the tangentially-related fact that in January, the Senate will adopt organizing resolutions on the Senate floor that will formalize who will chair each committee, and who will be the ranking minority Senators.

Those content of those resolutions, however, is going to be determined by the outcome of organizing meetings of the Senate Democratic Caucus and the Senate Republican Conference. The Democrats will meet and make their determinations -- including the very thing Ninepatch and besseta were actually asking about -- next week. Not January. Next week.

It's a half truth at the very best. Yes, there won't be any actual, formal changes in committee leadership until January. But the one and only chance Brown will have to influence what goes into the resolutions that cement any changes into place will come next week.

So he freaked out and told you to wait until it was too late.

What a load of shit. He ought to be ashamed of himself. I thought things were supposed to get better and more transparent with him after his callous and shameful vote on the Military Commissions Act, which he cast in a panic over his upcoming election.

I understood the "necessity" of that vote. But this answer is pointless and cowardly.

Now seems as appropriate a time as any, by the way, to announce that we're going to be launching a spinoff Daily Kos community in the near future, dedicated to watching the politics and other happenings in Congress. Details will follow shortly, but you should expect more of this sort of examination as a regular feature. We've worked too hard to try to elect "more and better" Democrats not to watch them carefully, try to understand procedure, and prevent ourselves from being duped by half-truths like this one.

I hope you'll all make a habit of visiting, and that the widespread adoption of that habit will prevent nonsense like this from cropping up too often in the future.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:20 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Let Obama make a call on this. Joe (4+ / 0-)

    was attacking Obama and if Barack wants to show him mercy then let him. He will at least have his vote on anything he wants.

    •  Maybe Dingell/Waxman is more important, frankly.. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Obama has made his quiet miove--which apparently (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      David Boyle, Im with Rosey

      is in support of a "no fighting" position.

    •  Then let's get to the call, already. (6+ / 0-)

      All the talk has been about the question nobody in the Senate is debating: whether or not Lieberman should be allowed to remain in the caucus.

      The debate is about the chairmanship. If Obama wants to have a say on that, he needs to say so already.

    •  Obama already said he was leaving the decision... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      to Reid, after saying he wants to put partisanship aside and not punish people for things past. Still, he said he's leaving the decision to Reid.

      Which does not make me terribly optimistic.  

      The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. Ralph W. Sockman

      by legalchic on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:39:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The President-Elect should not be the deciding (6+ / 0-)

      factor.  We've had far too much of the Senate (and the House) forking its proper power and responsibility to the executive.

      Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

      by Simplify on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:44:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hey, in this case, I think he's earned it. (0+ / 0-)

        It remains to be seen how his presidency turns out, but no other figure in politics has earned more confidence. He won the office on the "judgment" factor. I, for one, don't choose to second guess him on an issue as nuanced as this one.

        Obama is not making the decision for the senate. He's expressing the political landscape he would like going forward. The senate can ignore him if it chooses, but I hope they give him everything he wants right now, because frankly, I think he's the best hope we have until proven otherwise.

        Red-meat lefties are not going to save the day. A wise, thoughtful president might, however.

    •  Perhaps for a day or two. (0+ / 0-)

      After that, this weasel will do anything he wants, and scream "Precedent!" if anyone tries to oust this prick again.

    •  Joe's votes (0+ / 0-)

      Joe will vote the way Joe votes. Who are you kidding? Obama has said enough. He should appear open to those with different views. However, he goes nowhere with a Senate party caucus full of Liebermans.

      "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." -- James Madison

      by besseta on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:58:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Oh, bull (0+ / 0-)

      You think ANYONE can count on Lie-berman for ANYTHING? If it's convenient to him and builds up his ego to play games, leave obama sweating, or force him to shower goodies on Lie-berman in return for his vote, well, that's what Joe will do. Remember he lied to the people of Connecticut, saying it was important to re-elect him so he could help elect a Democratic president in 2008. Why would he be any less likely to lie to Obama? The only person Joe cares about is Joe- and his own massive ego that he needs to get stroked. He LOVES to have people catering to him and babying him ,and if he gets everything he wants now, including keeping his current chairmanship, he will have Obama's balls in a vise (sorry to be indelicate but we're talking about the Sanctimonious Troll of politics here) for the next four years.

      And by the way, this is why I was so leery of Sherrod that I didn't vote for him: he's a great progressive who doesn't have much spine when the chips are down, it seems to me. Again, the Military Cmmissions Act, anyone? And apologizing afterwards wasn't good enough. Has it been repealed yet? No? I didn't think so. Thanks, Sherrod. You better do us right on this one or I'm coming down to your office and pitching a fit. Don't think I'm kidding. I'm only a few blocks away right now!

    •  Shouldn' t be a foregone conclusion (0+ / 0-)

      that Lieberman would reciprocate Obama's grace. Obama saved him in Connecticut, and we see how much Joe thought that obligated him.

      "A president who breaks the law is a threat to the very structure of our government....President Bush has repeatedly violated the law for six years." Al Gore

      by psnyder on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 04:05:50 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Doesn't necessarily mean he supports Joe. (5+ / 0-)

    He's waiting to see which faction twists his arm more effectively, probably. ;)

  •  I like Lea & Perrins, myself. (6+ / 0-)

    I'm Black and I voted No on Prop 8. Ease up out ma face, k?

    by Red Reign on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:23:33 PM PST

  •  "Leave me alone! (18+ / 0-)

    Can't you see I'm busy caving? Tom DeLay will say mean things about me to Chris Wallace if I don't!"

    I've gotten so used to the smart, tough Obama campaign I keep forgetting that these are Senate Democrats we're talking about here, who are an entirely different animal.

