Friday, October 16, 2009


A lot of people seem to have a bizarre need to think well of Joe Lieberman. At The New Haven Register, even the headline writer is apparently so blinded by a belief in Lieberman's good faith that he/she can't paraphrase plain words correctly. The headline of this Register story is

Lieberman says he would vote to let health care reform motion proceed

-- but the story doesn't actually say Lieberman "would" vote for cloture, only that he might, and, um, he's still thinking about it:

U.S. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, I-Conn., whose vote could be crucial to breaking an expected GOP filibuster on health care legislation, Thursday said he would consider voting to move the bill forward, even if he ultimately casts his ballot against the reform package....

Lieberman said he was "inclined to let the motion to proceed" (or cloture) go forward, but "I haven't decided yet." ...

Understandably, this makes Steve Benen wary, though he cites an optimistic Ezra Klein post from a few days ago -- one I don't agree with at all:

I could be proven wrong on this, but I'm not that worried about Lieberman.... Democrats actually have a lot of leverage over Lieberman. They're in the majority, and likely to stay that way. He's chairman of a committee that he wants to keep, and that he needs Democratic votes to retain. Nor does he have enough friends left in the Senate to protect himself from reprisals if he defects on such a high-profile vote. In fact, plenty of Democrats would be all too glad to strip him of his power and prove that there are consequences for crossing the party. That would make his remaining years in office pretty miserable.

And what evidence is there that anything like that would actually happen? What evidence is there that he would be punished by Democrats -- ever, for anything?

Lieberman's like a member of a married couple who's always cheating, and not even trying to conceal it, then taunting his spouse with stories about what great sex he had in that motel. The Democratic Party is the spouse who covers up insecurity by angrily telling Lieberman that maybe he should just get the hell out and be with the person he had the affair with if the sex was so damn great -- but, in reality, the Democrats really couldn't bear that, so they do whatever will make Lieberman happy. And Lieberman knows the Democrats will always do that; he milks that for everything it's worth, so he never leaves.

And he keeps cheating.

This is not a healthy relationship. But I strongly doubt it's going to get any healthier.

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