Friday, November 14, 2008

A Lieberman Press Release For All Senate Democrats

The United States Senate is a relatively small legislative body where members typically enjoy long tenure and develop deep political bonds and personal friendships. So I understand that it must be incredibly difficult for Senate Democrats to do what they must and deny Senator Joe Lieberman further chairmanship of the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee and to so marginalize him in the Democratic caucus.

I know it's not easy, so I want to help.

For the consideration of all staffers of Senate Democrats, I offer this suggestion for how to announce such a painful, but entirely necessary, decision.

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It is with deep regret and sadness that I announce I am unable to support my colleague, Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut in his quest to retain his position as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee in the 111th Congress.

I have known and admired Senator Lieberman for many years, and had been willing to accept his continued support for President Bush's disastrous Iraq policy as a philosophical and political difference that, while considerable, still left room for me to work with him on a range of other issues and to find common ground.

But with his support of the Republican nominee in the 2008 presidential campaign and his persistent and active participation in events and forums that smeared and discredited President-elect Barack Obama in intentionally misleading and despicable ways, I believe Senator Lieberman has revealed beliefs and values that are inconsistent with the Democratic party and the President-elect's mandate from the people.

President-elect Obama inherits significant economic and political challenges when he takes office in January and, under a Democratic Senate, a committee as vital as Homeland Security can simply no longer be led by one who has abandoned our party's core principles and who stood by mutely and with no oversight as President Bush debased our Constitution and our national creed, while also diminishing our nation's security posture.

The United States Senate is well known as an extraordinarily collegial and deliberative body and this is not a move any of us wanted to make. But Senator Lieberman has clearly decided for himself that he no longer wishes to be a part of the majority leadership and with his many actions has effectively resigned his committee chairmanship -- we are merely finalizing a decision of his own making.

Therefore, I will vote in the Senate Democratic Conference meeting next week to strip Senator Lieberman of his Chairmanship of the Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee.

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