Over the years,
I have formulated many theories to explain Senator Joseph Lieberman’s incessant
whining. At first, I though he was imitating Max Wright, who played Willie
in the television sitcom Alf (there’s a definite separated at birth possibility there).
During the 2000 presidential campaign, however, I stumbled onto the real
reason. Al Gore had a penchant for saying unbelievably stupid things. When
Gore claimed that his marriage was the inspiration for the movie Love Story,
or when he claimed to have invented the internet, Lieberman had to spend
every interview and campaign event for months afterward explaining why his
running mate seemed so delusional. The pressure must have been immense. He
did pretty well, though, and in the aftermath of the 2000 debacle and the
events of September 11, 2001, Lieberman emerged as a fairly credible presidential
hopeful. He is an intelligent man, with a long record of supporting military
action against Islamic terrorism. Lieberman also managed to escape the Clinton
taint that hindered Gore. Yet, Lieberman continues to whine.
Senator Lieberman knows that a man is judged by the company he keeps. He knows
that no matter what he says or does, so long as he is a Democrat, the words
and actions of those within his party will affect the way people view him.
Just thinking back over the past year to political speeches and soundbites
of Democratic leaders makes me wince. I can envision Senator Lieberman hearing
these same statements and whining, "It’s not fair; no matter what I do, people
will always associate me with Dennis Kucinich." Kucinich, of course, is the
Democratic presidential hopeful and congressman from Ohio, who introduced
a bill in the House to ban mind control devices from outerspace. For the
better part of the next year Senator Lieberman will have to share stages
and participate in debates with a man quite possibly wearing a tin foil hat
beneath a bad wig.
How far we have come from the great Democratic orators who said, "Ask not
what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,"
and "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Instead, we have Howard
Dean, who says he is not sure if liberating the people of Iraq from a Stalinist
dictator was a good thing or not. When asked about the fire-fight between
U.S. soldiers and Saddam’s ruthless sons, Uday and Qusay, Dean wondered whether
"the ends justify the means." Dean was a doctor before becoming a politician,
and this could cause one to worry about the level of care his patients received.
You have a cancerous tumor. Now, we could cut it out and save your life,
but I’m not sure the end justifies the means.
For years, Senator Lieberman has shared party affiliation and senatorial
status with Robert Byrd, the so called "dean of the Senate" who rants incomprehensibly
on the Senate floor to distract people from not only the fact that he has
bought half the state of West Virginia with taxpayer funds and named it
after himself, but that he was once a high up in the Ku Klux Klan! Somehow,
the Democratic Party has survived its more colorful members, but even for
the sake of running a credible presidential candidate, they just won’t shut
up. Here is a brief sampling from an endless list:
Senator Robert Byrd -- who said on Fox News Sunday, "I have known many white niggers in my time."
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee -- who is demanding hurricanes be given "African American sounding names."
Representative Charles Rangel -- who called Uday and Qusay’s deaths an illegal assassination.
Senator Patty Murray -- who claimed mass-murdering terrorist Osama bin Laden built
"day-care centers" for the women of Afghanistan, which "we haven't done."
Representative Marcy Kaptur -- who equated bin Laden's followers to the patriots of the American Revolution.
Representative Dick Gephardt - who called Iraq a "looming
quagmire on our shoulders." Considering that a quagmire is a landscape feature
similar to quicksand, this might indicate the way he sees the world (a bit
Senator John Kerry -- who is on record as both supporting and condemning the same political issues
And, let’s not forget Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton’s claim that she had
no idea Bill was cheating on her, "I was shocked... gasping for breath,"
even though Monica’s stained blue dress had been a front page news story
As if all of this were not enough to make any Democratic voter blush, Senator
Lieberman has to share the stage with presidential hopeful Reverend Al Sharpton,
a race baiting scam artist and famous anti-Semite who has encouraged violence
against Jews. Sharpton is given equal credibility to the Connecticut Senator;
it is no wonder that Lieberman winces and simpers through his every speech.
Yes, it is a dark era in the history of the Democratic Party. But, thank
goodness Rev. Sharpton is in the race. If he were not, the most exciting
aspect of the primaries would be playing Find Dick Gephardt’s Eyebrows; a
game similar to Where’s Waldo, but much more difficult.
Judson Cox is a college student and political columnist.