Critical Condition

Next Up for Lieberman: Boils and Locusts

Boot him out of office.  Strip his chairmanship.  Fire his wife.  Accuse him of murder.  What will liberals suggest next in their campaign against Senator Joe Lieberman?  Lieberman’s latest sin is opposing the inclusion of both the public option and the Medicare buy in for those aged 55-64 in the health care bill.  This has led to the current anti-Joe frenzy, which included the murderer comparison, courtesy of Ezra Klein, and the wife-firing campaign, courtesy of Firedoglake.

I’m not sure why Lieberman in particular inspires such hatred on the left.  Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson is at least at obstructionist to the Democrats, and not just on the abortion issue.   According to the AP: “Bucking the Democratic party on a major issue would not be a first for Nelson who is generally seen as a moderate in the Senate. During his tenure Nelson joined with Republicans to support President George W Bush’s tax cuts and reject certain issues important to organized labor.”

In fact, Nelson is flat out more conservative than Lieberman on domestic issues.  Lieberman’s lifetime score from the American Conservative Union is 15.96, while Nelson scores 47.26.  Nelson’s score is even more conservative than that of Arlen Specter, who was a Republican until recently.

And lest you think that Lieberman has become more conservative since he has turned independent, his ACU score in 2008, the last full year recorded, was only 8%, while Nelson was twice as conservative at 16%. 

Yet no one to my knowledge has accused Nelson of murder, or gone after members of his family.  What is about Lieberman that makes liberals want to turn Joe into Job?  And perhaps more importantly, given that Lieberman has demonstrated his ability to run and win independent of the Democrats, for how much longer will he put up with this kind of treatment?

Tevi Troy is a presidential historian and former White House aide. His latest book is Fight House: Rivalries in the White House from Truman to Trump.

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