Friday, November 7, 2008
A Man Without a Country: Joe Lieberman is Screwed.
He walks like a republican, talks like a republican, and votes on foreign policy like a republican, so why is it taking so long for him to switch parties? The Connecticut Senator, while retaining his seat by running as an independent, is registered as a Democrat-for now. Sen. Reid (D-NV) will likely strip him of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairs, effectively making him persona non grata. Political realignment would seem to be an easy choice given that Connecticut republicans essentially gave him his seat after state democrats had shown him the door. His hawkish views on Iraq, support for Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), and speaking at the Republican National Convention may not be enough to overcome his liberal social views, creating a major snag in changing affiliations.
Connecticut is in blue New England, and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) might see an opportunity to snag a senate seat with a more conservative candidate while democrats will assuredly run a strong candidate in 2012. Senator McConnell likely sees support for the war in Iraq as Lieberman’s strongest asset, an issue that might very well be resolved in a few years. The Kentucky senator will also wonder how much help Lieberman will be in the upcoming fights for health care, the environment, taxes and Supreme Court nominees and decide that Joe would be little more than window dressing.
Don’t despair for Joe, though. His predicament is largely self-made. An elected official, of course, is expected to following his conscience. Publicly supporting a republican presidential candidate, any republican, is a different matter and should be enough for exile. Speaking at the republican convention was just fucking insane. What was he thinking? Senator Reid wouldn’t notice?
Whatever the outcome, Senator Lieberman seems poised to become marginalized, a man without a country whose hubris forced him to turn away from the party that nurtured him. So long, Joe, you won’t be missed.