Israel Loses Its Bestest Senator
Not just because of the return of Alan Grayson or the election of Elizabeth Warren or Tammy Duckworth or the nearly four dozen new Democrats that will be taking their places in both chambers but because Senator Droopy Joe Lieberman is finally out of the Senate.
You remember Lieberman, don't you? He's the guy who in 2006 couldn't forgive businessman Ned Lamont for taking the Democratic primary victory away from him, saying that Lamont had the "audacity" to think he could represent Connecticut in the Senate better than he, as if a Senate term was a birthright or heirloom one should keep for the rest of their days. Lieberman responded by running as an independent and creating a party he'd named after himself. Taking full advantage of Lamont making the mistake of diluting his message and listening to his focus groups, Lieberman got reelected to his (mercifully) final term on a red tide of out of state money.
The ultimate post-apocalyptic political cockroach that nothing, seemingly, could kill, Lieberman was such a soulless opportunist that over 12 years ago he, like Paul Ryan this year, hedged all his bets by refusing to shut down his reelection bid even after getting tapped to be his party's nominee for Vice President. His "debate" with Voldemort, henceforth referred to as Dick Cheney, was more like a collegial exchange of cloned policies than an actual debate. Then he stabbed Al Gore in the back after the clusterfucked 2000 election by casting doubt on the efficacy of overseas ballots.
America's answer to Quisling, Lieberman was the French kiss of death to anyone who'd trusted him. He'd insisted on caucusing with the Democrats and casting just enough votes with the Democrats to avoid getting fully embraced by the Republicans who'd desperately wanted Lieberman to switch parties a la Arlen Specter and bring his Knesset playing cards into their posh clubhouse.
But he'd also alienated Democrats even more by acting like a more wrinkled Mitch McConnell and cock-blocking every meaningful progressive move the left side of the aisle tried to make. Temporarily an all-important swing vote in the Senate while Al Franken's election in Minnesota was put on hold, Lieberman (then the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee) proved that the proverbial post-apocalyptic cockroach had nothing on him by elevating dickishness beyond the level of performance art.
After announcing during his final re-election campaign to help a Democrat get in the White House, Lieberman then attached himself to John McCain's hip like a deflated colostomy bag, acting like a Greek chorus whenever McCain started mentioning a nonexistent Czechoslovakia, fucking up the timeline of the Anbar Awakening or insisting that the ferocactus outside his front door in Sedona was having an affair with his wife Cindy. During that same campaign during a videoconference call to his employers in AIPAC, Lieberman stabbed Barack Obama in the back by questioning his commitment to Israel, prompting Obama to manhandle Lieberman in the well of the Senate chamber to set his wrinkled ass straight. For good measure, he also pulled a Zell Miller and spoke at the 2008 GOP convention, his promise two years earlier of helping to get a Democrat in the White House several light years from his drooping mind.
Well, Lieberman had silently bid farewell yesterday to his colleagues, leaving behind, as with McConnell, no meaningful legislation with his name on it after 24 years of being the Republican Party's and Israel's not so secret weapon. Few Democrats were in attendance and no Republicans. Dishwashers and factory workers often get a bigger sendoff their last day on the job than did Joementum yesterday.
For 24 years, especially in the last 12 with the rise of the Idiot Son, Joe Lieberman did more damage to this nation's political discourse and perceptions by acting in the guise of, and being embraced by the country club media, as a champion of bipartisanship, a centrist who'd nonetheless did his dreary best to hamstring another centrist from getting into the White House.
But to those of us who knew what he was all about these past 12 years know what a political palmetto bug Joe Lieberman always was. Lieberman's, and the White House press's, idea of bipartisanship consisted solely of the Democratic Party giving the Republican Party everything they ever wanted and using as his rationale terrorism and unwavering support of Israel and its terroristic policies. Lieberman was the God With Clay Feet of the bankrupt quasi-religion of centrism, a man who shoehorned credence into the belief that partisanship was needlessly destructive because his own party wouldn't let the Republicans and neocons torture and bomb and needlessly detain for years without charge largely innocent brown people, especially if they were Muslims.
In the good old days, during wartime, Lieberman would've been executed for his apostasies and neverending treacheries. Joe Lieberman was the very poster child of the stereotypical politician, someone who would say, and do, anything to get elected or advance an agenda that was harmful to America. Sometimes it catches up to some people (witness Mitt Romney) but, maddeningly, in Lieberman's case, it never seemed to.
Three term Congressman Christopher S. Murphy, while certainly not a fire-breathing liberal, will take Lieberman's seat, hopefully putting an end to Lieberman's sad farce of centrism and bipartisanship and denying the Knesset the best and most vocal senator they ever had. The Republican Party won't miss him and neither will we.