Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Joementum

Demonstrating the sharp political instincts that led him to mediocrity in the 2004 primaries, Senator Joe Lieberman has responded to President Bush's recent political failings just as you'd expect a member of the opposition party would -- by rallying around the president and turning against his own party. Brilliant!

Last week, Lieberman had a Wall Street Journal op-ed defending the president's plans for Iraq from Democratic criticism. This week, he's gone a step further, arguing that any criticism of Bush is, in fact, a threat to the survival of the Republic itself. "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge he'll be commander-in-chief for three more years," the senator said. "We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril." (Really? As Digby reminds us, Holy Joe sure had no problem criticizing the last Commander in Chief.)

It's fairly obvious that Lieberman is sucking up for a reason. With rumors of a real challenge from Lowell Weicker in the next election and rumors that the Bush administration wants Lieberman to replace Rumsfeld in the coming year, he's looking to make his status as an administration lapdog official.

I guess this makes sense for Lieberman, but I can't imagine anyone wanting to be part of this clusterfuck of an administration at this point in time. Iit seems a lot like rushing to get on board the Titanic after it hit the iceberg.

Which is, I suppose, what Joementum is all about.

12 comments:

Mr Furious said...

Yep. Sure seems like a career-killer to me. Why would you want to secure a temporary job as Defense Secretary in a lame duck Administration that has done nothing but screw the whole situation up from the beginning?

You abandon you own party for one that will never actually truly accept you into theirs? Good move, Joe. You won't be able to run for dogcatcher in 2008. I suppose you'll earn a lifetime contract with FOX News...if that's what you want to do with the rest of your life. Everywhere else you will be persona non grata.

Unless, and this is a stretch, you sincerely believe that you can actually best serve the country by taking over for Rumsfeld and salvaging this FUBAR occupation. A noble cause, and if it were true I'd respect you for that—giving up a Senate seat and sacrificing your political future for the country—but in reality that quest is quixotic at best. Cheney will never give you the wheel, and the Iraq strategy will continue to careen off a cliff.

In any of the above situations, you are completely politically tone-deaf, not based in reality, and basically a complete tool. You choose from that rack of bad choices, Joe. Try 'em on and see how many fit.

Norbizness said...

What's Liebermann going to do to relieve the FUBAR situation? Offer tax breaks to insurance companies? Please, Connecticutonianians, you can do better.

Mr Furious said...

That is perhaps the most perplexing part of this... Obviously, a Secretary Lieberman cannot do anything to fix Iraq. Why the fuck does he think he can? Or that they'd let him even try?

Otto Man said...

I think Joe wants to help out the cause in the only way he knows how -- stepping into the Sec Def position right as everything turns to shit and thereby giving Republicans someone to blame when it all goes wrong.

Mr Furious said...

All of the above aside, I find it improbable that Bush/Rove/Cheney would go to a Democrat to replace Rumsfeld.

What do they have to gain from appearing bipartisan? What does it say that it takes a Democrat to come in and clean up the mess? Why would Rove give Democrats a national security helping hand? None of this even makes sense. It will never happen.

Though, if it does, good riddance, Joe. Gov. Rell will replace you with a Republican that might actually be to your left on some issues, and then that Republican will have to face a true Dem challenger next year. Not much time to build an incumbancy, and I think CT will rally to put a real Dem in the seat.

End result, Lieberman rides into obscurity, the Republicans gain another Chafee/Collins for a year, and then the seat goes to a real Democrat—as opposed to Lieberman. IT's the only way to get rid of him. It's "win-win!"

Otto Man said...

Yeah, I don't see Rove letting the Democrats get any traction on the national security and defense front. Clinton made a huge mistake in reaching across the aisle and making an opposition senator (Cohen) his Sec Def, because it underscored the idea that the Dems had nothing on that front. If Bush did the same, it would erase much of that image. Rove won't allow it.

I'm actually a little worried about holding onto Joe's seat in the Senate. If Rell were to appoint someone like Chris Shays -- a maverick Republican and a fairly moderate one, too -- he might be able to hang onto the spot. Sen. Shays would be another Chaffee type, but that's small comfort in the math for majority control.

