After he stumped for McCain and a couple of Republican Senators, the Senate Democrats decided to do approximately nothing to Joe Lieberman. He was actively campaigning for McCain while the McCain campaign was accusing Obama of “palling around with terrorists.” This raises the question of what, exactly, a Democratic Senator would have to do to actually cross the line. Would taking a dump on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s lunch in the Senate cafeteria provoke him to action? Or would it just earn you a sternly worded letter.
The vote was 42-13. I suspect Evan Bayh was among the 42 even though:
Bayh said that Lieberman must first issue a â€œsincere apologyâ€ for campaign attacks warning of the perils of an Obama presidency and a large Democratic majority in Congress. He said Democrats should allow him to keep his chairmanship on the condition that he would not use his subpoena power and influence as chairman to undermine Obamaâ€™s presidency. Otherwise, Democrats would take away his gavel at any point next Congress, Bayh warned.
Senate aides said Mr. Lieberman did not apologize for his actions, but told his Democratic colleagues that some of his comments on the campaign trail had been misinterpreted. The vote on a resolution letting him keep the homeland security post, while expressing disapproval of his comments on Mr. Obama, was 42 to 13, with newly elected Democratic senators as well as incumbents taking part.
Lieberman did not apologize for supporting McCain, but did seek to clear up comments he has made that were interpreted as critical of Obama or Senate Democrats. â€œHe did not apologizeâ€”and he was not asked to apologizeâ€”for supporting Sen. McCain,â€ said Nelson. â€œThatâ€™s over. The election is over. Itâ€™s a new era,â€ the Nebraska senator said.
Lieberman also did not apologize for supporting Republican Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota in his race against Democrat Al Franken, the aide said, noting that Coleman supported Lieberman in his last, and toughest, re-election bid.
So, how did Sen. Bayh vote in the absence of the required sincere apology?