Friday, October 30, 2009

A Too Independent Democrat

It's official - Joe Lieberman is a twerp.
The Connecticut senator, once a Democrat with an actually very liberal social record and also a level-headed guy, has gone to the dark side. He opposes the government-run public health insurance option, claiming to represent the interests of Connecticut but actually representing the health insurance industry of Connecticut. Not only does he threaten to block it with a filibuster - a tactic he's always been against using before - he now plans to campaign for Republicans in the 2010 midterm elections. Lieberman, who calls himself an "independent Democrat" (he was elected to his current term as an independent after losing the Senate primary to a more liberal challenger who, unlike Lieberman, opposed the Iraq War), is proving to be neither. He is so tied to the defense policies and corporate leanings of the Republican party, it makes no sense for him to call himself a Democrat of any kind.
President Obama should do to Lieberman what he did to Hillary - get rid of him. He should just go ahead and give the former McCain supporter a diplomatic post, just to get him out of the Senate. The governor of Connecticut, who would appoint a replacement, is a Republican. I don 't care. If Connecticut is going to be represented by a Republican in the Senate, let the state get someone who isn't afraid to call himself or herself a Republican. In fact, Connecticut Republicans tend to be more liberal than the party's national figures, and such a senator would likely be more flexible than Lieberman. Or even Olympia Snowe.
Lieberman was elected to the Senate in 1988 by upsetting a Republican who was in fact more liberal than he was - Lowell Weicker - by insisting Weicker, a three-term senator, had been in office to long and grown out of touch.
Lieberman is currently serving his fourth term.

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