An Analysis of Joe Lieberman

Where have you gone, Joseph Lieberman?
A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
Woo woo woo.
What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson?
Joltin’ Joe has left and gone astray.
Hey hey hey, hey hey hey.

—(with apologies to Simon & Garfunkel)

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As anyone who follows politics knows, Joe Lieberman, the less than esteemed senator from Connecticut, is currently a man without a party. Some might say that he is a man without much manhood. (I’ve always suspected that Bill Frist performed an orchiectomy on Joe as a prelude to party reassignment.) Defeated in the Democratic primary by upstart Ned Lamont, Lieberman—mustering all the chutzpah he could squeeze out of his scrawny frame—has nonetheless continued to vie for his Senate seat, albeit now as an independent candidate.

On Monday, Joltin’ Joe met his two opponents in a debate. By all accounts, this face-off was about as exciting as watching oatmeal cool—a tone no doubt set by the incumbent, who possesses all the charisma of a limp handshake. “Sandwiched between the Republican and Democratic nominees, Mr. Lieberman stuck to his well-honed general-election campaign message, saying: ‘I’m fed up with the partisanship and the bitterness in our politics. There’s too much personal hatred.’� He then proceeded to plop his bony tokhes on the stage floor, refusing to debate any further unless everyone promised to stop being so mean to him.

Okay, so that last bit is a fabrication. But it’s not such a stretch, given Joe’s sensitive nature and somewhat whiny disposition. He has historically not taken well to perceived attacks. Indeed, as noted by Colin McEnroe in a recent blog for the Hartford Courant, “‘attack’ is one of Lieberman’s favorite words and…he uses it to describe measured, calmly delivered criticisms of his record as well as vicious smears on his character. Any attempt to interfere with his favorable opinion of himself is an attack.â€? This description aptly captures Joe’s emotional immaturity. When push comes to shove, he reverts to a petulant schoolboy.

Also occurring on Monday was the unveiling of the following billboard in two sites in Connecticut:

Lieberman and others voted to allow torture

Sponsored by the interfaith peace group, Reclaiming the Prophetic Voice, the provocative advertisement takes the four named public servants to task for their support of the now-signed Military Commissions Act of 2006, which many believe sanctions torture. Not surprisingly, the ad raised the kneejerk ire of the Senator’s camp. “‘This is just another example of the kind of mudslinging partisanship that Joe Lieberman wants to remove from our debates about how best to keep our nation safe,’ said Lieberman spokeswoman Tammy Sun.� Gee, what else would Joe like removed? First, his cojones; now, “mudslinging partisanship� (even when it clearly isn’t partisan). It seems like the two things that Lieberman does not want to remove—but most definitely should—are his lips from Bush’s tokhes and Bush himself.

It’s becoming apparent that, after more than a decade of being bullied by the big bad Republicans, Joe Lieberman—like a great many of his colleagues—has developed an acute case of Stockholm Syndrome. He has come to identify and sympathize with the aggressors across the aisle. He also appears to be manifesting symptoms of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, most notably hypervigilance about attacks and an exaggerated startle response. In short, the Senator is seriously meshugeh and needs treatment. Only time (off) will heal his wounds. Thus, for no other reason than to ensure Joe has ample opportunity to get the help he so desperately requires, the citizens of Connecticut ought to vote for Ned Lamont. They’ll be doing Joe and all of America a huge favor.