Sunday, December 20, 2009

Lieberman and Obama: An Egotist and a Moderate

The Senate has placed Joe Lieberman in charge, and scuttled any kind of actual healthcare reform that they might have passed.

The beginning of the end came last month, when Harry Reid handed Lieberman the reins, by openly saying “I’m not using reconciliation.” Once Reid did that, Little Joe knew that everything hinged on his vote, and he could do whatever he wanted.

And what he wanted was to be the most important person around. Well, the Democrats gave him that, so he should be happy now.

Lieberman has always been driven by his ego. We saw that in 2006, when he lost the Democratic primary, and decided to run as an independent, because he couldn’t stand the thought that Connecticut might run without him. In fact, here’s what somebody relatively smart said about him back then.
Let’s be clear on what we have here. Joe Lieberman, a man who once said, while talking about the 2004 elections, "Senator Kerry got a lot of votes, 56 million votes, more than any Democratic candidate for president in history, but there's no prizes for second place in American politics."

Suddenly, because he doesn’t like how things turned out, that idea is out the window. Where he once wanted people to accept the results of an election, now he wants to ignore it completely. He wants to be handed the prize for coming in second...

It's simple human nature on Lieberman's part. He likes to claim that he's one of the "common people," but he's more of a child of privilege. He was born in Stamford, Connecticut, which isn't exactly Compton or South Philly. And he went to Yale, not the local community college.

Every time anybody mentions Ned Lamont, they like to add the adjective "millionaire" in front of his name, in the same place that the word "Senator" gets place in front of Lieberman. But that ignores the fact that Joe Lieberman, in his 2003 financial disclosure form, showed that he had a net worth of somewhere between $482,000 to $1.8 million. The man isn't exactly worrying about whether he can make the rent this month.

That's how I see it. Joe Lieberman thinks that he deserves to be a Senator. It's his right. He feels that he was elected three times, so he's entitled to the job now. He earned it. This attitude, of course, ignores the fact that he wasn't elected this time, but Joe isn't paying attention to that little fact now. He's like a sulky two-year-old - if reality doesn't fit with what he wants, that reality must be wrong.
And once he knew that there was nothing to stop him from being a roadblock, he could reverse himself on everything he’s ever said. After all, it was just three months ago that Lieberman said that he supported an expansion of Medicare and Medicaid to people as young as "post-50... maybe more like post-55."

In fact, in 2000, Lieberman was openly running on a campaign that included expanding Medicare to include more Americans.

But that's OK. We understand that Lieberman is a self-absorbed, lying sack of rotting pig carcasses. That's not the question. The question is, why isn't Obama pushing harder for real healthcare reform?

That one's easy. Barack Obama is a politician, and understands that he needs to get something into law. Whether he works to improve it later will be the question.

Obama isn't just a politician, though. He's a damned sight better, as both a leader and as a human being, than the previous administration, but there's something that he is not and never has been: a leftist.

He is, in fact, a fairly centrist politician.

That statement may very well come as a surprise to some people. If brought to the attention of Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity, there is a distinct possibility that it would cause either or both of them to have an abrupt coronary occlusion.

But it's true. He's, at best, a moderate. Which is a shame: after the disaster of the Bush/Cheney years, America had it's best chance of electing an actual liberal. But that chance was shelved.

This is not to say that Obama is some massive failure as president. He was handed a basketful of challenges when he was elected, and he's working his way through them. The economy is improving, unemployment is falling, we're scaling back in Iraq and Afghanistan (although we aren't doing it as quickly as I'd like).

But it would be nice if Obama could figure out that bipartisanship is a myth, and Joe Lieberman is a self-centered GOP tool.

1 comment:

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

A tip of the hat to the senator from Connecticut for killing the first chance we've ever had for meaningful health care reform....

Honestly, has there ever been as vengeful a little gnat as Joe Lieberman? You'd really have to search the archives of history pretty thoroughly to find someone comparable. There are many reasons why Al Gore was defeated in 2000 by a half-witted frat boy like George W. Bush. One of the main reasons was the abysmal choice of running mate Lieberman.

It was obvious during the debate with Dick Cheney during that campaign that comical Joe was a useless drag on the ticket. When Cheney said that his success in the private sector had nothing to do with the government, Lieberman let the statement stand. Cheney made his fortune at Haliburton because of Government contracts! Government had everything to do with it! Did he purposefully sabotage the Gore campaign? Maybe it's pure paranoia on my part but a case could be made that he did.

Say it ain't so, Revoltin' Joe.

Tom Degan
Goshen NY