17 December 2009

E-mail to Reid: Fire Joe Lieberman tout de suite

I wrote this to Sen. Reid's website today: 

Dear Sen. Reid,

I wrote to you in the past urging that you hold the threat of effective expulsion from the Democratic caucus... particularly including loss of all chairmanships... over that outrageous and obnoxious hypocrite Joe Lieberman's head if he failed and refused to support... or at least allow a vote on... the most important Democratic initiative in this era. This, after all, is a TEST OF YOUR LEADERSHIP.

Well, Sen. Reid, it happened. The man did what he said. He is not a Democrat. He is a right wing Republican, an unprincipled toady of the rich and the moneyed interests, and a complete traitor to the Democratic party. He is useless to Democrats, and not really a member of the caucus anyway, for all intents and purposes.

It is time for whatever procedural steps necessary to remove him from all his chairmanships and disgrace him publicly to be taken. There MUST be consequences for his total betrayal of the vast majority of Democrats, or party discipline will mean nothing at all.

This is more than just Senate internal politics. The whole country... everyone who voted for Change by electing Obama.... we are watching, and we are frustrated by the Senate's abject failure to overcome the resistance of a handful of phony Democrats, ESPECIALLY Lieberman. This man must feel the pain of the consequences of his action.

I have contributed to DSCC and DCCC in the past, but now, it's ActBlue and MoveOn for me, and I will actively support the challenge of all Democrats who fail to vote like Democrats in the future. The party must stand for something, and its members must stand for that, or they should not be supported. There must be courage of convictions, and that means courage to face defeat. Only by taking the risk of losing a seat here and there by calling out Democrats who aren't really Democrats will the millions and millions of disaffected voters, who just don't believe anyone in Washington represents their interests, be attracted to vote for Democrats in the future. The sad truth is, in this disaffection, those voters are NOT WRONG.

I honestly believe that if the President and you had lambasted Hypocrite Joe publicly early in the game, the outcome would have been better. And if Democrats were willing to say, this is the BOTTOM LINE, if you don't stand for this, you're not a Democrat and we won't support you, the party would ATTRACT wavering Independents, and, possibly after a rocky transition, would end up with a stronger majority, a majority that actually supported the agenda that the people voted for.

I can't say this outcome is a success. I'm not even sure it's better than nothing. For sure, if Joe Lieberman keeps his power and privileges after this, it's all up for the Democratic legislative agenda, and the sad, inevitable consequence will be that large numbers of disaffected progressive Democrats and Independents will stay away in droves from the polls next year, and the Republicans will win back many seats. This can be avoided, but the way forward is strength of conviction and discipline in the party, not endless compromise and backing down.

You and the other Democratic leaders had better wake up and pay attention, because the way this has been handled has JUST NOT WORKED.

Start by firing Joe Lieberman. He may be your "friend," but we the people who elected a Democratic majority consider him an enemy. Then move on to making clear that if you want to call yourself a Democrat, (or in Joe's case have the privileges without even doing that), you have to be a Democrat, or the party won't support YOU.

Thank you.

David Studhalter

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