Nelson Wants To Make Sure Lil' Lieberman Doesn't Make a Fuss
Some want to strip ol' Sore Loseman of his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, but our Senator Bill Nelson (a Democrat who actually won Florida in 2000) is aiming to make sure it doesn't happen. He's working the phones in favor of Lieberman, and is keeping mum to the press, but did let this bit slip, "genetically he's a Democrat, and that's where he's comfortable and that's where he should be," (thus weighing in on the nature vs nurture debate on party affiliation).
The caucus vote goes down today, and some are speculating that Joe the Gummer may keep his Homeland Security gig but lose his chairmanship of a subcommittee Environment and Public Works Committee which deals with global warming. The thing is Lieberman is generally more in line with the Democratic view (and the mainstream view) on global warming, he was Al Gore's running mate after all. God only knows how much Gore blabbaed and blabbed on about Kyoto and CF2s in the back of the campaign bus. He tends to stray from the caucus more on Homeland Security issues. Like he totally loves the PATRIOT act and torture and spying on people.
Lieberman's a big boy , and he can stump for whoever he wants, but the Democrats have a clear majority in the Senate and should be able to install chairs who agree with the party view. It shouldn't be about punishment, it should be about policy (which seems to be too much of a novelty for DC), and Lieberman as a big boy should be able to accept that.
Lieberman appeasement only really matters if the Dems manage to pull of the 60 seat super majority. The recounts in Alaska and Minnesota are looking to favor the Dems, but the run off in Georgia is leaning Republican. If Lieberman loses his chairmanship and gets prissy he could either decide to caucus with the GOP (or no one at all), or pack up all his toys and go home to let the Republican Governor of Connecticut name his replacement. All of these are big ifs at this point, but Dems want to cover all their bases. And according to Bill Nelson that means keeping the biggest baby in the Senate quiet with his Homeland Security pacifier.