I'd like to see Holy Joe flirt with the idea publicly, undermine his liberal cred even more, and then get trounced in the primary next year.

S.W. Anderson said...

It's almost funny. It's as if God gave Republicans Chuck Hagel as a cross to bear, and then Democrats got Lieberman.

I am neither anti-Semitic nor against Israel, but I'm concerned that some in our government, in both parties, fail to appreciate even the possibility of separate national interests between the two countries. Israel is a friend and ally, but it's not the 51st state. I'm not sure Lieberman, in his heart of hearts, gets that. Or wants to.

I think that mindset colors his hawkishness and his support for staying Bush's proven-faulty course.

Probably the best person Bush could and realistically might replace Rumsfeld with is Sen. John Warner. However, if it looks as though Virginians might opt for a Democrat to fill Warner's seat next chance they get, I doubt Bush would choose him.

What would be interesting as hell, and quite appropriate, in a way, is if Bush were to ask slavishly loyal, in his own distinctive way, Sen. John McCain to be defense secretary. Somehow, I doubt McCain would take the bait because, as mr furious noted about Lieberman, there would be too great a chance of being left holding a bag of burning dog doo.

Otto Man said...

I am neither anti-Semitic nor against Israel, but I'm concerned that some in our government, in both parties, fail to appreciate even the possibility of separate national interests between the two countries. Israel is a friend and ally, but it's not the 51st state. I'm not sure Lieberman, in his heart of hearts, gets that. Or wants to.

Good point. While I'm hesitant to make arguments that even remotely sound like "Jack Kennedy can't be president because he'll take his orders from the Vatican!" Lieberman hasn't exactly done much to dispell those notions. Unlike JFK I might add.

In any case, there's also the practical point that in an age in which many Arab and Muslim powers see U.S. involvement in Iraq as part of some evil Zionist plot in support of Israel, it might not be the best act of PR to place an Orthodox Jew in charge of the American military machine.

Of course, this is the administration that thinks Karen Hughes is the best possible goodwill ambassador to the Middle East and thinks that bombing al-Jazeera will somehow help our cause. So Secretary Lieberman it is.

Probably the best person Bush could and realistically might replace Rumsfeld with is Sen. John Warner.

Absolutely. That's one Republican I generally respect, someone not blinded by the party-above-country obsession that's afflicted so many of his colleagues. McCain or Hagel would be good, but neither of them will do that given their '08 ambitions. It would be a lose-lose proposition.

Otto Man said...

From Think Progress:

Lieberman yesterday: "It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril."

Murtha today: "Undermining his credibility? What has he said that would give him credibility?"


Zing!

Mr Furious said...

If Bush taps a Senator to fill Rumsfeld's job, they will come from a state with a reliable Republican governor. there is no way they give up a Senate seat.

It's all about the politics, people.

So, Warner is off the table. So is McCain. It won't be Hagel either, obviously. That about exhausts the list of Republicans qualified to do more than wipe my ass.

If it's up to Bush, it will be the next person that walks by the Oval Office, one of Rumsfeld's current Deputies, James Baker or Chalabi.

S.W. Anderson said...

"If it's up to Bush, it will be the next person that walks by the Oval Office, one of Rumsfeld's current Deputies, James Baker or Chalabi."

Great line.

Hmmm.

W: "Oh, Harriet, c'mon in and set a spell. Got somethin' I wanna talk to ya about."

H: "Oh . . . my . . . God, NO, Mr. President. No way, nohow!"

Thrillhous said...

I agree with you guys 100% in your criticisms of Joementum, but I still think he'd be an improvement over Rummy. He's certainly proven his willingness to dump on Democrats, but I just can't see him sinking to the despicable levels of the neocons. For instance, I think he's a lot less likely to swiftboat military personell, like how Rummy and Wolfie did Shinseki. I also think he'd be more likely to stop Abu Ghraib type situations.

I really don't think he's going anywhere, though. In fact, I predict he gets reelected in CT fairly easily.