Triumph of the Turncoat Houdini
Today’s escape from losing his chairmanship of the Senate Homeland Security Committee caps Joe Lieberman’s career of having it both ways in two decades of sanctimonious posturing and backroom politicking.
With a novelist’s eye for the absurd, Joan Didion nailed him in her reporting of the 2000 election campaign:
“Senator Lieberman, who had come to the nation’s attention as the hedge player who had previously seized center stage by managing both to denounce the president [Bill Clinton] for “disgraceful” and “immoral” behavior and to vote against his conviction (similarly, he had in 1991 both voiced support for and voted against the confirmation of Clarence Thomas) was not, except to the press, an immediately engaging personality…
“His speech patterns, grounded in the burdens he bore for the rest of us and the personal rewards he had received from God for bearing it, tended to self-congratulation.”
Lieberman called today’s verdict “fair and forward-looking” and one of “reconciliation and not retribution” but…