Sometimes there is a higher calling than partisanship.
-- The Bull Moose Blogger
A higher calling is exactly what Joe Lieberman responded to during the 2006 CT-Senate race. The call came from Karl Rove, on behalf of the Bush White House -- how much more of a "higher calling" could there be? Over seventy percent of Connecticut's Republicans voted for Joe, resulting in his victory over Democratic challenger Ned Lamont. "Holy Joe's" strategy worked, and his true faithful (Republicans) flocked to support their
Joe Lieberman was returned to the Senate to represent ... Joe Lieberman. His growing affections for the White House and GOP Talking Points have since positioned him for relative sainthood in their mythical land of make-believe. As to where his true loyalties lay, there is no longer any doubt: he has forever foresaken the reality-based community.
Walter Miller's 1959 A Canticle for Liebowitz" is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel that takes place in the American southwest over the course of hundreds of years after a devastating nuclear war which occurred in the late 20th century. The novel's namesake, Isaac Edward Leibowitz, created his own monastic order called the "Albertian Order of Leibowitz." (Does this remind anyone of "Connecticut for Liebowitz"? Anyone...? Bueller...?) A good single-line description from the Wikipedia entry will sum up the further relevance:
The plot combines elements of dark comedy with more serious examinations of the issues surrounding faith, knowledge, and power.
At this particular juncture in our political and social existence as a nation, the coincidental intersection of life and art -- in this case, literature -- is simply amazing.
The GOP's puppet on a string
Is there any chance that Joe Lieberman is his own man, and not simply dancing to the tune of the White House leadership? IMO, not bloody likely. The first signs of an unholy alliance with the GOP, and the White House in particular, came during the CT-Senate primaries. Luaptifer from ePluribus Media, working with myself and several others, published a diary called "Sealed with a Kiss: Lieberman's 'Roving' Independence" that called into question some very curious ties that he'd uncovered between the GOP, Lieberman and a favorite internet service company that has been solely GOP oriented. We then followed up with "Sealed with a KISS: Strange Bedfellows -- Lieberman and the GOP," which went on to examine the ties a little more in-depth, as well as provide an analysis of how the committee assignments could be used to provide the Bush Administration some much-needed cover for their criminal negligence. Here's an excerpt of that analysis:
Senator Lieberman is a member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, which is responsible for protecting the nation's natural environment, including its air, water and wildlife. The Committee also regulates nonmilitary nuclear power and oversees the nation's surface transportation infrastructure.
Let's see -- protecting the nation's natural environment -- would that mean input into discussion and evaluation of ANWR? Or perhaps oversight of some of Mr. Pombo's numerous and nature-unfriendly activities? Non-military nuclear power -- as in, perhaps one of the new Cheney Energy Task Force initiatives? And hmmmm...surface transportation infrastructure. Could the Texas/NAFTA Transportation Corridor fall into this category? A "Republican-friendly" Democrat could be an ace in the hole on such a committee during close votes.
Under the chairmanship of Senator Lieberman in 2001 and 2002, the Governmental Affairs Committee focused on the nation's homeland security, corporate accountability, and the Bush Administration's weakening of environmental regulations. Committee legislation enacted into law under Senator Lieberman's leadership includes laws creating the Homeland Security Department, establishing an independent commission to examine the causes of the September 11th attack, and facilitating the transition to electronic government, by requiring the federal government to make more information and services available to the public online.
With many in agreement that our nation is not more secure, and with corporate scandals still rocking the financial world while environmental regulations are further weakened by the Bush Administration, this would appear to be a committee where one could get things done. Or, not.
This particular committee has three current subcommittees:
Of the 3 current subcommittees, the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations is the oldest being created at the same time as the Committee on Government Operations in 1952. The Subcommittee on the Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia came into being after the creation of the Committee on Governmental Affairs in 1978. The Subcommittee on Financial Management, the Budget, and International Security was created at the beginning of the 108th Congress. (from Homeland Security and Government Affairs)
Together, these suggest some degree of accountability -- currently absent in the Bush Administration's tenure -- actually existed somewhere in American government. While failures of these committees to force accountability can't be arbitrarily heaped upon Senator Lieberman, his presence on such potentially powerful committees could play an important role in enforcing oversight that mustn't be overlooked -- particularly as we cast an eye toward the possible future that the upcoming November elections may bring.
In the meantime, Lieberman claims on his website that his work on "Intelligence Reform and Prevention" as well as the "Hurricane Katrina Investigation" are examples of his worth -- somehow, the efforts appear to be lacking in accomplishment. (See this DailyKos story regarding what Lamont had to say about Joe's Katrina accomplishments.)
Senator Lieberman is a member of the Armed Services Committee, where he is Ranking Member on the Subcommittee on AirLand Forces and sits on the Subcommittees on Emerging Threats and Capabilities and Seapower. The Senate Armed Services Committee is responsible for all matters relating to defense policy of the United States, including oversight of the Department of Defense and the nation's armed forces.
This committee has a pivotal role in our preparation for and execution of war, as well as our capacity to engage in the "Global War on Terror" that the President has unilaterally declared. Taken together, the three committees represent a trifecta of focal points that could finally force the Bush Administration to be accountable, responsible and effective.
