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The Rant

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I would like to offer a heartfelt and blanket apology to anyone I ever mocked or criticized for having inadvertently cast a vote for Sarah Palin while trying to register their choice for John McCain as president. To my lasting humiliation, while casting a vote for Al Gore in 2000, I am guilty of voting for the mamzer Joe Lieberman. At the time, I felt it was an inspired choice by Gore. Holy Joe was the anti-Clinton, and I was thrilled at the prospect of the first Jewish vice president. Now, Lieberman's looking more like the Antichrist, and he has announced his intent to join with the Republicans and filibuster Harry Reid's health-care-reform proposal or any bill that contains a public option, as a "matter of conscience."

I know this guy believes that he holds up the sky, but how can he speak of "conscience" when he betrayed his own party, supported the opposition candidate for president, and was the second Democrat to speak at a Republican convention, after the nar Zell Miller. Lieberman means to stand in the way, like George Wallace in the schoolhouse door, and prevent the Democrats from even voting on their centerpiece issue on the Senate floor.

All this cranky noise from Lieberman is the continuation of a pattern of revenge against the party for backing the legitimate winner of the Connecticut senatorial primary in 2006, Ned Lamont. Lieberman was re-elected as an independent but caucuses with the Democrats, and to guarantee that he would play nice, he was allowed to retain his chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee. At the risk of encouraging Jew-on-Jew violence, it might be time for Rahm Emmanuel to think about slipping a horse's head under Lieberman's linens.

If you'll permit me a couple of ad hominem attacks, Lieberman looks like the Joker from Batman, and when he speaks he reminds me of the Saturday Night Live characters from the 1980s, Doug and Wendy Whiner. Every time he opens his yap, he embodies the term "mealymouth." In the latest Quinnipiac poll, even Connecticut voters believe his views are more in line with the Republicans.

So why continue with this sham? The handy website Opensecrets.org lists Lieberman's top campaign contributors. Why am I not surprised that his major donors include Aetna, Hartford, Pfizer, and Purdue Pharma? Rather than serving the public or his constituents' interests, Joe is serving his corporate masters that got him re-elected.

I long for the days when there was a strong Senate leader like Sam Rayburn or LBJ, who used arm twisting to assure the success of the party's promises rather than fluff and flattery. And who is the Senate Whip whose responsibility it is to guarantee the votes are there and to enforce party discipline? Illinois senator Dick Durbin. I don't think Durbi or Harry Reid have ever raised their voices. As a result, rather than a unified party doing the will of the people who put them there, we have a version of a Democratic Party Fight Club, with the Blue Dogs peeing on the carpet.

Senator Patrick Leahy has suggested punishing Lieberman by stripping him of his committee chairmanship, but I think it's past time to boot his tuchis from the party, so he can find his true home as a spokesman for Fox News. Either that, or force him to filibuster and read the phone book on the Senate floor while people are suffering. Lieberman is already in bed with the Christian right over their staunch support for the state of Israel. His ultra-Zionist views allow him to compartmentalize the fact that the evangelicals' long-term vision for the "end times" in the Holy Land is for either the conversion or death of the Jews.

Earlier this month, comedian Mel Brooks announced the founding of a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the word "schmuck." Brooks announced at a rally in Brooklyn that "schmuck is dying." For many of us, saying "schmuck" is a way of life. Yet when I walk down the street and see people behaving in foolish, pathetic, or otherwise schmucky ways, I hear only the words "prick" and "douche bag." The literal meaning of the Yiddish word "schmuck" is a man's penis, more specifically, the foreskin. But over the years it has become used to describe any arrogant, annoying, or disagreeable person. Brooks told reporters at the first "Schmucks for Schmuck" rally, "You can be a poor schmuck, a lazy schmuck, a dumb schmuck, or just a plain old schmuck. We must save this word."

I have a tip — forgive the pun — for Mel's campaign: Take a long look at Senator Joe Lieberman. I think you may well have found your poster boy.

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