If there was ever any doubt that one of Joe Lieberman’s principal goals in the current Congress is to rub the Democrats’ noses in it, such doubt is surely gone in light of his vote in support of Attorney General Gonzales.
I understand about Joe and Iraq: true, he is asininely wrong about the war, but he’s sincerely asininely wrong. He honestly believes that the war in Iraq is just about the niftiest thing ever to come down the pike. The fact this view borders on insanity makes it no less sincere.
Viewed from the perspective of Joe’s resentful and clearly mediocre mind, backing Bush on Iraq is entirely reasonable.
The same is true for his recent lunacy in advocating bombing Iran: it’s a moronic suggestion, of course — dangerously so — but it’s consistent with Joe’s world view. Joe likes blowing people up; his idea of a well rounded foreign policy involves using a wide variety of weapons.
But today’s vote against allowing the full Senate to hold an up or down vote on the no-confidence resolution against Gonzales (Joe was the only non-Republican to vote that way) is something altogether different. Sure, Joe likes torture and curtailing civil liberties, and all that — so in certain respects, I suppose, he is a natural ally to Gonzales. But does Joe truly endorse the politicizing of the Justice Department? Does he think repeatedly lying to Congress is okey-dokey?
No, this isn’t about policy: it’s about rubbing the Democrats noses in it. Joe has found something to live for in the twilight of his career — vindictiveness. We “betrayed” him by backing Ned Lamont, and now he’s returning the favor.
He may think he has something else working, of course: like getting a cabinet post in the next Republican administration. But, God willing, he’ll be far too old to hold office by the time another GOP presidency rolls around.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are left to hold our noses and bide our time until 2008, when likely Democratic pickups in the Senate will make him all but irrelevant. Perhaps then we’ll finally have proof for the old adage: Old chickenhawks (and chickenshits) never die, they just fade away.