Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Trojan Horse and A Horse's Ass

We thought they were the decent guys. Maybe they weren’t our candidates, didn’t represent our party or politics, but we gave them this: they were decent.

We know better now. Let’s start with the man most detested by half of the country, Senator Joe Lieberman.

Having flipped on climate control and flopped on Iraq, he’s set his jaundiced sights on health care. “It’s time to get reasonable,” Lieberman declared last Sunday on “Face the Nation,” which CBS should have appropriately renamed “Two-Face the Nation” for him. Reasonable? A member of the Democratic Caucus, he’s threatened to filibuster against health care legislation if it includes a public option, threatened to join Republicans in opposition to legislation expanding Medicare coverage to people ages 55 to 64. What will he think of threatening to do next—outlaw band-aids?

He claims to be worried about adding to “tax-payer costs” and the nation’s deficit. How did he manage to be worry free when he supported the war in Iraq?

He claims to listen to his conscience. Since his largest campaign contributions stem from insurance industry sources and industry-affiliated political action committees, that would seem to mean listening to the voices of the people he’s heavily indebted to. He “owes” them. The Independent Senator from Connecticut is anything but independent.

Which brings us back to his membership in the Democratic Caucus. Many in his own party think he’s a Benedict Arnold. Connecticut Representative Rosa DeLauro says, "No one should hold health care hostage, including Joe Lieberman, and I'll say it flat out, I think he ought to be recalled…” Writer Tom Bisky thinks he’s a mole. I think he’s a Trojan Horse. I’m for setting Barney Frank on him.

Stop this man before he kills national health care. In his own words:

“We’ve got to stop adding to the bill, we’ve gotta start subtracting some controversial things. I think the only way to get this done before Christmas is to bring in some Republicans who are open-minded on this, like Olympia Snowe. You’ve got to take out the Medicare buy-in. You’ve got to forget about the public option. You probably have to take out the Class Act…” In other words, Joe Lieberman wants to accent the negative and eliminate the positive. Which brings us to Mr. In-Between, Joe’s bosom buddy John McCain. The Republican standard-falterer says, “Republicans see Mr. Lieberman as a voice of conscience. I'm proud of him for standing up for what he believes in.”

I’m tired of John McCain. He’s a nag.

Lieberman and McCain take their rightful places with Ralph Nader, George W—[add your own choices]—on a Mt. Rushmore of disenchantment.


  1. [From Tom Bisky, aka Anonymous:]


    Ray, thanks for your superb December 15 post on Senator Joe Lieberman’s latest act of political double-dealing. And thanks, too, for citing my contention that he has been a mole for many years – -at least since the days of the failed Gore-Lieberman presidential campaign, when Lieberman fed his running mate a steady diet of whacky, counter-intuitive advice, notably in the month-long Florida recount debacle.

    But in replying to you, I had first better clarify something. I don’t mean to suggest that Senator Lieberman bears any resemblance to Mexico’s official holiday sauce. That would be “mole” [MOH-lay], short for “mole poblano” [poh-BLAH-noh]. No, what I’m really saying is that Senator Lieberman is a metaphorical mole –- a political spy who has burrowed deep into the enemy camp to undermine its workings in plain sight.

    Wait a second. Culinary legend says that the thick, unctuous, shit-colored sauce called mole was concocted in a 16th-century Mexican rural convent by nervous nuns who wanted something to pour over an old turkey to disguise its near-putrefaction before serving it to visiting dignitaries. (Aside within an aside: How can you tell if a turkey is Republican? It has two right wings.)

    As you can imagine, Ray, the temptation for me to continue digressively is strong –- but I will resist. Instead, let me borrow a familiar comedic recipe from the Letterman Show. Here are “The Top Ten Signs That Joe Lieberman is a Mole”:

    No. 10: Lieberman used to brag that he started at the bottom. Now, with the health care bill, he’s gone even lower.

    No. 9: Lieberman likes to stand on his record. That way, none of us can see him.

    No. 8: In Lieberman Land, gift etiquette is inverted. When insurance lobbyists give money to Lieberman, they whisper “Thanks.” Then he whispers, “Don’t mention it.”

    No. 7: When a recent visitor to the Senate Office Building asked which side Lieberman was on, a guard replied, “Ours, I think.”

    No. 6: There are two things people don’t like about Senator Lieberman –- his face.

    No. 5: In Senator Lieberman’s office, a “late-breaking item” is a campaign promise.

    No. 4: Between them, Bernie Madoff and Joe Lieberman could tell every untruth one could imagine. And Madoff wouldn’t have to say anything!

