Is Joe Lieberman a Democrat?

This has come up a few times, so I thought it might make for a debate.

To my thinking, Joe Lieberman is a Democrat. He calls himself a Democrat. He caucuses with the Democrats. He votes (generally) like a Democrat. He’s only an Independent because he lost in a primary, not because he made the choice to renounce his Democratic identity for some ideological purpose.

Therefore, he’s a Democrat.

Yes, in this country, you get to be whatever you say you are.

And the primary loss doesn’t matter. He’s only an “Independent-Democrat” because he has chosen that appellation voluntarily. He can become a plain “Democrat” just by choosing to be so.

As a lifelong Connecticut resident Joe Lieberman is now, was then and will always be a democrat. What he was doing at the fcking Republican Convention was just solidifying that he will not be re-elected here. There is a lot of Lieberman Love in CT, and I have even voted for the man, but not after his Republican dck s*cking.

Sorry for the snarkery, but he ticked me off this year badly.

Joe Lieberman can call himself whatever he likes. To me, he has been for years, and now ever will be, Joe Lieberman (D)ouchebag.

He caucuses with the Democrats so therefore he is on the liberal side of the fence.

After his appearance at the Republican Convention though I suspect he will be persona non grata among Dems. They need him now for the razor thin balance in the Senate. After the election they likely will not need his vote in the next Congress.

I’d say he’s a (S)capegoat.

Like anybody with an independent mind, he gets blasted by the party faithful, and upheld as bipartisan by the opposing party. Just like Chuck Hegel, Colin Powell, etc from the other side.

Joe Lieberman (I) has an (I) after his name. If he were a Democrat, he would have a (D) after his name.

Joe doesn’t have an independent mind. He has a faulty weathervane.

Ah, well then Joe Lieberman (D) and Joe Lieberman (ID) must be two other U.S. senators from Connecticut.

He’s already persona non grata among Democrats: he’s voting for the other guy and almost ran for VP with him. But overall I think saying he’s a conservative Democrat is fair.

But on most issues, yes, he’s with the Democrats - the traditional Democratic Party issues like unions, health care and so on. He’s conservative on some social issues (but so are many Democrats) and definitely conservative on national defense issues, which is what lead to Lamont’s successful challenge and to Lieberman’s support for McCain.

I hope he gets his weaselly butt kicked to the curb. I’m willing for there to be one less “Democrat” in the senate just to see him gone.

I certainly don’t see why someone who turned against his own party due to his own selfish interests should be trusted to be loyal to his country, either, so If I was Harry Reid (or whomever does these things), I’d boot him off of every committee, especially Armed Services.

I effing hope so. Only problem is that we’ve got to wait a long time until his election comes up. Joe Lieberman is a traitor. I can almost understand why he’s doing this though. He probably personally liked McCain a lot and wanted him to win. He was already technically an Independent. Somewhere along the way, he’s turned from a guy with principles standing by his friend on the areas in which they agree to completely carrying the water for him.

Luckily he’ll be bounced on his ass out of the Democratic caucus soon. We won’t need him at all. The Republicans can take him up if they want, but all that means is that he won’t get re-elected in Connecticut. I doubt they’ll have the stomach for a Republican senator.

[Stolen shamelessly from someone on Daily Kos]
Joe Lieberman likes to be known as an ‘independent Democrat’. I like to be known as a ‘sexual dynamo’.

On a somewhat more serious note, I have a very hard time calling someone a Democrat who has repeatedly endorsed candidates of the other party when those candidates were running against good Democrats. Elected officials don’t all have to toe the party line on everything (and on many issues, Lieberman is in agreement with the general caucus), but they have an obligation not to work against the party, at least, which Lieberman keeps doing.

Repeatedly? Has Lieberman endorsed Republicans other then McCain?

I suspect he’ll loose his chairmanship, but still be allowed in caucus meetings (assuming he wants to). Regardless of how the election turns out, the Dems will always need an extra vote.

Personally, Lieberman can be a Democrat just like I am. We take anybody who wants to register that way.

However, he was not elected on the Democratic ticket in his most recent election, but rather as an independent. Therefore, it is inappropriate to refer to him as “Lieberman (D-CT).” That’s for people who were elected as Democrats, or who have officially changed their party affiliation since election. That doesn’t apply to Lieberman.


I’m guessing the Senate Democratic Caucus will not take significant action against Lieberman, not unless they have 60 votes without him, and there’s only an outside chance of that happening.

It’s factually incorrect. I guess it’s done either out of habit (since he was a Democratic Senator prior to 2006) or because he caucuses with them as an independent. I’m sure his voter registration says “democrat,” just to offer another datapoint or muddy the water.

Why is a political party something that deserves loyalty? A party is simply a vehicle to effect policy. It either serves that purpose for a voter or a politician, or it does not. There is no promise to the party, only to the constituents and the Constitution.

I can understand that a politician switching party mid-term may anger their constituents. But Lieberman switched while up for reelection. The voters knew what they were voting for.

He did say during his re-election race that he would support whomever the Dem candidate was in '08, and indeed generally gave the impression that a vote for him was a vote for the Dems in the senate ("hence running as an “independent Democrat”). So I’m not sure this it’s true that his constituents knew what they were getting when they voted for him.

I don’t see why the 60 vote mark makes a difference to Lieberman’s position. If Lieberman is in the Caucus, he can still vote with the GOP to filibuster. And if he’s kicked out of the Caucus, he can still vote with the Dems to break one.

Agreed. When there were rumors about McCain stiffing the party to become Biden’s running mate, we (lefties) all thought it was great. But Lieberman sucks up to the Republicans, and he’s a traitor? Not buying it.