Last week, we here in Denver were pounded by one of our characteristic here-today-gone-tomorrow blizzards. In two days, we received nearly two feet of wet, sloppy snow, leaving my family trapped with no way to go anywhere in our small, fuel-efficient compact cars. On the plus side, though, I got to catch up on a lot of news. Then again, that may not have been such a wonderful thing, since I also got to see Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman decide he needed to side with republicans in an effort to keep any health care plan with a public option from going forward. This naturally prompted a response that made me shudder from the fact that I was actually quoting a certain former governor of Alaska; I found myself saying, “say it ain’t so, Joe.”
That’s right, Joe Lieberman has decided to take his thirty pieces of silver and side with the party of “NO” against health care reform, saying he will join a Republican filibuster of any bill containing a public option, thereby allowing the GOP leverage to avoid cloture and put a stop to new legislation that would shift the balance of power just a little bit toward the people instead of insurance companies. Lieberman decided to make this choice after being given the chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in exchange for implicitly promising to side with his own party on important legislative issues. Way to go, Joe Lieberman. You’ve effectively proven that you absolutely cannot be trusted to do what you publicly stated you would. You’ve shown that you will go against the will of your constituents and represent moneyed special interests instead. You, sir, are Judas.
But why is Joe Lieberman such a traitor to his party and to the people of his state? Is he in some way connected to big pharma and the insurance lobby? Yes, he is. In fact, one could say he is married to them. Ol’ Joe’s wife, Hadassah Lieberman, has represented and been employed by drug and insurance companies for years. In addition to her directorship with drug giant Pfizer from 1982-1985, Joe Conason of salon.com reported in 2006 that Mrs. Lieberman was “senior counselor” in Hill & Knowlton’s “health care and pharmaceuticals practice.” In fact, according to Conason last Thursday, throughout “most of the past three decades, Hadassah Lieberman has been employed by either pharmaceutical companies or the lobbying firms that represent them.” Small wonder, then, that while the average US Senator raised just shy of $4 million in the 2006 election cycle, Lieberman was able to somehow pull together more than four times that much, with one of his biggest contributors being, you guessed it, big pharma!
So Joe Lieberman’s wife works (or worked) for the drug and insurance lobbies, Joe Lieberman’s campaign gained over $18 million for reelection in 2006, and then Joe Lieberman moved to block legislation that would make it harder for insurance companies to gouge the American people. What could possibly have happened? Now, I’m not saying there is any solid evidence that Joe Lieberman is on the take, but I’ve always said that if something both looks and smells like fresh, steamy fecal matter, I don’t need to taste it to know what it is.
So now what?’
Well, naturally, the perks he was given in exchange for cooperation should immediately be removed. After all, Lieberman has essentially voided the deal that got him his posh committee seats by going back on his promise to support his party and his president. If there’s any justice to be found in the Democratic Party, Majority leaders Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi will listen to their constituents and take decisive action. Newsmax.com‘s Jim Meyers reports that the “activist group is calling on Democratic leaders in the Senate to strip Sen. Joe Lieberman’s chairmanship of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.” This is only the beginning of what should await Senator Lieberman for his betrayal.
After being relieved of all rank and privileges to the greatest degree the law will allow, our next step should be to take a suggestion from The Huffington Post’s Norman Lear, who has decided that Joe Lieberman actually is equivalent to the german word backpfeifengesicht, which translates roughly to mean “a face in definite need of a punch.” Initially, I would have preferred a swift kick to the balls, but as Joe Lieberman is clearly sans testicles, we will all have to settle for someone popping him square in the mouth. He should have to pay for all the medical costs of broken teeth and stitches out of his own pocket, too, so he can have some idea as to what he’s decided to subject the rest of us.
Finally, we must ostracize Joe Lieberman from all forms of media unless it will result in his immediate removal from the US Senate. Since his motivation seems to revolve around making Lieberman “feel relevant,” we should make it a point to send the message that we will not reward his bad behavior. Then maybe Joe Lieberman will remember that his job isn’t about making Joe Lieberman feel relevant, it’s about serving the American people. Maybe it will be the prompt that gets the Senator to stop his lies about health care reform, and act like he wants to stay in office.
Joe Lieberman, here are your directives. Either start representing the people as per your job, or change your name to Joe Iscariot, leave town with your thirty pieces of silver, and never let us see your traitorous backpfeifengesicht again.