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Thanks for the memories

Today was supposed to be Beckett Day on this blog, but we interrupt our brief foray into Irish Literature Blogging to bring you this important Lieberman Bulletin.  From yesterday’s Hartford Courant, the words of Irving Stolberg, two-time speaker of the Connecticut House of Representatives:

[O]n the two biggest issues of our times, he is dead wrong.

His blind support of the Iraq war, begun illegally and a continuing catastrophe, is monstrous.

And his defense of an incompetent president, a vice president who fits the dictionary definition of fascism and an extremist administration that has perpetrated torture, illegal eavesdropping and a general shredding of the Constitution is insulting to the people who elected him in the first place.

Now, I assume you’ve already heard of this editorial, because Mr. Atrios (hat tip) mentioned it yesterday.  I just wanted to chime in and say that any day on which Dick Cheney is referred to as “a vice president who fits the dictionary definition of fascism” in an American newspaper is a good day for the forces of light.

But it should also remind us of one of Weepin’ Joe’s odious moments in the spotlight.  It’s a minor item in the Lieberman Canon of truly odious public moments, but a telling one.  From his October 2000 vice-presidential debate with the guy who fits the dictionary definition of fascism:

LIEBERMAN: I think if you asked most people in America today that famous question that Ronald Reagan asked, “Are you better off today than you were eight years ago?” Most people would say yes. I’m pleased to see, Dick, from the newspapers that you’re better off than you were eight years ago, too.

CHENEY: I can tell you, Joe, the government had absolutely nothing to do with it. (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE)

MODERATOR: This question is to you.

LIEBERMAN: I can see my wife and I think she’s saying, “I think he should go out into the private sector.”

CHENEY: I’ll help you do that, Joe.

The government had nothing to do with it? Mother of Moloch, Senator Lieberman, the guy opposite you wasn’t a crafty software entrepreneur or a independent mousetrap salesman.  He was an executive of Halliburton, for cryin’ out loud.  The guy had spent eight years swelling Halliburton’s coffers (and his own estate) by means of oily federal contracts so generous that one is compelled to wonder whether the recipients of state handouts do not, after all, experience a profound personal moral decay.  I mean, this was what they call an easy opening.  And you couldn’t challenge Cheney to his face, and point out that the government had everything to do with his “success”?

And speaking of swollen coffers and moral decay, the metonymic Lieberman skid just keeps on skiddin’.  First, swollen coffers: this seems like a good time to remember those dark days of 2002, when those of us who care about such things were insisting that there should be no more “Enron Democrats” in the party.  For Holy Joe was the Enronniest of them all, as George Mundstock patriotically noted this past July 4:

more than anybody else in America, Joe Lieberman is responsible for some of the worst corporate abuses during the recent tech bubble and for the current growing options backdating scandal. The Connecticut media has noted this, but not the national media, and it is real important. In short, in 1993, Lieberman saved amazingly bad accounting for when a company pays an executive with stock options instead of cash. This caused options to flourish. Options make an executive more concerned with short-term fluctuations in her company’s stock price than in running the company well. Disaster resulted.

Hat tip on this one to Brad DeLong, who always cares about such things.

Second, moral decay:


About a decade ago, a few years before he became the Democratic party’s most fearless and outspoken critic of oral sex in the White House, Righteous Joe teamed up with Dolores Umbridge Lynne Cheney to found this fine organization, notable most recently for its Horowitz-with-a-human-face report, “How Many Ward Churchills?” (the short answer to which is conveniently provided on page 2, in the subsection titled “Ward Churchill is Everywhere.” Yes, Ward Churchill is now Elvis.  Who knew?) It’s not quite fair to say that there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Lieberman and his good friends the Cheneys, but it’s entirely fair to call Lieberman a first-rate Cheney Enabler who’s repeatedly gone above and beyond the call to forge “bipartisan coalitions” with the culture-war right and the kleptocapitalist right.

So thanks for all your hard work over the years, Joe!  Here’s hoping you get re-acquainted with the private sector real soon.

Posted by on 07/24 at 12:07 PM
  1. Well, Churchill may or may not be Elvis, but he is certainly Alan Dershowitz, as Digby has shown.

    Posted by  on  07/24  at  01:47 PM
  2. Good point!  At least we can take some comfort in the thought that major media would never give an outlet to their contemptible justifications for killing civilians.

    Posted by  on  07/24  at  01:55 PM
  3. Joementum really believed all that claptrap about bringing democracy to the Middle East by attacking Iraq.  He was quite excited by it, upbeat.

    No one that naive (dare I say, “stupid") should be in a position of responsibility in our government.

    All right, the whole administration makes the same claim… but they don’t really believe it.

    Joeparture did.

    Posted by Aaron Barlow  on  07/24  at  03:13 PM
  4. I found this site last month and I was checking back for another visit. Wow, what wonderful and emotionally powerful and yet softly sweet; the new images!