    Fired up! Ready to go!

    by RickMassimo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:23:37 PM PST

  •  So (5+ / 0-)

    Where's straight talk, where's Paul Hackett?

    •  Paul Hackett is not progressive (0+ / 0-)

      Sherrod is. If you are from Ohio and unhappy with his response, call him on it. If not, contact your own Senators and express your opinion.

      I'm sending Sherrod a note and perhaps another to his lovely wife, Connie Schultz (that's a play on her book). As an Ohio voter, I'd like an answer to the question and I'd also like him to know how I feel about Lieberman being in any position of any power on any committee. The answer to that is no, no more Lieberman. None. He's not a Dem and should hold a committee chair.

      The most important word in the language of the working class is `solidarity.'--Harry Bridges, longshore union leader

      by Bendygirl on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:26:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Dunno about the rest of you (7+ / 0-)

    but I'm tired of Joke Lieberman.

    Can't the CT voters just recall his ass already so we don't need to figure out what place he has in the Senate?

    Charlie Brown, an American hero who lives in CA-04. This ain't over!

    by LaughingPlanet on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:23:47 PM PST

  •  I used to put A-1 on egg salad sandwiches (7+ / 0-)

    Didn't make it "taste like steakburgers" though.

    "Some people pay for what others pay to avoid." -- Howard Devoto

    by droopyd on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:24:11 PM PST

  •  While that form letter response (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    David in NY, itsmitch, Ninepatch, binkycat

    does not do much for me, overall Sherrod Brown has been one of the best Senators for working people, and that will remain true even if he supported Lieberman on this, which is unclear at best.

    "What we've seen the last few days is nothing less than the final verdict on an economic philosophy that has completely failed." -- Barack Obama

    by TomP on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:24:25 PM PST

  •  Can we bird-dog our Reps for you? n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Peace JD, fritzrth
  •  Sherrod Brown voted for torture in 2006 (9+ / 0-)

    As a member of the House of Representatives, Brown voted for the Military Commissions Act.

    I'm not a purist about many things, but I am a purist about torture.  Since that vote, I've been unable to trust anything that Brown does. He should be primaried in 2012.

    At any rate, this kind of behavior is not surprising coming from a war criminal, however "progressive" much of the rest of his record seems to be.

    This nicely summarizes what's wrong with American political life today. (Source)

    by GreenSooner on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:24:38 PM PST

  •  Phew! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ChurchofBruce, dsteele2

    After that health care reform post, I thought this site was going to focus on something non-Lieberman related!  So relieved to see we're back on point!

  •  Actions have consequences including yours Sen. nt (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    GreenSooner, 3goldens

    It is the province of knowledge to speak. And it is the privilege of wisdom to listen. Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. US Jurist

    by Oliver W Holmes the 3rd on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:24:54 PM PST

  •  His obfuscation is absurd (6+ / 0-)

    Lieberman has got to go, as far as I'm concerned.  He can vote with his conscience, such as it is.  Regarding chairmanships - you get what you pay for.  He should get nothing.  To placate his supporters in the dem caucus, maybe (maybe) offer him some small committee.  

    "Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution" - Theodosius Dobzhansky

    by science nerd on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:25:10 PM PST

  •  I prefer Pickapeppa sauce. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    But spare me the broken glass side dish.  If any situation demands transparency, it's the relationship between Congressman and constituent.  I would be pissed as hell if I got that letter - thankfully, mine (Andre Carson, IN-07) is fairly forthcoming, if a little wet behind the ears.

  •  First He Supports The Bailout, Then He Fudges (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    on Lieberman.  It looks like it didn't take very long for Sherrod to join the establishment.  Pathetic.

  •  Pray for Al Franken to win in MN (6+ / 0-)

    because he's not going to post civility meta and kiss a backstabber's ass so he can go golfing with Joe Lieberman and his friends on Sunday afternoons as soon as he dislodges the knives from his back.

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

    by LeftHandedMan on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:25:58 PM PST

  •  I also sent Sherrod Brown an email. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wozzle, Tuffy, Ninepatch, binkycat

    Sherrod is a pretty upstanding Dem, and if you read his Book The Myths of Free Trade, you'll get a sense of his compass. On the other hand, I despise Lieberman's statements and think he should be far away from any committee seat regarding the nation's security or foreign relations.

    •  That's my main concern. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fritzrth, Ninepatch

      Lieberman was a terrible overseer of DHS - worse than worthless, he gave cover to the Bush admin's abuse of statute and misuse of apparatus.  That is the only reason that Joe should be gone.  Had he been a credible chair, not one Senator would be asking for his head.

      When "stupidity" suffices, why search for any other reason?

      by wozzle on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:45:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Spin off community - I can't wait. (9+ / 0-)

    I love these posts of yours and others.  Some of the best, most informative commentary on DK.  We cannot act decisively and correctly on bad or misleading information.  

    Politicians cannot be depended upon to act in the interests of the public in the absence of collective pressure.

    by Reframing the Debate on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:26:49 PM PST

  •  It's not Brown that wrote this. It's a staffer. (6+ / 0-)
    •  All responses are written by staffers (6+ / 0-)

      called legislative correspondents (I used to be one), who confer with the legislative assistants (the people who actually help the Senator formulate policy), and sometimes the legislative director or chief of staff.

      Typically, because of the sheer volume of letters on particular issues, offices have to write form letters. The bad part about this is that it's very easy to put together a letter that doesn't really answer the question, ending with:

      "I appreciate your concern, blah blah, and I will keep these concerns in mind as I go forward, blah blah."

      "It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered." ~Aristotle

      by Bonne Vivante on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:31:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  it's very rare for Members to actually see the (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tommurphy, Bonne Vivante

        letters that are sent out on their behalf.

