Elide In

I have to say, that with all of the words spilled in this Glenn Greenwald post at Salon about Joe Lieberman that it’s somewhat surprising that the Gore mentioned in the post is Tipper.

It was, after all, then-VP and presidential candidate Al Gore who chose Joe Lieberman as his running mate in 2000. That act more than anything else gave Lieberman the national slimelight he’s craved ever since. He was the 2000 template for Sarah Palin: the running mate who eclipses the losing presidential candidate who picked them.

It wasn’t just Lieberman’s mendacity during the recount battle that cost Gore the election. There was a large contingent of Democratic voters who sincerely disliked Lieberman for reasons that—while they might not have been apparent to everyone in 2000—have certainly been on display for most of the decade and more since.

It may have been a can of worms that Greenwald wasn’t interested in opening. I’ve certainly run across any number of commenters at sites over the years who’ve claimed that Lieberman “turned to the right” only after 9/11 or after he’d been rejected by the Connecticut Democrats in 2006, as if pettiness and spite were somehow excuses. Maybe Greenwald just ran out of steam; he certainly had a lot of material to choose from. But I’d make the point that the fact that Lieberman was the choice of the elders to be that “heartbeat away” from the country’s levers, combined with the praise Greenwald mentions probably reveals a lot about where the real soul of the Democratic Party is and why it seems moribund and toothless.