First of all, Twitter is a terrible medium for a political discourse, but we all seem to do it anyway.
I feel very passionately about certain things, which usually end up tainted in some form or another with politics. While I don’t like to make any secret of my political leanings, I also don’t like to wear them on my sleeve, so when I end up getting into conversations with people on Twitter about things that we are passionate about, I can seem a little shrill. That 140 character/tweet limit can and does seriously change the context and tone of the point that I’m trying to get across.
So when I find myself having a back and forth with Scott Sigler about Joe
Traitorman Lieberman and the spirit of bipartisanship, I end up saying this and end up with this dubious award. So while I’m not going to change my mind about Lieberman or bipartisanship, nor will I apologize for what I said, I do think that some explanation is in order.
Joe Lieberman is under threat of censure by the Connecticut Democratic party for his recent actions. Scott believes that to be a wholly undemocratic act as it punishes a public figure for the crime of speaking his mind and standing up for his values. To me, its not that simple. The fact is that Lieberman’s stance is not new, in fact he’s been very consistent with his support for the war. His views are precisely why he was punished by the voters of Connecticut in 2006 when he lost the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont. He than ran as an independent, and re-took his Senate seat with the help of local and the national RNC. He caucused with the Dems, allowing them to hold the Senate majority, but used the threat of caucusing with the Republicans to bully his way to the chair of the Homeland Security and Government Affairs committee. He has made his support of John McCain very publicly known and was rumored to be McCain’s first choice for VP. Lieberman has badmouthed Democratic policies, and the presidential candidates.
The reason why Lieberman hasn’t actually caucused with the Republicans is due to his feelings on domestic policy, which is in fairly serious opposition to those of the Republicans. My (and others’) problem with Lieberman isn’t that he disagrees with the Democrats, or even that he supports McCain over his own party’s candidate (there are several Republican senators who have publicly expressed reservations about a McCain/Palin administration). My problem with Lieberman is that he is actively sabotaging his “own” party, his constituents, and gleefully lies about his own affiliation as he does it. So, if the Democratic party of his home state has had enough of his antics and wants him to either act like a Democrat or get the hell out of the party, that’s fine by me.
For me, the act of joining and participating in a political party means something real. Its not like joining a book club on a whim, its a decision based on how one views the world and is very personal and very profound. People who join or stay in a party because they think it will help them advance are some of the lowest forms of scum (see Rudy 9u11ani). Lieberman is definitely in that category.
As for bipartisanship, right now, that’s a joke, and a bad one at that. Under Bush, bipartisanship is shorthand for rubberstamp everything we give you and do it with a smile. The thing that really gets under my skin is that the Democrats in Congress have been doing just that. They do NOT stand up for what they (say they) believe in, they do NOT fight for what their constituents want them to fight for and they cower before a president who is the most unpopular in history and considered to be the worst in history as if he was the reincarnation of George Washington.
When I say fuck bipartisanship, I’m not being facetious or a hard-headed party activist. I’m saying that the Democrats in Congress need to grow a spine, balls or whatever appendage they need in order for them to stand up and do what they were elected to do. If that means having to fight against the party that dragged us into war, poverty and economic ruin, then is that really too much to ask?