        •  Yep. (4+ / 0-)

          They get the numbers, though. I used to put together weekly reports, so he could see what people were writing about and where they stand on the top issues of the week. I imagine most Senators have a similar system.

          I have seen thousands upon thousands of constituent letters, let me tell you, and I was very good about staying on top of them and getting responses out. Unfortunately, there were times when you knew you were sending out what amounted to a non-response, but you couldn't really do otherwise, or you were out of a job.

          "It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered." ~Aristotle

          by Bonne Vivante on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:37:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Yes it is. (4+ / 0-)

          But they know that all the answers go out on their letterhead.

          And unless the answer were something totally and completely at odds with the Senator's position, no Senator would ever tell you face-to-face that he shouldn't be held accountable for what's in his constituent responses simply because a staffer wrote it.

          That's part of the understanding.

          •  Yes. Often the Senator (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            will actually see a draft of the response letter being penned, at least for the big issues. For some of the smaller stuff, the Chief of Staff or LD may end up signing off on it, but either way, the Senator's stamp of approval is there.  

            Most response letters will give a constituent the Senator's position, pro or con. It's when controversial stuff like this fiasco with Lieberman comes up that staffers are told to write letters that tip-toe around the issue and give a vague non-response. It was actually kind of frustrating as a staffer to have to send letters like that out--I always felt badly about it.

            "It is in justice that the ordering of society is centered." ~Aristotle

            by Bonne Vivante on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:58:26 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

    •  Distinction without a difference. (6+ / 0-)

      And hopefully this post moves Senator Brown to correct the record.

      In the game of constituent contact, it's rarely worth bothering with this distinction. The Senator's correspondence speaks for him until he retracts it.

      •  Actually, I think this distinction should be made (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tommurphy, greenearth, binkycat

        clearer because people are under the misconception that they're actually communicating with their elected officials by e-mail.

        •  I guess so. (4+ / 0-)

          It's always possible that people may believe that.

          But as to the substance of the response, that's on Brown.

          •  There are far better ways to get contact (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            wozzle, tommurphy

            with that Member's office. When you call the Member's office, don't just let the doddering intern or lowly-ranked administrative assistant take your message down. That message gets passed to the legislative correspondent who sends you that bullshit form response reply.

            When you call, demand to speak to the chief of staff or the legislative director.

            And you can find their e-mail addresses like this:

            [First name].[Last name]

            It's a bit different for the Senate.

          •  Staffers need to put their initials in, like... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            letters of old. After the signature:


            We need to know who is responsible for the content of a letter. One of the things that Vote Hemp (I work for the) does is ask our letter writers to send us a copy of any reply:


            We know that the replies are form letters, but you can get a good idea of where staff in each office stands based on the content of the letter. If it sounds like it was written by the ONDCP or DEA they are probably not fence sitters on our issue.

            <div style="color: green">"The greatest service which can be rendered any country is to add an useful plant to its culture" -- Thomas Jefferson</div>

            by tommurphy on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:46:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  wait a second here (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          wozzle, tommurphy, flumptytail

          you mean that may NOT have been Barack Obama who emailed me from Grant Park the other night?

        •  Hey, KX .. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pamelabrown, mimi42

          See if I ever tell you anything again! LOL

          I realize that my e-mail does not get read by Senator Brown.  He has staff to do that, just the same as if he were an executive in private business.  What I do believe, as has been noted by Bonnie Vivante, is that a staff member takes note of my constituent communication with the Senator's office and makes it part of a report on what's being talked about.

          It doesn't matter to me that I am only a tick mark on a report - it tells my Senator that there are a bunch of us out here with opinions.  As long as he hears and pays attention, I'm fine with being just another tick mark.

          I have had direct, personal correspondence with Sherrod Brown. It was during his '06 race for his seat.  I registered my 67 year old, invalid neighbor to vote for the first time in her life.  She had very limited means and really wanted to contribute but didn't think a few bucks mattered.  I told her it would - $5 is a dozen stamps, a box of pens, a few extra copies of a flyer.  She gave me that $5 and I included it with my donation, also small.  When the confirmation came back from the campaign, I decided to write the finance manager and tell him Geri's story.  He thanked me and said he would be sure Sherrod read the e-mail.

          About a week later, a hand addressed envelope to me from the campaign arrived.  In it were 2 handwritten letters - one thanking me for being a caring neighbor and citizen, and one to Geri.  It was short, but beautiful.  When she passed last spring her daughter asked me what I'd like to have and I asked for that letter.  Geri was so excited and felt so genuinely part of the process and could hardly believe someone running for the Senate took time to write a letter to her. When I think about what it means to be an American that experience will remain in the top of my list.

          I realize that experience is very unique, but I don't want to stand here and not support my Senator who, although not often, makes calls I don't agree with.  I am glad we have Brown - he really has his finger on the pulse of trade and jobs.  We're losing another several hundred jobs in the steel industry, just announced today.  Another round of auto industry layoffs is in the work.  


  •  Speaking "Senatesque" to the folks (0+ / 0-)

    Way to go, Sherrod.

    Just like any GOP senator.

  •  Lieberman *MUST* go (3+ / 0-)

    They can not leave him in charge of Homeland Security. Absolutely not. I've called my Senator (Harkin) about this today and I'll do it again tomorrow. This can not be left as it is.

  •  So (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    fishhead, philimus, Stranded Wind

    When are we going to change the name of this place to Daily LiebermanRants?

    What do you call a parent that believes in abstinence only sex ed? A Grandparent.

    by ChurchofBruce on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:30:53 PM PST

  •  keep your friends close (0+ / 0-)

    and you enemies closer, especially ones who know will have a keen eye upon them.Let the rat live in our maze.

