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By HAL BROWN
Like George W. Bush, Senator Joe Lieberman has a history of insisting on do-overs. These do-overs preceded his wanting one last military surge in Iraq.
Sore loser Lieberman’s egotistical comment after losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont says a great deal about his do-over character:
“For the sake of our state, our country and my party, I cannot and will not let that result stand.”
So does the name of the party ticket he ran under, “Connecticut for Lieberman”. It should have been “Connecticut Conservatives and Gullible Democrats United”.
We get it, Joe, you’re a member of the Lieberman Party. You thought the man who beat you fair and square in the primary 52% to 48%, Ned Lamont, would destroy the America only you could save.
In his Senate race do-over won by getting a majority of the Republican votes . He received support from only 33% of Democrats but 70% of Republicans voted for him.
This reminds me of the young George Bush’s unembarrassed and desperate do-overs as reported by Gail Sheehy and recounted by Briggs and Briggs in Truthout * :
Sheehy interviewed friends from his (Bush’s) teenage years and college years. In basketball or tennis games he would insist points be played over because he wasn’t ready; he would force opponents who had beaten him to continue playing until he beat them.
Barring some way that disillusioned Connecticut voters can recall him for a being an embarrassment to the party he was elected to represent, he will spend the next six years playing the wink-wink game about switching parties in the Senate, another way of playing his do-over games.
His current do-over is one of life and death for American troops, although to hear him describe it he’s the one who wants to save American lives, rather than those Democrats and allied Republicans who want to extricate our troops from a hopeless war before more of them are killed and maimed.
Bush wants endless do-overs because he harbors unresolved feelings of inadequacy and can’t stand the blow to his self-esteem that being wrong would render. Joe Lieberman is just an egotistical blow-hard.
A brief history of do-over Joe
Lieberman was elected as a “reform Democrat” to the Connecticut Senate. In 1970 ran as an anti-Vietnam War candidate. Considering recent events I wonder if even then he was pandering to the majority of Connecticut voters who were anti-war at the time. After all (according to Wikipedia) when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 1988 he was supported by William F. Buckley, Jr. and did surprising well in conservative areas of the 5th District.
When Lieberman ran for vice president, and the Gore/Lieberman ticket won a plurality of the popular vote, but lost to Bush/Cheney in the electoral college thanks to dirty tricks in Florida and to the Supreme Court, through no fault of his own Lieberman missed his only chance for a righteous do-over.
But do-over Joe still hedged his bets, something many people have forgotten. Since his Senate term was due to expire he decided to run for the Senate at the same time as running for Vice President, so at least he’d remain in the Senate if the Democrats lost the presidential election. While this wasn’t unprecedented, it was typical Joe, since if he became vice president it would have left his vacant seat to be filled by a Republican governor. This sounds like a noble Democratic plan except that it gave do-over Joe a fallback position.
The bottom line
Strip away the know-it-all facade and I think you’ll find that Lieberman is a dogmatic man. He is a wretched man who is basking in the glory of self-deception that comes with thinking he”s the only Democrat that knows the truth.
* Bush and the Psychology of Incompetent Decisions, by John P. Briggs, MD, and J.P. Briggs II, PhD, thruthout, 18 January 2007.
(Hal Brown is a clinical social worker and former mental health center director who is mostly retired from his private psychotherapy practice. He writes on the psychopathology of public figures and other topics that pique his interest. He can be found online at www.stressline.com)