I am a blogger. I am a Democrat. But I’m not left wing. Yet I am furious with the Senate Democrats who chose to slap Joe Lieberman’s wrist and left him keep the chairmanship of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee. I’m equally furious that Senate Republicans chose to postpone any decision on the future of convicted felon, Sen. Ted Stevens.
Is it a prerequisite to be out of touch if you’re going to serve in the Senate?
Here’s what we know about the Democrats:
- The New York Times reported that both existing Senators and newly elected Senators participated in the Democrats’ secret vote. (I didn’t know that incoming Senators like Mark Warner would be able to vote.)
- The Democrats voted 42-13 for what Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid dubbed a compromise. Lieberman kept the gavel of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, but lost his chairmanship of a Subcommittee of the Environment & Public Works Committee.
- Who are the 13 Democrats who deserve our praise? As far as I can tell, only Vermont’s Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernard Sanders publically acknowledged that they voted against this deal.
- And who are among the 42 who backed Lieberman? Politico names several in a post earlier today. They include: Senators Reid, Kerry, Durbin, Carper, Salazar, Cardin as well as Senators-elect Jeff Merkley and Tom Udall.
- Among the Senators who chose not to discuss their votes was Virginia’s Senator Jim Webb, who told the Hartford Courant on Monday, “We’re going to discuss that in caucus tomorrow.” I’ve not been able to find any evidence of how he voted or how Senator-elect Mark Warner voted.
Here’s what we know about the Republicans:
- The GOP Conference essentially voted to table a decision to expel Sen. Stevens until the race could be decided.
- By punting, the Republicans apparently will still be rid of Sen. Stevens because just tonight the Associated Press declared Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich the winner over Stevens by 3,724 votes. Begich’s lead exceeds the remaining number of outstanding votes.
- Like Webb and Mark Warner, apparently John Warner chose not to discuss his views on Sen. Stevens.
Because these votes are secret I can’t take out my rather by another other way than by who I give my vote to and whose campaign I contribute to.
But let it be known, I won’t be contributing one penny to anyone who voted to back any deal for Joe Lieberman. And for the Republicans, if you won’t discipline Stevens, perhaps the sentencing judge will do your dirty work for you.
And in case you needed a reminded of what Joe Lieberman said during the presidential campaign, watch this video:
Somehow, with the lack of spine in our U.S. Senate among both parties, I think we’re going to have to rely our President-elect and the House of Representatives to stand up for us.