  •  Who Could Have Foreseen (5+ / 0-)

    ....that Democratic Leadership would cave this quickly?

    Or more to the point:

    Who could have regularly and accurately predicted it without getting multiple troll ratings from koolade drinking partisans?

  •  we've been hosed. Again. (6+ / 0-)

    You'd think we'd be used to it by now.

    Lieberman is just the latest in a long string of screwings we've been on the wrong end of since January, 2006.  This Congress was elected to be progressive, and they've been BushCo toadies.  The next Congress was elected to be progressive as well, and now we get a taste of what they'll actually be.

    Until now they've always had a decent reason to fall back on:  "Just wait until we have a bigger margin."  "Just wait until we have a Democrat in the White House."  "THEN we'll act like Democrats here on Capitol Hill!"

    Well, they got two months to enjoy their excuses.  I can't wait to see what they'll blame in January.

    I am my brother's keeper, I am my sister's keeper. - President Elect Barack Obama

    by ThirstyGator on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:33:57 PM PST

  •  Spin-off is a GOOOOOOD idea... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommurphy, fritzrth, peacearena

    keep us informed.  The Lieberman 'debate' is a non-starter.  He is old guard and I personally think will be booted by Connecticut Yankees next election.  He is a vain, self-centered little man who I'm quite sure has enough insider info to allow him to stay right where he wants to be for the time being.  I don't think President Elect Obama (can't type that enough) has this at the top of his agenda.

  •  We should send him 10,000 bottle of A-1 and ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A Note, "if your going to feed me bullshit and call it a steak at least put some A-1 on it first"

  •  The key (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    greenearth, Alexandra Lynch, theal8r

    to announce that we're going to be launching a spinoff Daily Kos community in the near future, dedicated to watching the politics and other happenings in Congress

    That is the key. Much of this Lieberman stuff is "inside baseball" jousting which we haven't been told about (little hints have been posted) so it is mystifying.

  •  dissapointing, thought Brown was one of the good (0+ / 0-)


  •  A Senator Covering His Arse?! (0+ / 0-)

    Say it ain't so! Another apt analogy (??) is that if a frog had wings, it wouldn't bump its a$$ on the ground when it hopped.

    "We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." POTUS - Elect Barack Obama

    by CityLightsLover on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:36:17 PM PST

  •  Fantastic news (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Deighved H Stern MD

    -- the new site, not Sherrod's bs.

    •  I'll second that ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      IMO, the time has come for part II of that mission — transitioning to a mode of electing better Democrats, by targeting the bad ones for replacement, and selecting and backing their potential replacements in primary challenges, starting with the next election cycle.

      One aspect of that project that needs to be settled ASAP is the criteria and their priority in targeting incumbents.  I would propose that voting records on constitutional issues like FISA, accountability issues like FISA's telecom immunity, and as in this case, misleading and/or obfuscating when dealing with constituents.

      I would urge avoiding the temptation of punishing lawmakers for failure to go "all in" on more doctrinaire issues that go beyond nuts and bolts at this time.  Things like favored plans for healthcare reform, how and when to end the war in Iraq, etc. are all important, but stand to divide and weaken us if we attempt to push those ahead at the expense of more basic and core principles that form the nucleus of our system of government, and whose appeal crosses ideological and party lines of the citizenry.

      "Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" -- A. Lincoln

      by Deighved H Stern MD on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:47:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Why a spinoff? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I'm not sure I see the point of not putting that stuff on the main site, but I'm sure there are good reasons.

    I'd love to hear them.  :-)

    •  Agree. Looking forward to the (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      thought process behind why it would require a spinoff site (if that's what they're doing) rather than a targeted series here.

      We are one nation, we are one people and our time for change has come. - BHO

      by politik on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:41:59 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Part of the reason... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Gray, Albatross, Ninepatch, OrangeMike

      is that there's so much that could be discussed about so many legislative or internal political issues that it could drown the rest of the content at Daily Kos if we really covered it all.

      The key stuff will still appear in both places, most likely. With the in-depth coverage at the new place.

      For instance, there are actually a dozen different angles to the Lieberman story, but as you can see, it's already beginning to drive people nuts to keep seeing it. Yet, there's good stuff in the discussions. With a separate place that's dedicated to digging into these things, it all gets out and on the record, without getting in the way of other political news and analysis.

      The idea is to have the two sites integrated enough that they feed off of one another.

  •  Spin off site... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Peace JD, D in Northern Virginia, jck

    thank GOD (and Kos) because all this sub-shit is hard to keep track of. It'll be awesome to have it in one place, focused, contained, and 'splained in a coherent, organized fashion.

    You guys Ba-Rock!

    The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. Ralph W. Sockman

    by legalchic on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:38:38 PM PST

  •  If they're weaseling on this, that means they (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Peace JD

    have something to hide.  And that something is the intention to do nothing to Lieberman.

    The influence of the [executive] has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished.

    by lysias on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:39:25 PM PST

  •  Hey Senate you just saw Grassroots elect the (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First Black President in spite of everything,now the Grassroots wants Lieberman on the Backbench at the very least so go ahead and ignore the Grassroots in this and see what HAPPENS I don't think you will like what happens.

  •  The spin off site sounds great. More and BETTER (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Dems is always welcome.  

    Thanks for your posts, I've learned a lot about procedure and I appreciate it.  It's helping us become more skilled, and continuously honing the effect we have.

    "Our time has come, our movement is real, and change is coming to America."

    by lizah on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:41:40 PM PST

  •  wasn't he one of the 'good' guys... (0+ / 0-)

    we helped elect in 2006?

  •  I sent my email off to Mikulski this afternoon... (0+ / 0-)

    should be interesting to see what "she"/staffer sends in reply.  If anything.

