As a Connecticut Democrat, member in good standing of my local Democratic town committee here in the beautiful Northwest Corner of the state, I am as sick of "Joe-mentum" as the next guy. And there have certainly been enough diaries on this topic to stuff a Thanksgiving turkey (or tofurkey) for every man, woman and child in the blogosphere.
Still since I am a Connecticut Democrat I can't resist finally weighing in with some thoughts of my own, especially this one delicious twist that occurred to me the other morning while shaving.
As they say - "follow me below the fold to follow the bouncing ball".
In the aftermath of the spineless showing by the Senate Democrats concerning Lieberman's chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee I was as disappointed as anyone. To not deliver any meaningful consequence to him following his broken promises and behavior in the recent election was pathetic.
Here was a man who promised Democratic voters in Connecticut in 2006 that even though he was running as an independent he would work hard to help them elect a Democrat to the Presidency in 2008. After reneging on that one because the Republican nominee was his old buddy, John McCain, he then promised Democrats that he would only campaign positively on behalf of John McCain and not say anything negative about the Democratic nominee or the Democratic Party. His speech at the Repug national convention and footage of him booing along with the crowd or clapping and nodding in agreement as Barack Obama's patriotism and character were savaged at McCain/Palin rallies puts the lie to these pledges as well. And they tell us all people in Washington really have to offer each other is their word.
Of course sanctimonious Joe gives himself a pass on all this by saying that the Democratic Party has changed so much since the days of his hero, JFK. I dare say the Republican Party has changed much as well since those days. And I don't believe the Democratic Party has changed much since 2006, when Joe pledged to work to elect a Democrat to the White House, and 2008.
But as usual the "inside the Beltway" Democrats showed themselves to be out of touch with the mainstream and voted to give Joe the lightest of slaps on the wrist while inviting him back to the fold. I don't even recall the public apology that Evan Bayh said would supposedly be a necessary prerequisite. Not surprising. I was vacationing in DC shortly before the Democratic Senate Primary of 2006 and the chattering heads of all political stripes were aghast at the notion that Connecticut Democrats would throw such a pious, distinguished, veteran legislator overboard just for his stand on a puny little issue like the Iraq War. They really do need to check what is in the water in our nation's capital.
Trying to find a silver lining in all this in the days after the Senate vote, it suddenly hit me. It all started with the polls that kos had commissioned about the Arizona Senate race in 2010, showing Democratic Gov. Janet Napolitano beating John McCain in a likely potential matchup.
Next came the reports that Napolitano is under serious consideration to be the Director of Homeland Security in the Obama Administration. Hold it which department is that again? And what committee would hold the hearings on that nomination? And who is still in line to be the Chair of that committee?
That is when it all fell into place and I began to see the subtle, ironic way in which President-elect Obama and his team would have their revenge on that weasel Lieberman.
He will have to preside over the hearings that will help propel Napolitano to a more national stage. A stage from which she could still challenge his good buddy McCain for the Arizona Senate seat in 2010 (granted she could do that just as easily if not perhaps better as Governor). Or from which she could be positioned to be the VP candidate in 2012, and/or a front-runner for President in 2016 and become the first successful Presidential candidate from Arizona (and the first woman as well coincidentally).
And Joe would have helped send her on her way. That is Joe's punishment.
A French novelist said something about revenge being a dish best served cold. And the President-elect is nothing if not literate.
UPDATE: original attribution of the revenge paraphrase to the Bard cannot be confirmed. Popular attribution is to the novel Dangerous Liaisons. Updating to reflect that, in the name of accuracy.