Riding the wave of electoral victories on Nov. 4, some Senate Democrats began hinting that they might remove Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) from his post as Homeland Security Committee chairman in part because of ad hominem attacks he levied at Barack Obama during the presidential campaign in support of John McCain.
Last week, however, Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) sang a more forgiving tune. “[W]e should have a spirit of forgiveness with regard to Joe Lieberman and reconcile and move forward,” Bayh said, suggesting that Lieberman apologize and “let bygones be bygones.” Last night on MSNBC, Bayh said Lieberman should be stripped of his chairmanship unless he offers a “sincere apology” for his “unacceptable” rhetoric during the campaign:
BAYH:[Y]ou got to, you know, expect an apology — a sincere apology — and you got to keep tell him, “Look, we’re going to give you a chance here. But if you don`t do the right thing as chairman, if, you know, we see any continuation with this kind of behavior,” well then at that point, you know, the game is up at that point.
MADDOW: And — but the game would be up in the sense that he would get stripped of his leadership positions?
BAYH: The chairmanship. Yes.
Bayh complained that during the campaign, Lieberman had said that Obama “was basically for defeat in Iraq.” Lieberman also suggested that Obama could be a Marxist, linked his policy proposals to socialism and said his economic proposal would bring about a depression. He even said he “fears” for the survival of the country if the Democrats won 60 Senate seats on Nov. 4.
At the end of the segment, host Rachel Maddow said, “You’re giving me a great prompt to ask Senator Lieberman to come and deliver that apology on this show. So, thank you for that.” “Issue the invitation,” Bayh said.
Check out ThinkProgress’s new report, “Joe Lieberman: The Progressive Who Lost His Way.”
Also during the segment, Bayh suggested that if Lieberman is stripped of his committee chairmanship, “he might very well decide to just resign from the Senate.”
,Jed notes that Bayh said the Democrats need Lieberman’s help on “getting out of Iraq.”