    Political will is a renewable resource --Al Gore, 2005

    by icelady on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:43:48 PM PST

  •  We will need to primary some people out.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    if we want them to listen to us. They may legislate progressively from time to time, but their first concern is keeping their seats. If we can't threaten that, we've got no leverage.

    •  Well said (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  Interesting that you should say that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Since reading that it's believed Chris Dodd, and a few others, are working behind the scene on behalf of Lieberman, I have been composing a letter in my head to e-mail him.  That's my process.

      I intend to tell him that not only do elections have consequences, but individual choice and behaviors do as well.  He needs to remember who we are, what we've done, and what we will do in the future.  We're not going anywhere, and the days of thinking back room deals will stay in the back room are gone.  Forever.


    •  Wow, getting carried away! (0+ / 0-)

      You're going to primary every member of Congress who ever disagrees with you?  Who exactly do you think is going to be left standing?  

  •  My email to Senator Brown (5+ / 0-)

    I really like Sherrod Brown and he's significantly better than anything we've had before so I used the information and tried to write a note cutting off the response.  Note follows:

    I am writing you regarding committee assignments, specifically that of Joe Lieberman heading homeland security.  Over the past several years, as head of this committee, Joe Lieberman has accomplished exactly nothing with regard to oversight of the Bush administration.  Then, he actively campaigned against our nominee for President including supporting the contention that he was not patriotic.  At this point according to credible sources, it is up to the Democrats in the Senate to decide whether he will be allowed to maintain his position as head of this committee.  As an Ohio resident, I am writing requesting that you do NOT encourage behaviour like Joe Lieberman's by rewarding him with the continued plum committee chairmanship.  He has done nothing in that role to justify keeping him in it and has done much to harm the Democratic caucus in the Senate.  While President-elect Obama has requested that he be allowed to continue caucusing with the Democrats, I do not see the necessity for him to retain his chairmanship.

    I understand from public notices that this will be brought up to the entire Senate Democratic caucus to resolve within the week and would appreciate your vote to revoke his chairmanship.

    I understand that you have responded to others making this request with the statement that assignments are not finalized until January however, in this case, a vote will be held next week and I would like to know your stance on this matter.

  •  I called Brown's local office today (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    and they didn't answer my question on what his position is on Holy Joe retaining his Homeland Security Chair.  The woman who answered said she would pass my question on to the Washington office.

    •  i think more phone calls are in order. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      his DC office is (202) 224-2315
      cleveland office (216) 522-7272
      cincinnati office (513) 684-1021
      columbus office  (614) 469-2083
      lorain office  (440) 242-4100

      phone rings often enough in enough places, he may rethink his written response.
      i voted for the guy.
      i figure he owes me.

      "I aimed at the public's heart, and by accident I hit it in the stomach." - Upton Sinclair

      by kathleen518 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:54:41 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Makes me wonder (0+ / 0-)

    what Paul Hackett's been up to lately. That guy was never shy about tellin us what he thought.

  •  I like Sherrod Brown :o) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ninepatch, binkycat

    Just sayin...

    "There is no white America, there is no black America, there is the United States of America" Barack Obama '04

    by thortrac on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:47:29 PM PST

  •  Go KX! (0+ / 0-)

    I'm totally there on the Congressional accountability project.

    Is there any overlap with the Greenwald/Hamsher/BreakTheMatrix Accountability Now PAC?

    Government and laws are the agreement we all make to secure everyone's freedom.

    by Simplify on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:48:14 PM PST

  •  Senate collegiality: Attorney General Ashcroft (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Remember the covering the Breasts of Justice? Or the truly horrible things John Ashcroft did to this nation as Attorney General. Sure, compared to Abu Gonzales he seemed acceptable, but John Ashcroft was a disaster for justice in this nation.

    He became Attorney General not because of his qualifications, but because he was a Senate colleague. Once being confirmed, he acted in bad faith for this nation. In fact, his putting politics ahead of the law led to him holding press conferences about "terrorists" being tried, undermining the legal process and ultimately destroying the legal cases. But hey, the politics of fear were more important.

    To Sherrod Brown and all of the other Senators who want to back their good buddy Senator Lieberman, the people say fuck you. We don't want your type of government by insider favors. Not only is Lieberman against the Democratic Party, he has been piss-poor at his job. Americans deserve better.

    Are you shaking or biting the invisible hand?

    by puppethead on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:49:19 PM PST

  •  Anyone's else (0+ / 0-)

    who thinks the Dems are just weakass bend over backwards corporatist corrupt to the core like the Repukes ?

  •  Maybe ... (0+ / 0-)

    For good or ill, Lieberman still has a role to play.

    I'm channeling Gandalf here.

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

    by D in Northern Virginia on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:50:14 PM PST

  •  Awesome idea - I've wondered how the Kos model (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ninepatch, OrangeMike

    can be expanded.  The benefits of it are too compelling for it to be used only by us!

    The policy / congress watch sounds like an excellent starting point.

  •  Must Be Attack A Democrat Day (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Lets look at the front page today.  We hate Joe Lieberman.  We hate Harry Reid for not hating Joe Liberman.  We hate Sherrod Brown for not telling us whether or not he hates Joe Lieberman.

    1. The fixation with Lieberman is absurd.  Yes, he was a dick when he ran after losing to Lamont and he was a dick for the way he acted in the Presidential campaign.  But the tenacity of the anti-Lieberman stuff here makes us look silly.
    1. Now, we are attacking other Dems because of their position on Lieberman.  The election is exactly a week old and already we are dissing other Democrats.  We finally win Nevada, picking up another House seat along the way, and we are already disengenuously suggesting that Harry Reid is in danger in 2010.

