From firstname.lastname@example.org Sat Oct 21 13:28:05 2000
Date: Sat, 21 Oct 2000 01:41:27 -0500 (CDT)
From: "Mike Mail" <email@example.com>
Subject: [Mike's Message] What Is Joe Lieberman Trying To Tell Us?
What Is Joe Lieberman Trying To Tell Us?
By Michael Moore
20 October 2000
Is Senator Joseph Lieberman a double dipper? In a blatant attempt
to have it both ways, he continues to run for vice president AND
the U.S. Senate. Connecticut, the state he currently represents
(when he's not busy representing Aetna and Bristol-Myers), has
a quirk in its election law that allows him to run for both offices
simultaneously. As the incumbent Democratic senator on the ballot,
with token Republican opposition, his re-election is avirtual guarantee.
But getting elected vice president is not a sure bet. In fact, to
some it's looking less sure each day.
But, if he and Gore can pull it off, he'll be giving up that Senate
seat to go sit in the vice president's mansion. If that happens,
John Rowland, the Republican governor of Connecticut, instead
will get to appoint Lieberman's replacement -- a Republican,
naturally. Although the GOP still controls the Senate,
Democratic challengers this year, according to this week's New
York Times, have "an outside chance" of regaining control of the
Senate. But losing Lieberman's seat could make all the difference
in allowing the Republicans to hold on to power.
So what is Lieberman up to? If he wants, he could still drop out of
the Senate race. He has until October 27 to do so. The Democrats
in Connecticut are all set to run a popular candidate, state Attorney
General Richard Blumenthal, whom everyone agrees would win the
seat. Democrats in Connecticut are just sitting there waiting for a
sign, and a lot of them are pretty disgusted. (It's no surprise to me
that Ralph Nader is polling at 11 percent for President in Connecticut.)
Why doesn't Lieberman step aside and ensure the continued Democratic
lock on this valuable Senate seat? With the House almost certain to go
back to the Democrats, why would he risk his own party's opportunity
to take over both houses of the United States Congress? Talk about
the ultimate win-win - if Gore is elected, his programs and promises
will have no problem becoming law. If Bush wins, he will have an uphill
battle with the liberal wing of the Democratic Party that will control
many of the committees in Congress. Any of Bush's nominees to the
Supreme Court will have to get past a Democratic Senate, although
that's exactly how Scalia and Thomas got on the court (thanks to the
Democrats who voted for them, including Senator Al Gore, who voted
Why is Lieberman risking all of this? Because Joe is a winner. Hey,
we all love a winner, don't we? Lieberman is running for Senate and
vice president so that he, Joe Lieberman, is a WINNER on November 7.
You see, to Joe, that's more important than Gore winning, or the
Democrats winning, or even the Republicans winning. He could really
Either way, come Election Day, HE has already won.
What does Al Gore think of this? Why did he ever consider inviting
such an ego-driven individual to join the ticket? I wonder how the
conversation went when Gore told Lieberman that he had been
chosen to be his running mate...
Gore: "Congratulations, Joe! You're the man! Out of all the candidates,
you are the one I trust the most, the one who I want by my side, the
one who will be a heartbeat away from me, the only man who could
fill my shoes should something happen to me!"
Lieberman: "Uh, yeah... well. Thanks, Mr. Vice President. