Sunday, August 20, 2006


Liebermania is a good name for all the political writing on the topic of Joe Lieberman. If you have followed this new subfield of politics, you know that Joe Lieberman decided to have two tries to be the Senator from Connecticut by first running in the Democratic primary and then by running as an independent when he lost that race. The next stage is for the Republicans to refuse to support their own candidate and to support Joe Lieberman instead. And the next stage after that might be Joe turning Republican in name as well as in deed. Except that a Republican cannot be elected in Connecticut, so he'd have to be a pretend-Democrat until he gets elected. Then he can hand in his membership in the party and become an honest right-winger.

Isn't it all so clever and intricate and fun for policy wonks? Doesn't the whole Liebermania reveal fascinating aspects of American politics? How about this one:

SSen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) is vice-chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee - the committee whose official mission is "to elect more Democrats to the United States Senate." Yet, Pryor says he's supporting GOP-endorsed candidate Joe Lieberman (CT) against Democratic nominee Ned Lamont. He's supporting Lieberman at the very same time he acknowledges that Lieberman's continued parroting of RNC talking points is unacceptable. Pryor's public rationale? "Don't ask me to be consistent," he told a group in Arkansas. Right, I forgot - no one should ask Democratic U.S. Senators to be consistent...what were we thinking?

Something to marvel about, indeed. First Lieberman takes a dump on his party in Connecticut, then both the Republicans and the Democratic insiders tell they love Lieberman! What fun:

Why the Democratic Leadership in the Senate isn't vigorously campaigning for Lamont and shunning Lieberman is a suicidal act in which collegial clubbiness outweighs the interests of the Democratic Party. It is also a slap in the face of democracy, since Lamont beat Lieberman in a primary based on winning the popular vote.

Lieberman excels in sanctimony and self-righteousness, but he will have no qualms whatsoever about saying "Sayonara" to the sucker Democratic senators who continue to publicly or tacitly support him.

Everybody wants to be Joe's best friend forever. This is because if he really gets elected as an independent he has the weapons to hurt his ex-friends in the Democratic party, and also the power to vote with his real friends, the wingnuts. The one group nobody fears at all is the voters in Connecticut, and that's why it's perfectly acceptable to treat them as silly pawns in this game of the insiders.

I had a plan for this post, which included addressing the ethical aspects of Joe's behavior (despicable), then the game aspects (clever) and so on, but I'm too fed up with it all. Just let me finish by pointing out that everything the lefty bloggers said about Lieberman has turned out to be the absolute truth.