    I don't know what has gotten into you guys today, but it is not a banner day on the front page of Daily Kos.

    "There is a limit to the legitimate interference of collective opinion with individual independence" - J.S. Mill

    by dmsarad on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:51:18 PM PST

  •  With secret vote, will we know the final Yes-No? (0+ / 0-)

    If each senator gets to vote secretly on Lieberman, would we at least get to know the final score?

    I need a new sig now that John McCain got his ass kicked.

    by bejammin075 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:52:56 PM PST

  •  Not nearly as offended by this letter (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    philimus, Ninepatch, binkycat
    1. Don't know what, precisely, the constituent wrote.
    1. Glad to see someone taking Senate Ethics rules seriously.
    1. It's a vanilla, nothing answer, the equivalent of ignoring an inconvenient question at a press conference....but here's what it didn't do: it didn't tell the constituent to shut up for now, and get back to him in early January, past the point when the decision actually gets made.

    The advice was noted, Brown obeyed whatever senate ethic rule he cites and....I don't see this as some sort of venal, "SCREW YOU LITTLE PEOPLE, JOE LIEBERMAN IS A GOD!" type of missive that some people here are making it out to be....

    •  You're misreading it. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Anorish, Mother of Zeus

      There's no rule that prevents Brown from telling his constituents the truth about when the decisions are made. It's in the damn newspaper.

      It hardly matters what the constituent wrote. January is an incorrect answer.

      That's why it's not just a vanilla answer. It's a rat poison answer. It's designed to make the person walk away confused and stop asking questions until it's too late.

  •  Can we have a detailed accounting of Joe's (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother of Zeus

    record as chairman? Did he hold any hearings? Were they just for show? Were there any subpoenas? What kind of job did Joe actually do as chair of his committee?

    It would be great if a Front Pager or some other policy wonk could get us, or point us to, a review of that.

    I need a new sig now that John McCain got his ass kicked.

    by bejammin075 on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:56:17 PM PST

    •  That's a really good thought you have. If only (0+ / 0-)

      I had time, I would.  But alas, the kids are starting to wake up from their naps just after I got the last one down to sleep.  It never ends . . .

      The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place -- in cities all over America -- Frank Rich

      by Mother of Zeus on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:27:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  A spinoff of DKos to watch politics? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Wouldn't it make more sence to have a spinoff to NOT watch politics?  Watching politics is what the DKos does. :D

  •  If it were his committe assignments in jeopardy (0+ / 0-)

    maybe Sherrod Brown would sing us a song then.

    What's the difference between Wall Street and Las Vegas? Neon.

    by harveythechainsaw on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:58:07 PM PST

  •  I think it is a point of pride with them (0+ / 0-)

    to ignore the netroots.

    We probably should start looking for good Democrats to run against them.

    "Democrats can't do any worse than them." O

    by relentless on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 12:58:58 PM PST

  •  Democrats are decaffienated Republicans (0+ / 0-)

    It's true that Bush has made them look much better, but for the most part they are 2 wings of the same party. At least Republicans fight for what they believe in, no matter how delusional those beliefs may be. When the Republicans were supporting the terrorist contras in Nicaragua, the Democrats wanted to cut the baby in half, so to speak, and provide these same killers with "humanatarian support." Says it all.Ditto Gore on Elian Gonzalez.


    I don't understand this whole matter. Lieberman is in charge of the Homeland Security Committee. His policies are out of sync with Obama and the majority of democrats and the voters that spoke out on November 4th.  He cannot lead, if he is in conflict with most of the positions of the majority. You also, need respect to lead, Lieberman has none, so why even play this silly game? He needs to be gone from the Chairmanship.

  •  I understood the "necessity" of that vote. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I understood the "necessity" of that vote. But this answer is pointless and cowardly.

    ... and was likely written by a staffer, quite possibly without the Senmator even knowing of its existence. Senators got a helluva lot more important things to worry about than kowtowing to every frontpager with an email.

    Keep up the pressure? Absolutely.
    Hammer the fax, the inboxes, the phones? Without a doubt.
    Advertise the process that's actually unfolding, so folks know when to write, and what to write about? Of course.


    So he freaked out and told you to wait until it was too late.

    What a load of shit. He ought to be ashamed of himself.

    gets you exactly what you are handing out - not much.

    Now seems as appropriate a time as any, by the way, to announce that we're going to be launching a spinoff Daily Kos community in the near future, dedicated to watching the politics and other happenings in Congress. Details will follow shortly, but you should expect more of this sort of examination as a regular feature.

    And will it also have "cowardly" and "weak" tags to go with it, so we can start purifying our own party?

    It's not often I find myself at odds with a front pager, but it seems appropriate to say loosen up the britches, KagroX, they're looking a little tight on you.

    •  That's a weak dodge. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yes, staffers write the letters.

      But yes, Sherrod Brown should be ashamed of that evasive, misleading and cowardly response.

      In essence, it went out on his "letterhead." Staffers aren't just randomly assigned to Senate offices. They're hired on the Senator's responsibility.

      This particular dodge is really hardly worth discussing. It's not like I wouldn't accept a correction of the record from Brown, after all. Even if a staffer wrote it.

      •  That was a favorite Bush tactic.. (0+ / 0-)

        His press secretary would say something, as the sole direct representative of the President to the press, and then Bush would claim that 'he' hadn't said it.

        It makes no sense to say it was written by a staffer, so Sen. Brown had nothing to do with it.  He is the sum of his selected representatives, period.

        We don't play Bush games in our party.

        They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

        by Wayward Son on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:27:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not meant as a dodge or an excuse (0+ / 0-)

        Just a version of events I've been through many times writing to my Senators from Ohio.

