Heave Ho, Joe
November 7, 2008
I don’t know what’s funnier: the most batshit elements of the conservative movement preparing to go on a purity purge of the GOP’s ranks, or an aide for Joe Lieberman suggesting that Joe the Ho might bolt the Democratic caucus and play in the Republican sandbox if the turncoat senator gets stripped of his chairmanshp on the Homeland Security Committee.
Gosh, Joe, whatcha gonna do? Threaten to call the Democratic presidential nominee a Marxist and actively campaign for his Republican competitor? Whoops, already did that. Stick a knife in the back of a fellow senator who helped save your hash when Ned Lamont had you on the ropes in the Connecticut primary? Dag, already did that, too. Lie to your constituents by pretending to be a “centrist” in favor of withdrawal from Iraq, then turn into one of Bush’s most vocal warwhores? Uh oh, wait a minute . . .
Lieberman shouldn’t just be encouraged to go over to the Republican side; he should be loaded into a circus cannon and fired at Mitch McConnell’s office door. Josh Marshall takes a slightly less punitive position:
I don’t think it’s necessary to expel him from the caucus. And perhaps there are some perks of seniority he could be allowed to retain. But allowing him to keep his chairmanship is simply unacceptable. It’s a position the Democrats hold because of the joint efforts of Democrats across the country pulling together to support Democratic policies and ideals and elect Democratic candidates. For Lieberman to enjoy the fruits of that labor after working so hard to stymie that effort would be unconscionable.
Lieberman says his position was one of conscience. And out of generosity more than reason, I’m willing to believe that. But as he so often says, you have to take responsibility for your actions.
And the simple fact is the Democrats don’t need Joe Lieberman. He’s not in a position to call anything ‘unacceptable’. The Democrats didn’t get to 60 votes or at least it now seems highly unlikely — which was his only hope to have any continued relevance or position to bargain from. And the truth is that filibuster-busting votes are often made on an ad-hoc basis rather than on a party line. In any case, there’d be no more reason to trust he’d be there as a 60th vote as a Democrat than as a Republican.
Sen. Reid should take a cue from the one his fictional predecessor once heard in telling Lieberman how it’s going to be: “My offer is this. Nothing.”
If we’re going to be quoting from movies (the second Godfather movie in Marshall’s case), let me paraphrase a line from Kill Bill in response to the news that Joe the Ho is considering his options: “Bitch, you have no options.”