No Love for Lieberman in CT
I don't think this gets enough attention. Hugh Bailey in the Connecticut Post:
'Civility' not a valid reason to avoid duties as elected official
Lieberman leads the Senate committee on government affairs, but apparently avoiding the "partisan politics of polarization," as he calls it, is a good excuse not to do his job. Campaigning last year, he said he would make sure the Bush administration turned over records on internal White House deliberations — likely to embarrass the president — from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. After the election, he changed his mind.
"We don't want to play 'gotcha' anymore," Lieberman said in January when word came out he was backing off his pre-election promise. "We want to get the aid and assistance to the people of the region who need it," as though the two were mutually exclusive.
The leader of the House version of Lieberman's committee is Rep. Henry Waxman of California. Armed with subpoena power, Waxman has already delved into the Pentagon propaganda operation, which fictionalized the stories of Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman; he's investigating the parallel e-mail system that may have allowed White House political staff to avoid laws on preserving communications; and he wants answers from the top about the lies leading up to the Iraq invasion. There is no chance of seeing similar investigations in the Senate committee — Lieberman knows which voters got him back into office last year, and they weren't Democrats. But he can take credit for one achievement. He succeeded in getting Republicans and Democrats to alternate seats with one another around the dais when they meet in committee, rather than splitting up on one side or the other. All the better for civility.
If the self-appointed arbiter of all things bipartisan is going to turn his back on doing the job he was elected to do, he can at least make sure everyone is nice to each other.
Proponents of keeping Lieberman in his position of seniority argue that he would switch parties if it was taken away. If the Democrats take one more seat in 2008, I wonder what they will say. A lot of things that should be happening aren't because Lieberman is chairman of a very important committee and he is keeping them from looking into GOP corruption on a variety of fronts.