        Senator Voinovich, Senator Brown and Senator DeWine before him got many a letter from me, and that's exactly the kind of response you get immediately. What you MIGHT get later is something closer to personal, if you can properly articulate what your position is and what you think the Senator should do about it, and are genuinely interested in hearing what the Senator from Ohio has to say. (Except with DeWine - you needed to attach check with any correspondence to get a real reply)

        A lot of Ohioans worked their fucking asses off to get Sherrod Brown to the US Senate in place of that BushBot Mike Dewine in 2006. He's not perfect, not by a longshot, and there's plenty we disagree about.

        But he's a damn sight better than the man he replaced, and he supports the kind of thinking, ideas and actions I agree with. I'll not have you, or anyone, calling him 'weak' or 'cowardly' just because you think it so, at least without something more than a canned form letter via email to go by. And you can bet there is a shitload of email flying around right about Ohio Senators' inboxes right about, oh, NOW.

        I'll leave at this - calling this Senator 'weak' and 'cowardly' doesn't get you, or anyone else, closer to what it is you claim to seek.

        Dodge that.

  •  Sherrod Brown (0+ / 0-)

    Let us down :(

  •  Sorry folks, but change this ain't. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    In keeping with Internet Traditions; What Digby Said

    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.

    This effort, along with kind words from Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) last night about Lieberman, is giving the Connecticut senator some serious momentum heading into next week’s secret vote.

    Digby's response:

    With Durbin behind it and his own statements about "not holding grudges" it seems obvious that Obama doesn't think there's a problem with Lieberman keeping his chairmanship either.

    I think it's also pretty clear that if anyone thought there would be any investigations into Bush administration atrocities or judiciary committee hearings into the abuses of the executive branch, they can forget it:

    Also driving the effort to save Lieberman — an outcast with the progressive left — is the spirit behind Barack Obama’s victory.

    “He’s got momentum, and we need to keep him in the caucus, and this fits into Barack Obama’s message of change and moving forward,” said one Senate Democratic aide familiar with discussions. “The message here is that we don’t want to start off a new era with retribution.”

    Digby says........

    The zombies are going to lick their wounds and take a rest. But they will live to fight another day.

    Here's her response to the second link:

    I just don't know what to say. It's like a parody --- unbelievable.

    Go read both links.  This isn't going the way any of us had hoped.  I'm waiting for Barack to grow blonde hair and dress in pant-suits.

    Reading Digby makes me want to slit my wrists sometimes, but she is a sage and prescient expert on The Village and The Village is behaving as expected. Even it's newest [P]resident.

    I'll give this thing time, but the right-wing is gearing for balls out opposition and our new President is, in my opinion, using plays from the same book in '92.  Fatal mistake.

  •  It's the same Sherrod Brown who told Paul Hackett (0+ / 0-)

    "I'm not running, good luck!" then saw a poll showing Mike DeWine to be much more vulnerable than originally thought and not only jumped in the 2006 Senate race but got Chuck Schumer to lean on Hackett to withdraw.

    On balance, Brown is a very good Senator, quite likely better than Hackett would have been. But on these matters of personal integrity (i.e., can you trust what he says to you), this is one leopard that has not changed his spots.

    "We are the ones we have been waiting for" --Barack Obama reminding us we have to hold him accountable.

    by Jim in Chicago on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:05:15 PM PST

  •  Let's make Benedict Arnold's birthday... (0+ / 0-)

    a National Holiday.  I mean, except for that "Ft. West Point" incident, he was on the side of the Colonials for everything else.

  •  Come on people. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That a lot of anguish over an innocuous form letter. That's called "making a mountain out of a mole hill."

    It is religion that blinds them and fear that binds them.

    by leptoo on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:20:01 PM PST

    •  I think Kagro X is right. (0+ / 0-)

      Constituents deserve to be leveled with and it is totally contrary to the notion of participatory democracy for our representatives - OUR reps, as in, our employees - to use their closer access to procedural information as a way to effectively lie to the people they supposedly represent.  It is infuriated.  The question isn't so much about Lieberman here, but about making this goddamned process transparent.  If you supported Obama for the reasons that I supported him, it was primarily about process and only secondarily about policy.  So this sort of steaming horseshit from Rep. Brown is a stellar example of what is wrong with the process as it stands.

      The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place -- in cities all over America -- Frank Rich

      by Mother of Zeus on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:23:55 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  That's what he's counting on. (0+ / 0-)

      But maybe I can make one mountain, and prevent a thousand future molehills.

  •  OK, is it actually useful or a good use of (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    muscle to contact our Dem Senators and Reps about this?  Does it make more sense to put all pressure on Reid?  I think it is absurd to continue to reward Lieberman with a plum chairmanship in the Democratic Congress.  If he wants to become a Republican over that, let him.  He'll be out in a couple of years in that case.  The bottom line, he HAS NO LEVERAGE.  This isn't spite; this is getting a good, real Democrat who has helped the party and who will actually DO something with the committee to head it.  

    I can't believe the Democrats are so fucking feeble that they are going to allow Lieberman - that mealy-mouthed weasel - somehow spin this as a "punishment."

    FWIW, I wish Obama would have made a stronger statement making it clear that whether Lieberman caucuses with teh Dems is not being considered and is ultimately up to Holy Joe himself.

    The festive scenes of liberation that Dick Cheney had once imagined for Iraq were finally taking place -- in cities all over America -- Frank Rich

    by Mother of Zeus on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:21:24 PM PST

  •  Recieved same e-mail here in Akron (0+ / 0-)

    I copied and pasted this diary and replied.

    Sort of makes one wonder what all all the effort to elect Democrats is worth.  Replacing crooks and misanthropes with weak-kneed panderers?

