For anyone who’s been paying attention since 2006 (and well before that, but at least since then), this will be something of a “Dog Bites Man” statement: like, tell me something I don’t know. But even those of us who’ve followed Holy Joe’s cheese-dickery closely for years might not remember just how bad his past statements make yesterday’s stab in the back to the Democratic leadership.
Fortunately, we live in the age of videotape and hard drives and ubiquitous Internet access. DailyKos has the smoking gun (video) – but I’ll warn you in advance: your blood pressure may go unacceptably high while watching this (the video is taken from two separate debate appearances on the campaign trail in 2006, when Lieberman was facing a stiff (and ultimately unsuccessful) attempt to fend off Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic primary, and then again in the general election, after having re-filed as an independent once he lost to Lamont in the primary). Here’s the key bits of Lieber-speak:
What I’m saying to the people of Connecticut, I can do more for you and your families to get something done to make health care affordable, to get universal health insurance.
I’ve been working on health insurance reform for more than a dozen years. … I have offered a comprehensive program. Small business health insurance reform, plus something I call MediKids to cover all the children in America on a sliding fee basis up until the age of 25.
MediChoice to allow anybody in our country to buy into a national insurance pool like the health insurance pool that we federal employees and Members of Congress have.
Translation? “I will lie, both through my teeth and in the weeds, until the moment when I can peevishly do the most damage in selling out my erstwhile caucus-members by becoming the first US senator in history to join the other party in a filibuster of one of my own party’s main legislative goals.”
Shorter LIEberman?: “I do not care about the uninsured in my own state or any other state. I care about Joe Lieberman, and about settling old grudges.”
Like I said, this character (lying, backstabbing, petulant, weaselly, self-involved) of Lieberman’s was readily apparent to anyone who bothered to even have a cursory glance, from at least the 2006 elections onward. Yet here’s Harry Reid in late 2007 (actual interview here) after Lieberman managed to worm his way back into the senate for another six years, saying that there’s no need to chastise him or punish him, because he’s “with us on everything but the Iraq war.”
Nice frickin’ job, Harry. Wanna go ahead and re-assert that one? Didn’t think so. The fact that Joe Lieberman has demonstrated repeatedly in the years since he was defeated in the primary by Ned Lamont that he (Lieberman) is certainly not “with Democrats on everything but the war,” Senate Democrats, including Reid, have appeared nearly endlessly willing to ignore – or deny, if pressed – those instances. One would hope that this current, un-overlookable instance of Lieberman’s perfidy would jolt Senate Democrats out of their torpor (or whatever the hell it is – collegiality? – that prevents them from seeing Lieberman for the snake he is), but apparently, even that is too much to ask. Here’s Chris Dodd, just the other day, saying that no harm – nor even a wrist-slap or talking-to – will befall Lieberman as a result of promising to scuttle the Democrats’ crown jewel of legislative priorities:
No, no, no. People are going to be all over the place. The idea that people are going to be reprimanded because somehow they have a different point of view than someone else is ridiculous. That isn’t going to happen.
Jeebus. With Democrats like these, who needs Republicans? Or jellyfish, for that matter?
….like Droopy Dog?