    No. 3: Years from now, a doctor may say to an expectant heart-transplant patient: “I have some good news. We have a heart for you. But I have some bad news. It’s Lieberman’s.”

    No. 2: Lieberman says he has a clear conscience about his work on health care. Actually, it’s just a lousy memory.

    No. 1: Lately, Senator Lieberman has been doing the work of two men –- Judas Iscariot and Benedict Arnold.

    Tom Bisky

  2. [Comment No. 2 from Tom Bisky, aka Anonymous:]


    “Judas,” Ben Franklin once observed, “sold only one man; Arnold sold millions.”

    American "mole-dom" has a long, ignoble history. Benedict Arnold (1740-1801) was a general during the American Revolutionary War who took command of West Point expressly to surrender the strategically located fort to the British. After his secret plot failed, Arnold switched sides, serving in the British military. Today, he is synonymous with treason.

    At the moment, Senator Joe Lieberman is synonymous with independence –- a theoretical state of political affiliation midway between the two major parties.

    To be precise, the latter-day Lieberman has burrowed “near” his former party’s turf. On trivial matters, he speaks like, and votes with, the centrist Democrats. But when powerful conservative business interests are most at stake in Congress –- that is, when some tactical molehill has become a strategic mountain –- Lieberman quickly morphs into a far-right-wing Republican.

    Then, invariably, after his latest duties as a caucus spoiler are done, Lieberman sidles up to the closest Democratic Senatorial colleague and, with that familiar wide, warm, aw-shucks smile, pleads contrition and begs forgiveness. And, invariably he is forgiven, caucus-wide. But before long, the Lieber-maniacal cycle begins anew.

    I guess Will Rogers put it best: “I belong to no organized political party. I’m a Democrat.” Or to paraphrase Forrest Gump, stupid is as stupid repeatedly does.

    Of course, it isn’t as if well-meaning Americans have never tried to blend Democratic and Republican ideals, cafeteria-style, into something truly independent. The Whigs are a great example. Heck, for all of those magical years between 1833 and 1856, no party was more influential than the Whigs –- except the Democrats and the Republicans.

    Historians agree that the Whig Party was “mostly” Democratic. Problem is, you really can’t be a little bit pregnant, a little bit dead, or a little bit Democratic –- because the respective results will be an abortion, a zombie, or a Lieberman, in descending order of integrity.


    I’ll close this reply, Ray, with a story such as you or I might tell at the Dutch Treat Club:

    One day, when Joe Lieberman was a boy, his father approached him with a Bible, two apples and a silver dollar. Walking away from his son’s room, the elder Lieberman surmised that if he returned in a few minutes to discover the boy reading a Bible passage, then young Joe would grow up to be a religious leader. If the boy were to be found eating one of the apples, he would be drawn to farming. If he showed fascination with the silver dollar, he’d become a banker.
    After a few minutes, Mr. Lieberman returned to find little Joe sitting on the Bible, with the coin hidden in his shoe, eating both apples at once.
    “Joey,” said his father. “Guess what? Someday, you’ll be an independent politician.”

    Tom Bisky

  3. So, Barack the exalted one lies about being a moderate; lies about signing bills with pork (the "stimulus bill had 9000 pieces of pork attached; lies that the stimulus bill will prevent unemployment from exceeding 8% ( it is effectively 17% but they conveniently eliminate the underemployed); lies about reaching across the aisle (closed door sessions in Congress are across the aisle); lies about taking PAC money (SEIU President is the most frequent visitor to the White House); lies about his voting record both in Illinois and the US Senate ( he voted present more than 90% of the time!); in fact the best way to tell if he is lying is when his lips are moving. Yet Joe Leiberman is a mole and turncoat!?!!? One can only hope that Joe keeps his promise, derails health care and saves us from the economic disaster this President and Congress are about to foist on the American Public. Happy New Year though. It's over for them in November. THANK YOU JESUS!

  4. It is so strange to comment on this, especially after our recent conversation on the subject.

    All I have to say is that Joe Liebermann did more for the GOP in 2009 than he ever could in 2008: he stabbed a dagger in the heart of Obama's single biggest piece of legislation.

    His state has deserted him, his own party deserted him, and I think it is time for the Democratic caucus to desert him. He is living proof that 60 seats is not enough for a super-majority. Not when lives are at stake.

    He, and every Republican who opposed this bill should be ashamed. As for the Senate Democrats, it's time for them to start using the majority they have.