Monday, December 14, 2009
Okay, One Other Thing: Senator Lieberman, Litmus Tests, and the Occasional Reference to Nazism
Does anyone else find it irritating (or funny--I can’t really decide) to think that Sen. Lieberman may well get what he wants and the Democrat’s health care reform plan may well go forward. And then Republicans will be just as mad at Joe as the Democrats are right now.
I like Joe and have often thought of him as one of the more principled politicians in DC. That might seem like a low bar or a backhanded compliment, but it’s not; I like Joe. But…
Joe isn’t a Republican, Joe isn’t a small government guy, and Joe will get behind reform that most Republicans and conservatives won’t necessarily right. He is a truly moderate Democrat--seemingly rare these days--and regardless of his official party affiliation, a Democrat he will always remain. If the Dem leadership strips away enough of the big, new stuff, Joe may well sign off. The danger for us on the right isn’t just that the reforms won’t be the ones that we want, but that it will be the foot in the door for the reforms that the progressive really do want. A first step on the long path to a single payer, fully socialized health care system that most on the right consider both morally and fiscally unacceptable.
My friends on the left might wonder at that “moral” bit, but, trust me, for folks on the right it is a moral question as much as anything else. It’s just a different moral question than y’all might ask.
Anyway, we’re singing Joe’s praises right now, but he may well be our Brutus. If so, I hope that we treat him with a little more respect than his former allies on the left who were mocking Republicans for the very suggestion that there should be a litmus test for accepting party money, but who turned on Joe like rabid chipmunks (irritating, but not quite fatal) when he refused to hold the line on some of their favored plans. The value of a Republican litmus test is worthy of debate, but the claim that Republicans are using Nazi tactics is purely disgusting.
From that link, we get this little gem:
The last time we saw a political party demand ideological purity was Berlin 1933. It did not end well.
Firstly, his analysis and comparison is suspect. Secondly, if the Democrats don’t demand ideological purity, someone explain to me what happened to Joe Lieberman the last time he was up for election and what is happening to Joe now that he isn’t falling in lock-step with the folks who stabbed him in the back to begin with. The demand for loyalty from a politician that they’ve been kicking around in really nasty ways for the last few years is a little confusing.