Could Connecticut voters recall Liebrman...

…for the fact that he’s such a McCain psychophant? I.e., does a CT recall require that the Joe had committed a serious crime.

Can’t stay up for any replies, but I’ll sure read them tomorrow - if they come.

I think you’re looking for sycophant.

In any case, there is no way for voters in a state to recall any federally elected official, and that includes Senators. The only way to get him out of office is to persuade him to resign, impeach him for a crime and convict him via an impeachment trial, or have the Senate expel him for some other reason (being convicted of a felony is a popular motive), or if he dies.

I doubt it. 17th Amendment:

So they’re elected for six years, and no mechanism is provided for their removal other then by being expelled by their fellow senators. As a result, I suspect any attempt to recall them by the State gov’ts would be found unconstitutional.

Just to be clear, you want Senator Lieberman removed because he likes Senator McCain???

Well to be fair to the OP, I once heard that Cindi totally said Madison and Tiffany couldn’t sit at her lunch table any more because they friended Brandi on MySpace and she’s totally fat.

Shouldn’t we hold our nation’s Senators to an equally auspicious standard of behavior?

Not just likes, asswipes.

And I suspect CT voters who put him bsck in the Senate are furious, that he utters rot about Obama to enhance McCain’s presidential bid.

When Wolf Blitzer pointed out that Obama also labels Hamas a terrorist organization, making his position the same as McCain’s, Lieberman said, “that’s true,” adding that Obama “clearly doesn’t support any of the values and goals of Hamas.”

Then, with depressing predictability, came the inevitable caveat:

But the fact that the spokesperson for Hamas would say they would welcome the election of Senator Obama really does raise the question, "Why?"

And it suggests the difference between these two candidates.

Lieberman is clearly emerging as a chief attack-dog for McCain on foreign policy, and here he is echoing McCain’s talking points with unerring precision: While we all know that Obama doesn’t in any way support Hamas or its goals, it’s okay to use the group to tar the Illinois Senator anyway, merely because McCain and the Republicans want to.

Hear Lieberman mouththose talking points at

Eventually, someone will figure out how bad Lieberman’s endorsement is for McCain among the righties, and they’ll run an ad:

“Pro-abortionist and union-apologist Joe Lieberman supports John McCain. Have you asked yourself why?”

To which a response ad along the lines of “the man the Democrats nominated for the vice-presidency supports John McCain.”

… but he’s also the man who was denied the Democratic nomination for his Senate seat last election cycle, and he ran as a Independent. Connecticut voters seem to like him, despite (or possibly because) he does not feel the need to follow the Democratic Party’s lead on every issue.

In short, I don’t see how his being supportive of a Republican can be a negative after the state Democratic party threw him out on his ear.

Impeachment really isn’t an option for members of Congress, although the first person to be impeached (but not convicted) was actually Senator William Blount in 1797.

The House voted for impeachment based upon Blount’s conspiracy to have Britain take over Florida and Louisiana. The Senate instead voted to expel him. The following year, the Senate dismissed the impeachment due to “lack of jurisdiction,” holding instead that the Senate has the sole ability to punish its members.

Blount was also the first member of the Senate to be expelled.

You seem to be under the misapprehension that Lieberman was elected to the Senate to serve the Democratic Party. In reality, he was elected to serve the people of Connecticut. Unless he does something that is contrary to their interests (as opposed to the interests of the Democratic Party), then you’ve got no beef.

Zev Steinhardt

My understanding was that the Senate opted not to hold a trial simply because Blount had already been expelled, and there was nothing more they could do (removal from office being the harshest punishment that can result from an impeachment conviction.) Since each house has the power of expulsion over its own members, it makes impeachment moot for members of Congress.

Nowadays of course they let the federal court system deal with crimes committed by members of Congress and then generally vote to expel immediately after they are convicted in court.

He was elected as an independent under the “Connecticut for Lieberman” party label. He defeated the Democratic candidate. He does usually sit with the Democratic majority in the Senate and is officially listed as an independent Democrat, but the very notion that he somehow switched parties is factually wrong. And as Zev says, there is nothing anything in law that says that elected officials can’t or even shouldn’t support any laws, policies, or candidates that fit their philosophies. Senators supporting politicians of the opposite party have appeared in every phase of history and some have truly switched parties while in office, not just supported others. Our system is mostly based on the proposition that if you don’t like it, vote 'em out of office.

The recall movement is a partial exception to this but it came about as a result of the Progressive movement in the early 20th century in response to politicians who were truly crooks of the highest magnitude. There was no other way to get rid of them because of compliant legislators and the corruption of attorney generals and police. It’s still rare, with only 15 states allowing recall of state officials. Very few, if any, of the northeastern states allow recall of any kind. Several of the states that do require a specific crime to be committed.

Recall is as big and blunt a hammer as impeachment. A recall election essentially stops government and disrupts the state for months on end. It is as rare as it is because it’s the ultimate in last ditch measures, the nuclear option. It’s made to be as hard as possible because otherwise, well, otherwise you have the OP.

This is a good discussion about why states can’t recall federal legislators:

Oddly enough, it seems like Lieberman would be a net gain for McCain among Republicans in his home state.


Let’s keep it factual in General Questions. If you want to debate whether Lieberman *ought * to be recalled, you do that in Great Debates or the Pit.

General Questions Moderator

I don’t know – I like “psychophant”. I’m going to look for opportunities to use this potentially useful word.

Do we know for a fact that BarnOwl wasn’t coining a witty neologism?

I think it means a pachyderm on a rampage.

As I recall the discussion from around the election, Connecticut Republican voters like him, since IIRC the state Republican party rather openly encouraged Republican voters to abandon the Pub nominee in favor of Lieberman.