Saturday, November 8, 2008

OBAMA ISSUE NUMBER ONE: JOE LIEBERMAN

OK, so Obama ran on a change platform. He promised to reach across the aisle, and end the divide that has infiltrated Congress. He claims to abhor the partisan politics that have marked American government for the past twenty years. Now, the entire platform will come to its first, and ultimate test; the Audacity of a Dope, Joe Lieberman.
Among party leaders (at least publically), they hope he will come back into the democratic fold, albeit with a chilly welcoming party to be sure. Privately, they have held their first meeting with Lieberman and the party leaders, who have assured him they will be glad to have him come back, but there will be punitive measures attached, namely the demotion to Senate committees caring zero clout or prestige. Clearly, the Homeland Security committee is out of the question, as is any committee speakership role.
You see, Lieberman didn't just come to the rescue of his lifelong friend, John McCain. He could have, and should have stopped at campaign stump speeches and his full endorsement for the Dems opponent, and we could have lived with that. What he did was to call Obama on the carpet. For his experience, his abilities, and worst of all (and quite possibly unforgivable), called Obama on his level of patriotism.
"Senator Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who can do great things for our country in the years ahead," Lieberman said in a speech at the Republican National Convention. "But eloquence is no substitute for a record — not in these tough times." Later in the same speech Lieberman misleadingly accused Obama of "voting to cut off funding for our troops on the ground."
In the past, we could have forgiven Lieberman for the unique power his seat has in a very minute majority in the Senate. Of course, given the success of the democratic push to acquire additional senate seats, Lieberman's seat has far less importance to a party with a much larger majority than ever before.
And there is the rub. Lieberman's blue book value has depreciated over the 2008 campaigns, at least to the liberal base, still reeling at the voracity of his willingness to defeat the Obama / Biden ticket. A voracity that, rumor has it, McCain wanted to reward...with the bottom of the ticket, which would have been a truly "Mavericky" move, to be sure. But when the party elders balked at the VP position going even farther left than McCain himself, McCain threw up his hands and admitted defeat. And onto the scene came one Sarah Palin. And the rest is history.
This week, Lieberman has had audiences with both sides party leaders. Depending on who you talk to, Lieberman is either the ultimate free agent, valued wild card, or damaged goods. And while it may be tempting to listen to both sides, he must move cautiously, as his chances of being re-elected from Connecticut will be greatly enhanced without a conservative moniker. And so, the soap opera that is the beltway continues.
And that is the world...."The World According to Kimba." Thanks for reading.

1 comment:

BurrDeming said...

Good insight. It was about more than supporting the Republican.

The anger against Joe Lieberman goes back to 2006. He was not the only Senator who continued to support a forever occupation.

But even then he was unique as a Democrat in going out of his way to taunt those whose support he demanded.