Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Joe The Bummer

In the 1998 film, "Bulworth," Warren Beatty plays a U.S. senator who decides during a re-election campaign to start speaking the truth, rather than regurgitating the usual diet of predictable, political pablum.

Which further recalls that old saying: "In Washington, a gaffe is when someone tells the truth."

All of which makes me think of the U.S. senator who is perhaps our generation's most despicably unprincipled hack.

No, not Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter, though he would certainly be in the running.

My vote goes to Joe Lieberman, independent of Connecticut.

Lately, Lieberman has made many Democrats (his former party) foam at the mouth as he has publicly relished his role as a potential spoiler on the fate of healthcare reform. Lieberman's biggest problem with the bill? The potential inclusion of a public option. And its potential (though not according to the Congressional Budget Office) impact on the federal deficit.

Now, this is a man (Lieberman) who for the better part of the past decade, has had no problem signing off on two wars that may ultimately top $2-trillion and have been funded entirely with borrowed money. (In other words, literally every dollar has increased the deficit.) In voting to pass George W. Bush's Prescription Drug Bill, he again had no problem supporting legislation that had no funding, and directly and immediately piled onto the ballooning deficit.

But now, in flailing about for a rationale du jour (he has changed rationales almost daily) with which to oppose his former party's historic healthcare bill, Liberman seems to have settled mostly with the argument that it would simply be "immoral" to pass legislation that would burden the nation with more debt.

Question: Why does Joe Lieberman tend to look brown in most photos?
Answer: Because he's so full of shit.

And why bring up "Bulworth?"

Because once, just once, it would be refreshing--and for Lieberman, actually redeeming--to just be honest. Just come right out and say, "Look, folks--in case you haven't noticed, my home state, Connecticut, and Hartford, in particular, is home to many of the world's largest insurance companies. And in case you haven't noticed, they are flat-out opposed to any kind of government-sponsored competition coming in the form of a public option in healthcare reform. And they are not only some of my most important constituents, but they also give me an enormous amount of campaign contributions. And you wonder why I am opposed to passing this bill as written?"

And with that, I would say, "Know what? Joe Lieberman is still an obnoxious, opportunistic, ego-addled asshole. But at least for once he's being honest about his asshole-ness."

If only.