Or, as mentioned before, not so much.
Now here's the real prescient part -- the Cassandra quote:
Lieberman's presence on these committees -- particularly if under GOP influence -- may be the crucial part of the power struggle that will likely ensue in Congress after the November elections. His presence could also prove pivotal in any potential decision to participate in a new conflict, like Iran.
Where Nightmares Come to Life
There is a place where the unspeakable is real. There is a place where every monstrous abomination is given form. There is a place where nightmares come to life.
-- Jasyn Jones, Storm Knighhts: Orrorsh - the Reality of Fear RPG fansite
[Hey, that sounds a bit like DC under Republican control, eh? - GH]
When ePluribus Media published the Sealed with a Kiss articles, the contributors hoped not only for a Lamont victory but also for a Lieberman defeat. We strongly believed that our worst nightmares would come true, in that Joe Lieberman would act to thwart any attempts at genuine investigation and accountability -- the very accountability he promised to bring if re-elected, mind you.
As we now begin the new term of the 110th Congress, we're beginning to see our fears manifest. "Holy Joe" has reactivated The Lieberman Principle and begun to go back on his promises. One of his first was to give the President a pass on the Katrina fiasco. His next was to embrace escalation with both arms. A great diary recently posted by Cenk Uygur bemoans the situation we now find ourselves in -- we appear to have a Democrat In Name Only (DINO) serving a key role in the Senate, and calling himself "centrist" and "bipartisan."
To be sure, such a situation happens all the time in the world of politics. Betrayals, lies and broken promises appear to be part of the ongoing, living lore of American politics. People look back upon history and think that their ancestors must have been fools for missing the obvious signs, yet then make the same mistakes over and over again. With this in mind, is it surprising to hear George W. Bush state that history will justify him, given the level of propaganda being pumped into the traditional media? And is it any less surprising to hear Joe Lieberman spout GOP talking points, all the while being glad-handed and praised by the neopundits?
They are playing for a slightly-cleaner spot in history, hoping that they can control the hand that writes their pages into the books our children and grandchildren will read. It's one way to make their own reality, and they are going for it. They want to control the dialogue, and thus create the popular myths associated with our times.
Insofar as people find comfort in popular tales, the creation of myth and legend captures our minds, establishing our identification with history. Our culture is enriched, whether we are unified in our beliefs or by the very diversity of them. Events are transformed through time from multiple pages to but a few paragraphs, then to a footnote and finally to a comma on a page. The lens of history offers both clarity and distortion; if obscured through propaganda, objectivity is lost until the facts are restored. Popular recounts fade, moving from "fact" to legend then legend to myth.
Several actors upon the stage today strive to take advantage of the opportunity to draw the mists of time over their sins. Perhaps that is why these words still ring ominously true:
"The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones."
- William Shakespeare, from the play Julius Caesar
We must strive to record current events accurately and transparently, so that generations to come may learn from them and the evils done in our time die with those who invoked them.
And we must do this in the current timeframe, before some events come to pass.
While Joe Lieberman jokes with the pundits and claims his time is better spent preventing future catastrophes rather than investigating unmitigated ongoing disasters, the Bush White House is hedging its own bets against future and ongoing investigations by forcing the resignations of a slew of US district attorneys. Joe Lieberman has hitched his horse to a burning rig, and that action may result in catching the entire barn on fire with all of us still inside.
Note the picture on the left, taken from here. 'Hannity and Lieberman will be sentenced to 12 yrs in prison' - heh. Now that's serendipitous.
The Bush Administration has been setting the stage for an escalation in Iraq that many -- including his own people -- have claimed is actually aimed at provoking Iran. The plans have been on the table for quite some time now.
Joe Lieberman's presence in the Senate represents a criminal obstruction of justice. His obvious pandering to and coverage for the Bush Administration's wanton abuse of power is nothing short of complicity in the unconstitutional threats to our nation and the world that this renegade executive branch has created. If we do not find a way to secure Joe's compliance with the right of the people and the duty of the Senate to investigate and hold accountable the Executive Branch, we significantly diminish our chances our ending this chilling chapter of American history.
"Hope is the key to defeating fear. Hope is a beacon in darkness, solace to the suffering, and the quieter of fears. Where people hope, fear has no hold."
-- Jasyn Jones, Storm Knighhts: Orrorsh - the Reality of Fear RPG fansite
What better weapon against a tyranny that rules by fear than to inspire hope in those that would be oppressed?
We are living in perilous times, made ever more dangerous by the machinations of our "leadership" and those who support them. Joe Lieberman, "Holy" Joe Lieberman, has turned a deaf ear on the wishes of his state in his quest for relative sainthood among the neoconservatives. It's the start of the 21st century, and a potential for a disastrous nuclear conflict looms in the not-to-distant future.
Before "A Canticle for Liebowitz" manifests in the form of the Senator from Connecticut, we must seek redress by his removal from office.
We need a plan. One that we can propose for the people of Connecticut that will enable them to remove Joe Lieberman and give us the chance to properly conduct the affairs of the nation.
The door is open, but closing fast. Your thoughts?