Joe Lieberman

November 12, 2008

Joe Lieberman is a dick. He threw a temper tantrum when the Democrats in Connecticut decided they’d had enough of him and ran as an independent, screwing over Ned Lamont, a great progressive candidate. He proceeded to chair a committee where he did absolutely nothing with the impressive amount of power he was given, and grumble lumpily about his support for the war.

Then 2008 came around and he decided to join the worst superhero triumvirate EVER with Lindsey Graham and John McCain and campaign for the Republicans. He spoke at their convention, he questioned his former party’s nominee’s patriotism, and at one point he was a serious front-runner for the Vice Presidency. Now he feels it is appropriate to say that it is “unacceptable” to consider stripping him of his committee chairmanship? 

Lieberman himself (or some well-meaning but incompetent members of his staff) is clearly behind the rumors that he will be kicked out of the Democratic Caucus. Besides being weirdly hawkish he is a Democrat through and through, and it doesn’t help anyone to lose his vote on 90% of the issues in the Senate, although it would be satisfying to kick him to the Republicans who clearly don’t want him. 

What does help everyone is letting him lead some inconsequential committee. Hopefully that will neutralize his whining, and there is no feasible way for the Democrats to leave him in his chairmanship without looking weak and foolish. Hopefully he will lose in 2012 and he can retire to a life of wheezing and whining to his poor, poor wife.

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Jeannette Rankin

November 11, 2008

Jeannette Rankin was not the first woman to run for Congress. That was Elizabeth Cady Stanton in 1868 in New York. The rumor is that Stanton got 13 votes, all from people directly related to her. 

Luckily in 1916 Jeannette Rankin was much more successful. Rankin was a lifelong pacifist, a social worker, and a suffragette, who went to college at the turn of the century (she graduated from University of Montana in 1902) and lived to protest the Vietnam War. She is the only member of Congress who voted against World Wars 1 and 2, the former a vote taken within the first week of her term. 

Jeanette Rankin was elected after being instrumental in winning women the right to vote in Montana. She ran for Congress shortly after allowing that her gender could vote. After losing reelection in 1918 she took 20 years off to move to D.C. and become a lobbyist, and then she ran for Congress again, and won.

Rankin should be a role model to women in politics, and women in any field. She shattered the political glass ceiling with gusto, and fought for causes she believed in until she was nearly 100 years old.