Daily Archives: August 8, 2006

Joe

To no surprise, Ned Lamont defeats Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary in Connecticut. Oh, how I do so utterly dislike Joe Lieberman. He went to high school with Sarah, my mother-in-law, is about his only redeeming feature. I am ecstatic that he loses today.

Let us remember Senator Lieberman’s odiously sanctimonious speech on the Senate floor, on September 3, 1998, telling us of his “deep disappointment and personal anger” at President Clinton, and speaking of “the moral consequences for our country.” I have to admit that I’d never heard of him before, that this was my introduction to the man. Not a good first impression. As if the impeachment really had anything to do with anything other than naked partisan politics. Senator Lieberman, however, was the greatest enabler among the Democrats.

I should like so much to hear the Senator speak now of his deep disappointment and personal anger over the mendacious way this current President has comported himself. I should like to hear him speak of the moral consequences for our country due to holding hundreds of men for years without charge or trial, subjecting them to degrading treatment and brutal interrogation.

This incident of course factored into Vice-President Gore’s decision to pick Senator Lieberman as his running mate, in that such a choice would help distance himself from President Clinton. And I suppose it did that. We simply note here then without further comment that President Clinton carried Florida in 1996.

Let us also remember Senator Lieberman’s debate with Dick Cheney on October 5, 2000, in Danville KY, gently letting Mr. Cheney get away with claiming that he had amassed his wealth by his own hard work, that “the government had absolutely nothing to do with it.” The best comeback that Senator Lieberman could think of: to claim that he himself might be persuaded then to go to work in the private sector.

As if Mr. Cheney’s employment at Halliburton was not dependent on his having been Secretary of Defense. As if Halliburton did not make vast sums from government contracts. As if Senator Lieberman were unaware of any of this.

And then, in that same election in 2000, Senator Lieberman simultaneously ran for both Vice-President and his Senate seat, likely ensuring then that, in the event that Gore/Lieberman had won, the Republicans would have controlled the Senate, Senator Lieberman then giving up his seat.

It’s the same as the Senator working on an independent run for Senate in Connecticut, hedging his bets, even before the Democratic primary. Senator Lieberman has consistently chosen himself over his party. And of course that’s his prerogative. And then it’s the prerogative of the Democratic voters to choose party over Senator Lieberman.

Greater than all of the other minor points, of course, is the Senator’s continued hawkish support for the war in Iraq. And, along with that, Senator-Elect Lamont’s opposition to same. And, therefore, the agreement of a majority of the voters in the primary today. And that’s called democracy.

Oh, but the howls we hear from the right. Morton Kondracke actually claimed that “the future of civility in American politics” is on the line in this particular primary election. David Brooks calls this exercise in democracy a “liberal inquisition.” (Similar to my ears to Byron York’s description of the 2004 presidential election, the very name of his book, the “vast left-wing conspiracy” to “bring down a president.”) And Kondracke and Brooks are ostensibly the more moderate among those on the right. I can’t imagine, and God help me I surely don’t want to know, what the nutty Savages and Limbaughs have been saying.