Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

He's Like an Itch You Just Can't Scratch

Senator Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) spoke to the Republican National Convention today. Despite repeated promises that he would not attack Obama directly, Lieberman did just that. The former Democratic Vice-Presidential Nominee (2000) said Obama had done nothing as a Senator. Worse still, Lieberman lied and said Obama had voted to cut off funding for our soldiers on the ground.

Lieberman has gone beyond anything loyalty to an old friend might have required (although I have not actually heard that he and McCain are old friends). But at least Lieberman managed to add a little diversity to the GOP convention: After listening to all those cookie-cutter bigots, it was refreshing to hear at least one proud hypocrite.

All of which leads one to wonder: what is Lieberman's game? It seems all but certain that the Democrats will control the Senate after the next election whether Lieberman continues to caucus with them or not. When the next Congress convenes in four months' time, surely Lieberman will be stripped of his seniority and expelled from the Democratic caucus. And if Lieberman thinks the enemy camp will welcome him with open arms, he will soon learn that a proven turncoat is never trusted again.

It may be that Lieberman is angling for a prominent cabinet position with the McCain administration, if that ever comes to pass. Perhaps Lieberman just loves the limelight and will do whatever it takes to keep the cameras trained on him: no one ever accused politicians of having modest egos. But since Lieberman's career is nearly finished one way or the other, I suspect this is all just about getting a little extra cash before he retires. Bet you anything Lieberman is writing a book.


Raised By Republicans said...

He's their pet Jewish Democrat. The Bigots For Jesus will trundle him out for years to come on the speaking circuit and make him do tricks - "Come on! Do the one where you say Democrats are all wimps and commies!" He'll be able to make a nice living on the speaking circuit that way.

The Law Talking Guy said...

Lieberman is a blowhard. But that's only part of the problem. After 9/11, I think he became convinced that America should be living in a permanent state of siege, just like Israel is. Israel has done many extreme things to fight terrorism, and has rough relations with much of the world, including 'old Europe.' Many Israeli supporters in America (supporting it from afar, mind you, with not a little guilt about that) sound the same sort of self-righteous themes that McCain loves.

William Safire wrote a column some years ago where he said, "I am a starker" using the Yiddish word meaning "strong person" or "someone who belives in being strong." In that piece, Safire laid out the classic case for hardnosed realism, us or them, kill or be killed. You know, the McCain idea that all negotiation is appeasement - this sort of thing. Lieberman has bought into it hook, line, and sinker. He thinks that voting for McCain or Obama is like choosing between appeasement of evil or Winston Churchill. Simply put, Lieberman has embraced everything that is wrong with Bush and McCain's foreign policy, exactly where Bush and McCain are both alike. McCain and his "League of Democracies" (which will probably include our 'allies' like Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and lots of other 'democracies').

Thank God Lieberman still thinks he's pro-choice, or he'd be the GOP VP nominee.

Raised By Republicans said...

Well, in defense of Israel, they are in a permanent state of siege. Syria, Hamas, and Hezbullah are all deny their right to exist their leaders frequently talk about "driving Israel into the sea."

But of course the United States faces no such threats so Lieberman's attitude is still mystifying to me.

USwest said...

Its a cabinet post he's after. He can retire then and finish he book . . . or let the ghost writer finish his book.

You know, let me play Devil's advocate. I think Liberman is an ass and I wasn't pleased when Gore chose him. But he might be playing it smart. He might think of himself as an "agent of change" because he is both a moderate-to-conservative Democrat and moderate-to-liberal Republican. Talk about delusional. He likes having a foot in both camps. This way, everyone either hates him or loves him, and he can take advantage of that nebulous position to get what he wants out of it. It's a bargaining tool that might come in useful to him.

Dr. Strangelove said...

Other than press coverage (which will translate into more book royalties) I don't see that Lieberman has got anything for himself, or been agent of any sort of change.

The Law Talking Guy said...

An honest assessment would say that Israel faces challenges, but is under less threat today than probably at any time in its history. Its military is supreme and unchallenged, it has peace treaties with two of its four neighbors, and certain level of novel cooperation with Lebanon that it occupied in part for 20+ years. The threats come from Iran (not on its border), Syria (weak) and terrorist groups. This is not, say, the sort of pressure that Georgia is under. Accordingly, one might have expected that the state of mind of Israelis would be less excited now than 30 years ago.

It isn't. In Israel, there are metal detectors in front of ordinary stores and the security theatre of American airports is bush league compared to Israel. El Al interviews all passnegers before flights. Most Americans would find the level of security precautions being taken there intolerably high. There is a mental state of siege in Israel. That mental state has contributed to the outflow of Israelis to the United States and Europe, where there is less stress.

That mental state of siege reflects itself in some supporters of Israel immediately accuse anyone wuo questions anything done by Israel of being anti-semititic and endangering Israel.

Lieberman thinks America should be on that sort of 'war footing' here as part of the War on Terror. He totally buys into the idea that anyone who is not a 110% supporter of the War on Terror is some sort of fifth column, an appeaser, someone who is dangerous. I don't think Lieberman is in it for anything other than this ideology. McCain believes this shit too; Bush also. You're either with us or you're agin' us. As Ari Fleischer (press secy for Bush in 2001) said, "Everyone has to watch what we say now."

Raised By Republicans said...

I wouldn't say that Israel's military is "supreme and unchallenged" since the mid 1980s. Certainly they can rough up the PLA but they've had two bad outings in Lebanon in the last 20 years.

They currently face a much greater terrorist threat (in terms of numbers of attacks etc) than the US does. And the Israeli military is poorly suited to solving that problem.

All that said, I'm with on you Lieberman's attitude towards US politics. He sees obvious parallels between the US and 1960s era Israel. I do not believe such parallels exist.

1960s France and Algeria would be a better comparison - but not particularly good news for us.