Friday, May 7, 2010

Which is Worse: Senator Lieberman or Vice President Lieberman?

It is amazing that Joe Lieberman is still around and still making noise, given his repeated betrayals of those who voted for him.  It is one thing to support the Iraq war in 2003.  It is another thing to advocate the destruction of constitutional rights as basic as due process.  His latest anti-American stand is to deny rights even to Americans when they are suspected of terrorism.  So, it led me to ponder where Lieberman could have and does do the most damage. 

What would he have asked for in the aftermath of 9/11 if he had been Vice-President?  And would it have mattered?  Al Gore was a very powerful and active Vice President, so it is likely that he would have empowered his VP to be the same.  On the other hand, the VP has no statutory authority to make decisions, except break ties in the Senate, despite Cheney's fevered dreams.  As a Senator, Lieberman has a vote and sits on committees where he has a vote.   Still, he is just one of a hundred Senators, which limits his impact.

This is, of course, holding constant all of the damage the Bush Administration did.  We don't know how a Gore Administration would have governed or whether it would have lasted two terms.  But we can be fairly confident that Lieberman is, well, a tremendous disappointment.  I hope Connecticut gets it right the next time.

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