If you’re as frustrated as I am with Joe Lieberman you’re probably thinking “what should be done?” Well, sadly there’s not much that can be done. Joe is holding us hostage, and there’s little we can do to stop it.
First here’s what cannot be done: No senator or other federal representative can be recalled by their state. There are laws in some states that allow for an elected official to be recalled (California for example), but of those states that have such laws they only apply at the city, county, and state levels. All elected officials at the federal level do not fall under such laws. Thus they cannot be removed unless said official has done something particularly horrible, which would mean being censured (like Joe McCarthy was) or impeachment. Lieberman, despite being an ass, has not done anything censure or impeachment worthy.
Second here’s what can be done: Harry Reid as the senate majority leader can remove all chairmanships, appointments, and any other titles and dignities that he currently has as “punishment” if you will since Lieberman caucuses with the Democrats despite being an Independent, even if in name only. However, if that happens Lieberman will shun the Democrats and then officially become a Republican, or so everyone thinks given that Lieberman has made it clear that if he is stripped of his appointments it will be “unacceptable.” You may be thinking that he’s obviously playing the game of a Republican now so why do we need him? Well you’re right, but if we drop him now we lose our filibuster proof majority, and we can no longer count on him for anything let alone health care reform. Thus, climate change, financial regulations, etc etc will not be passed as easily as they might have been. So, while we know he’s not going to cooperate with this bill, we do know he is likely to do so with the other bills that are going to come before the senate in the future. Harry Reid knows this, and he’s not known for being hardass about things, nor is he confrontational. That is why people call him “spineless.”
In short: Lieberman knows he’s got us right where he wants us, and is more than willing to use his advantageous position to exploit the senate in order to appease the insurance companies that are lining his pockets with millions of dollars. He also knows that when he’s up for reelection in 2012 he will lose in a devastating defeat. He is wildly unpopular in Connecticut now. So, he is thinking about what will happen after 2012 when his last term in the United States Senate is finally over, and he will then have to return to life outside of government. He’s counting on the insurance industry to take good care of him when he is no longer a member of the senate.
It’s all very sickening and disgusting, but those are the facts ugly though they may be.