I don't give politicians much credit these days, though I have to give them props for the strength of their collective stomachs. I don't think I could take the rollercoaster that is is the legislative process.
Perhaps it's my adult ADD or my need for instant gratification (or at least near future gratification). Patience was never a virtue of mine.
The long, bumpy, twisty road to health care reform has been enough to make me sick. Just when we think we're on the home stretch, another obstacle pops up. This time, it wears the scary Halloween mask of Joe Lieberman. Truly terrifying.
Maura Keaney, in an editorial for The Guardian (UK) offered this bit of brilliance:
Joe Lieberman has become the Balloon Boy dad of the Senate Democratic caucus, a fame-whore so addicted to media attention that he hatches ever-more-desperate and risky schemes that sell out his "family" to earn press attention.
So, what do we do about the errant Senator from Connecticut? I'll try to assess the options, and keep the nausea at bay.
Progressives can only hope that, like Richard Heene, Lieberman will finally be exposed as a fame-seeking fraudster after his latest stunt, Tuesday's threat to filibuster any bill for health care reform that includes a public option.
Joe Lieberman, who was defeated in the Democratic primary in Connecticut in 2006 by challenger Ned Lamont, decided to go rogue and run as an independent. Although he had shown little loyalty to the party, it got behind him in a big way.
Lieberman, as we now know all too well, won and retained his seat in the Senate and in the Democratic caucus. Apparently, party leadership with their brilliance at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory again and again, neglected to get any loyalty assurances from Mr. Lieberman in return for his place in the caucus. And even more irresponsible, he was given a prime committee chairmanship, again, with apparently no conditions.
How long should the Democratic party allow Lieberman's Republican ways to sit with the Dems, and even more importantly, to chair the all-important Homeland Security committee?
He not only campaigned in 2008 for the GOP ticket of McCain-Palin, but also for a number of Republicans in their bid for seats in the Senate. Today, he said he plans to actively campaign - again - for more Republican candidates in the coming days.future contests.
This week, Droopy Joe has been threatening to make history by siding with the Republicans to filibuster the health care bill -- voting against the cloture motion to cut off debate and bring the bill to the floor for a vote.
No Senator has ever gone against his caucus to filibuster legislation. If Lieberman does, indeed, do this, it will finally end his relationship with the Democratic party.
Many loyal liberals are calling for Lieberman's hide right now. Much to my amazement, I caution patience here. If Lieberman is stripped of his chairmanship and kicked out of the caucus now, he most definitely will filibuster and do all he can to block any new legislation.
He is a wimp. I have a feeling that with enough pressure put on him, he'll bow his head and come crawling back to the Democrats and will vote for cloture. I believe, as Maura Keaney wrote above, that Joe Lieberman is an attention seeking whore.
Perhaps when push comes to shove he will do the right thing. If not, there's plenty of time to kick him to the curb later.