    Arguments are to be avoided; they are always vulgar and often convincing. Oscar Wilde

    by MsMadrigal on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:23:00 PM PST

  •  Yep should've (0+ / 0-)

    voted for Mike DeWine.

  •  Color me ecstatic about the political spinoff. (0+ / 0-)

    It is just about 100% of what I am interested in, outside of election season.  

    Did the Granny Doc diary have anything to do with this idea?

    They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. - Benjamin Franklin, Feb 17, 1755.

    by Wayward Son on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:29:55 PM PST

  •  Bamboozle is the name of the game (0+ / 0-)

    I'm willing to wager there are a ton of young people who will become bitterly disappointed and cynical about politicians sooner rather than later.

    You realize eventually both parties are basically panderers who will say anything to get elected.

    This time around I think Obama was clearly the best choice for President.  Hands down, no contest.  But that won't change the fact that he's a politician, and I know it will be a mixed bag of things he does and doesn't do that will delight and aggravate me over his first term.  I expect the good things will far outweigh the not-so-good.

    Having said that, since I got older and more cynical I began to see that elections start and end with the money.  Usually there isn't much difference between the parties when you judge the results and not the rhetoric.

    And no, Mr. Plouffe, I will not donate money to help the DNC pay off its debt.

  •  Grave Disappointment with Obama (0+ / 0-)
    And how depressed I am.  How does one inform Obama and his team that they are betraying the people who elected them.

    Here's what I mean.
    Keep Larry Summers as far from Treasury as possible

    Besides being a misogynist and anti union, he is one of the architects of the current financial crisis, and in that regard. What in the hell is Obama doing sending Jim Leach, Repugnican, to G 20, the man is another one of those architects and responsible for the current financial crisis.

    You know what it looks like to me? The only thing that has changed on the ship of state is the captain, the cargo is the same, the course is the same, the crew is the same.. and we passengers are being taken for a ride.

    As Rachel Maddow says "Talk me down". :(

  •  Son Of A Bitch! (0+ / 0-)

    I worked my ass off phone banking for Sherrod Brown in 2006, and so did many other good folks all over the country, and this is how we are going to be treated??  I don't expect the asshole to always vote the way I would, but he does owe us.  Respect, honesty, and candor are not too much to ask.

    So it only took him two years to decide being in the "Club" is more important than telling the truth.  Total fucking asshole.

    "Never let up. Crush bigotry and greed."

    by LouisMartin on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:37:18 PM PST

  •  My call to Sherrod's office (0+ / 0-)

    I let his staff person know that anyone who allows Lieberman to remain in the position of committee chairman will also be allowing me to keep my campaign contributions in my pocket.

    My father jumped all over Sherrod for his FISA vote, while I was more understanding if still disappointed.

    But this issue could not be any clearer, and there are few, if any, discernible political costs to Brown. For the past three years at least, Lieberman has done everything but plant a huge block "R" on his forehead. I do not support Republicans or people who support Republicans.

    When Sherrod ran last time, I sent a long email to my many family members in Ohio about why it was important to contribute money to Sherrod's campaign. And we did contribute, probably more as a family than ever before.

    There is no middle ground on this issue. Lieberman does not vote liberal. Lieberman supports people who oppose everything I hold dear. And he does it openly and deliberately, with a self-righteousness worthy of the worst wingnut.

    "No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare." -- James Madison

    by besseta on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 01:56:27 PM PST

  •  over the top (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Some of the comments about this post seem to me to be unjustified both in their vitriol towards Sherrod Brown and in their assumptions about his intent.  Was this non-response response a good thing?  Maybe not, but then again, Brown has never gone through a process such as the one happening with Lieberman, and staffers are likely cautious in such a case.

    But to leap from this response to damning a good progressive senator (not perfect, but good AND progressive) who is also a loyal Democrat and worked hard this cycle to raise money for other Democratic candidates just seems unfair to me.

    For what it is worth, we don't know where Brown stands on Lieberman.  Personally, I hope he votes to strip him of the committee chairmanship, but can we wait and actually see what Brown does before consigning him to hell or saying we should have voted for the Republican candidate?.  

  •  So is this the way it's going to be now? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Now that we've got Obama & the Congress we need to find things to get all excited about?  I hope we can all do better than getting worked up about a stupid form email from a politician.  Sheesh.

  •  My letter to my Senators (0+ / 0-)

    Senator Feingold [and an identical letter to Sen kohl - ed.],

    I wish to express my opinion that the in the matter of committee assignments for the next congress. As you are undoubtedly aware, tradition dictates that the chairmanships are held by members of the majority party. Therefore, until such time that the Connecticut for Lieberman party is in the majority, Sen. Joe Lieberman should not be chairing the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    As far as keeping Sen. Lieberman in the democratic caucus, that choice is entirely up to him, as he is free to caucus with whichever party he chooses. Even though most news reports on the issue conflate two, I do not believe it is difficult for people to recognize the difference.

    Thank you for considering my opinion and as always, I am proud that you are my senator.  

    Keep fighting the good fight.


    Bipartisanship: I'll hug your elephant if you kiss my ass

    by Uranus Hz on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 02:33:55 PM PST

  •  I just don't trust Lieberman . . . (0+ / 0-)

    I think he'll be a spy in the caucus. Let him go to the Republicans. We need a decent HS/GA chair, anyway.

    As far as Sherrod's letter goes, yeah, it sucks. Really looking forward to the spin off site that will help us to follow and educate ourselves on such stuff.


    I shall not grow conservative with age -- Elizabeth Cady Stanton

    by ponderer on Wed Nov 12, 2008 at 03:47:08 PM PST

  •  I always preferred Paul Hackett. (0+ / 0-)

    Sherrod Brown has always been a cowardly little weasel.

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