It is an old truism that the Senate is the most exclusive club in the world and that all of its members believe they would make a better president than the current one. It's been proven time and again that if a president wants an easy confirmation all he has to do is nominate one of the club members and that person will likely sail through. They do not like to see one of their own treated with anything but kid gloves --- after all, that means it could happen to them too.
So, this doesn't surprise me:
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.
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.”
The zombies are going to lick their wounds and take a rest. But they will live to fight another day.
Update: Jane Hamsher makes the case for why keeping Lieberman at Homeland Security is a huge mistake, pointing out that there is a simultaneous push to scale back plans on green technology among other things since there "isn't enough money":
Good governance is going to be about more than passing new legislation, it's going to be about cleaning up the mess that has been made over the past 8 years. It's going to be about weeding out the graft and greed and corruption that has caused American taxpayers to foot the bill for outrageous deficits. The military industrial complex has been bilking the Pentagon and the Department of Homeland Security with no-bid contracts for things nobody needs that we're not allowed to know about for years now. The only way we're going to find out about these abuses, and right then, is if our elected officials accept that responsibility.
Not only is Joe Lieberman not doing that job, as Chairman of the Department of Homeland Security Committee he's keeping anyone else from doing it. He happily allowed a seat on the Homeland Security Advisory Council to be doled out as political patronage to a corrupt Bush Pioneer. He has no interest in cleaning up the mess he helped to make.
Is his continued happiness worth the cost of healthcare? Of the environment? Of putting Americans back to work? Of reducing our dependence on oil and getting the economy back on its feet?
My cynical quick answer is, of course, yes. There is no interest in revisiting any of this stuff. I'll let you speculate as to why that might be.