"When I first saw your Joementum ad, where you're desperately trying to kill an undying Lieberman, I thought it was kinda harsh. I now have to say I want to see that man's head on a pike, on fire, being put out with battery acid and a fireman's axe. What a truly despicable human."
-Pain reader Ed Weideman
Well, Ed, all I can tell you is, when we here at The Pain single someone out for vilification, we do not do so lightly. Joe Lieberman is such a loathsome, sanctimonious little prick that he has forcibly dragged me out of semiretirement--during a bout of the flu, even--to draw a new cartoon.
I can only bear to pay attention to the health care debate in quick, wincing glances, the way you'd look at a nuclear explosion. Every time I check in things have only gotten worse, and the terrible impotent rage seizes me. It is literally a life-and-death issue, like Iraq or Afghanistan, with the well-being of the poor and the sick in the hands of slimy, self-important little putzes like Lieberman, who seem to be getting off on their position of temporary relevance, making smug obstructionist nuisances of themselves and holding out for as much pork for their own states as possible. The millions of uninsured--among whom I must count myself--are all held hostage to the venality and the vanity of that withered, preening whore (no offense intended to honest, hardworking whores). Most nauseating of all is his need to pretend that this transparent pandering to his owners is a matter of integrity, like some vice-principal solemnly insisting that this paddling is for your own good while saving up the memory to masturbate to later. He claims his reservations about expanding Medicaid and offering a public option arise from a deep concern about controlling cost--a concern I don't recall his raising during the debate on going to war in Iraq, which to date has cost $700 billion, a price for which we could've established a colony on Neptune. (As I've noted before, conservatives always get fiscally responsible when it comes to spending tax dollars on improving people's lives, but regard such concerns as frivolous when the money's going toward blowing people apart.)
In all the furor over Lieberman's capricious and bitchy behavior--Paul Krugman called it "spite," and even the normally unbullshitable Tom Tomorrow drew him shrugging, "What can I say? I'm just an asshole,"--the only places I've seen it pointed out that Lieberman represents a state where a lot of insurance companies are based, and accepts huge campaign donations from that industry, have been letters-to-the-editor and online comments, not news stories. Which is kind of weird, since this would seem to be the single most relevant factor in explaining his "position," such as it is--especially with as rigorously unprincipled a hack as Lieberman, a senator with whom you get exactly what you pay for. Is there some reason journalists are loath to point out the obvious? Is it some uncool breach of decorum to mention a politician's financial backers, like a girl just coming out and asking a guy how much money he makes on the first date? Wouldn't it be just as legitimate, and way more revealing, to include someone's campaign donors in brackets behind their name rather than the obligatory (D) or (R)? Thus: "Joe Lieberman (Purdue Pharma) opposes a public option, citing concerns about costs to the taxpayer."
I recently asked a friend of mine who works on Captiol Hill whether there would ever come a point when the Democrats would finally cut Joe Lieberman loose--out him as a pedophile, maybe, or just have him killed. He responded glumly that he was pretty sure Joe couldn't achieve an erection anymore, and you can't kill the undead. He said the worst they might do was take away his chairmanship. I remember how this same friend of mine and I exulted unapologetically back when former Attorney General John Ashcroft was in the hospital with gallstones. Even some progressive friends of ours were a little taken aback, thinking our schadenfreude a little tasteless and over the line. Our argument was: Oh come on. Don't be superstitious--it's not like our ill wishes have any effect on the guy at all. Plus, he totally deserves gallstones! So in that same spirit of harmless good fun, I urge you to go ahead and print out your own Joe Lieberman Voodoo doll and poke away. Give him the piles. Or feel free write in your own favorite affliction: syphyllis, colon cancer, glaucoma, rabies. It's all more painless than he deserves. Plus, remember: he's fully covered!
Yes black hairy tongue disease is a real disease. I urge you strongly, in all seriousness, not to google it. You will regret it.