Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Lieberman keeps chairmanship of Homeland Security Committee

And the New York Times swallows the spin and reports it as news.

Many Democrats were infuriated that Mr. Lieberman, Vice President Al Gore’s running mate on the 2000 Democratic presidential ticket, ardently supported Senator McCain of Arizona. Mr. Lieberman actively campaigned against Mr. Obama, and harshly criticized him in his speech at the Republican convention.

But Mr. Obama signaled that he did not want Mr. Lieberman thrown out of the Democratic caucus, since expelling the senator could prompt him to align himself with the Republicans. Mr. Lieberman had also signaled that losing the chairmanship of the homeland security panel would be unacceptable to him.
The vote had nothing to do with expelling Lieberman from the Democratic caucus. Nobody suggested expelling him from the caucus.

Lieberman threatened to leave the caucus if he did not get to remain chair of Homeland Security. He threatened to expel himself if he were subjected to any punishment campaigning for the Republican presidential nominee, for speaking at the Republican convention where he accused the Democratic nominee of not supporting the troops:

[W]hen Barack Obama was voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground, John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion and support the surge, and because of that, today, our troops are at last beginning to come home, not in failure, but in honor!
Or for accusing the Democratic nominee of not putting the country first. Literally.

[A]s he introduced Mr. McCain at a campaign event here on Tuesday, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut made the attack a lot more explicit, calling the election a choice “between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not.’’
Yet with all this, nobody but nobody threatened to expel Lieberman from the Democratic caucus. They merely discussed taking away his chairmanship, which any reasonable person could argue should belong to a loyal, competent, senior Democrat.

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