Friday, August 04, 2006

Taibbi on Lieberman

Matt Taibbi now has a weekly column on! Yay! This week, he tears into Joe Lieberman.
In a move that was perfectly characteristic of everything he stands for, Lieberman in 2001 offered a piece of legislation, S. 1764, that purported to provide incentives to companies that develop medicines to treat the victims of bioterror attacks but, more important, extended the patent life of a wide range of drugs for several years, delaying the introduction of more cost-friendly generic drugs. Shilling for the socialist subsidy of drug companies while masquerading as a Churchillian, tough-on-security Democrat in the War on Terror age: That's Joe Lieberman, and the modern Democratic Party, in a nutshell.

In the midst of all this whoring for business interests, Lieberman has preposterously marketed himself to the public as a stern guardian of "morality" and "traditional values," along the way taking some admirably mean-spirited positions. He once supported a bill denying funding to public schools that counseled suicidal teens that it is OK to be gay, a remarkable position for a man whose response to the Enron scandal was to say that "government will never be able to legislate or regulate morals."

Lieberman also signed the American Council of Trustees and Alumni, the notorious organization founded by Lynne Cheney that published a baldly McCarthyite list of "anti-American academics." In 1997, Lieberman pushed for warning labels on CDs, getting the Senate to take up the issue under the title "Music Violence: How Does It Affect Our Youth?" in the hopes of snagging the votes of a few grandmas by wagging a finger at Marilyn Manson—yes, Lieberman was one of those asshole politicians who tried to pin Columbine on rock music. And rather than denounce Ken Starr for the most egregious misuse of prosecutorial authority since the House Un-American Activities Committee, Lieberman's response to the Lewinsky scandal was to attack Bill Clinton in one of the lamest "O the children!" acts of all time, saying, "It is hard to ignore the impact of the misconduct the president has admitted to on our children, our culture and our national character."

A few years later, faced with a similar political choice, he chose to stand fast by Bush on the issue of Iraq, saying, "We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril." Apparently the president deserves absolute loyalty only when his mistakes result in teenagers getting their heads shot off.



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