    I had mentioned your site in my blog as an illustration of Professors who blog, however, my reference was to the “professor with a pruning knife” picture.  Please visit, http://www.theaudaciousmuse.blogspot.com “Bloggin Madness: the Answers” and advice me if I need to edit or remove my post.

    You are a delightful and informative writer Professor Berube.  Yes, I have read two of your books.

    Posted by SueMuse  on  07/24  at  03:35 PM
  5. At last, an issue the Democratic Party can gel around: Dump Lieberman. The Progressive Party has only been dead since 1948. Maybe it can be revived enough to push the Dems over the line from right to center.

    Posted by  on  07/24  at  03:55 PM
  6. Common chant at Philadelphia Eagles games in the late 1960s, regarding coach Kuharich: “Joe must go!”

    Sign at the 2006 Orange Bowl, regarding the rehabilitation of Penn State coach Paterno: “Joe must go ... to the College Football Hall of Fame!”

    Soon to be popular chant at Senator Lieberman appearances, picking up on Le Blog: “Joe must go ... to the private sector!”

    Posted by John Protevi  on  07/24  at  04:14 PM
  7. It is so nice to discover that ACTA is a major supporter of FIRE who claims:
    The mission of FIRE is to defend and sustain individual rights at America’s increasingly repressive and partisan colleges and universities. These rights include freedom of speech, legal equality, due process, religious liberty, and sanctity of conscience—the essential qualities of individual liberty and dignity. FIRE’s core mission is to protect the unprotected and to educate the public and communities of concerned Americans about the threats to these rights on our campuses and about the means to preserve them.

    I guess Penn State must be one of those repressive and partisan universities for sure by now, given the way in which the sanctity of conscience is evaluated, or not.

    I can only imagine that FIRE is closely allied with that person whose name we shall never mention again.  But then their current president “is a frequent guest on local and national syndicated radio programs, has represented FIRE on national television shows—including The Abrams Report, Hannity and Colmes, and Buchanan and Press...” That pretty much sums up the alliances that Joe has carefully crafted for himself when he returns to the private life of living off the government dole (he will receive a wonderful pension--By law, the starting amount of a Member’s retirement annuity may not exceed 80% of his final salary--$165,000 this year).

    Posted by  on  07/24  at  04:26 PM
  8. Dick Cheney has proven to be a pretty sorry oracle in the past, but it’s fun to think that he is at long last providing the “help” which will usher Lieberman back into the private sector.

    Posted by  on  07/24  at  05:19 PM
  9. "Metynomic”?  From context, it sounds icky, like skid marks.  Or is it like metronomic?

    Posted by  on  07/24  at  05:21 PM
  10. Metonymic or metynomic?

    This post is as funny as Beckett’s more wry work, no?

    Posted by Orange  on  07/24  at  06:37 PM
  11. Thanks for catching the typo, folks.  That’s number six and counting.

    Posted by  on  07/24  at  07:36 PM
  12. Clearly, your proofreading eye has grown rusty from disuse. No more blogging breaks for you!

    Posted by Orange  on  07/24  at  07:41 PM
  13. nice to see you’re back, michael. and nice to see your front, too.

    sorry it’s not beckett day today, but w/lieberman being played all over youtube, i suppose we could make a pun about tape’s last crap, but i won’t.

    and, if you need any more reasons to not support lieberman, a poster at dailykos named gladkov came up w/32 wonderful examples of joe-nertia’s votes and positions that are hard to support if, as in gladkov’s words, “you are a dem.”

    however, since dailykos doesn’t need the traffic, and i do, i reproduced them over at skippy.

    one last thing, michael...i don’t have your email address, and would like to send you a complimentary skippy the bush kangaroo tee shirt!

    email me w/your size!


    Posted by skippy  on  07/24  at  11:45 PM
  14. A typo on this site is like a typo in the New Yorker—a rip in the fabric of reality.  (Once during the Tina Brown years I wrote them to complain, back in the days of ink on paper and stamps on envelopes.  What a dork.)

    Posted by  on  07/25  at  01:30 AM
  15. Just when I think its safe to come back to the Berube blog, you have to remind us of that odios debate performance.  Truly a low point among low points in this new century.

    Posted by Bulworth  on  07/25  at  11:16 AM
  16. damn you michael.. it is apparently all your fault…

    According to the standard version, Mr. Lieberman is the victim of ferocious “liberal bloggers” from around the country. Dispersed across the United States, these meddling left-wing activists somehow conspired to launch Ned Lamont’s primary challenge, and then somehow mesmerized voters, perhaps via the Internets, to reject the Senator they had chosen three times before. Combining Internet technology with progressive ideology, the miasmic and unwholesome blogosphere now threatens to swallow poor Joe in a cloud of angry, buzzing bytes.
    from 07/26/06 Joe Conason column titled: “Lieberman allies blame left-wing bloggers”

    Posted by  on  07/26  at  12:43 PM
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