Michael Gerson has elected to spend this strange working day between the two party conventions celebrating one guy who’s unwelcome at both: Independent Senator Joe Lieberman (Conn.), who has at times aligned himself with both major parties but now succeeds in inhabiting, Gerson says, his own party of one.
Lieberman, who attended the 2000 Democratic convention as the VP nominee and the 2008 Republican convention as a supporter of McCain-Palin, is left out, Gerson says, because a mega-polarized Congress no longer tolerates legislators who cross party lines, no matter what the issue. The in-betweeners used to have enough power and clout to get legislation passed, but now nobody feels the need to be nice to them. We would all rather elect stronger partisans who don’t get anything done than compromisers who would . . . compromise.
Which Gerson says is a shame. Both parties should see enough of themselves in Lieberman to want to court him — he’s actually in a unique position of power somewhere in between the parties, and by rights both sides should be baking him cookies. Also, because he’s a good guy.
Many commenters feel Gerson is missing the Big Picture. The Big Picture being that Lieberman is universally loathed and/or disrespected, and for valid reason.
joachim1 tells us how he really feels:
Ending up alone is what happens to traitors who sell themselves to whichever side offers the most at the moment. This man who professed to believe in much, demonstrated he believed in little. Other than his AIPAC-fueled Israel-first mantra over his career, Lieberman stood for little that was not for sale or trade. Now that he has outlived his usefulness to the Republicans as a propaganda tool, they, not surprisingly, have no more interest in him. Nor do Democrats, those that elevated him to be the first Jew to be nominated VP. The man is disgusting, and it is unlikely that even large rocks will grant him space under which to hide.
sober1 likewise understands why nobody wants Lieberman around:
Lieberman has lost credibility with both parties due to his inconsistencies. He wasn’t elected by Independents, yet he claims to be one, just as he’s claimed to be a Republican and a Democrat in the past. What he is now is anybody’s guess, though a loose cannon comes to mind as most accurate.
Wait! Not everyone hates Lieberman! Walter16 wants to make him a party of two:
I find my views to be far closer to those of Senator Lieberman than to those of either Romney or Obama. Presently, I am favoring Obama in the next election but I am not happy with the choice.
JimMcD2012 thinks there are more moderates, that they just need some coaxing to come out of their hiding places:
Joe Lieberman need not be a party of one. I’d like to know how many old school Democrats are out there who might sign up for something we’d feel good about signing up for. I wonder how many old school Republicans there are who’d like to get together and talk about it. There’s got to be a way to forge a bipartisan consensus around growing the economy and shoring up the foundations of American greatness. Maybe an organizational meeting of the Lieberman Party would be the way to start that process.
Nickthap argues that in politics, the whole point is getting lots of people to think the same thing. He addresses his lesson to Lieberman:
The point is, politics is a numbers game. Unfortunately, no one really cares what you think, unless a lot of you think that way. Then it becomes relevant. I know how much that must irk you, to just be another “person,” but that’s kind of the sum of it.
Gamz247 says, you know, maybe Lieberman is winning this whole thing:
Yeah, it’s such a terrible thing to not be invited to those ridiculous self-serving ideological love fests.
PostScript sees no reason why Lieberman can’t have his own convention. He could even invite all the other people nobody wants in their party: George W. Bush, Al Gore, PostScript, Bernie Madoff, Snooki, etc. Okay, now PostScript sees the advantage of being a party of one.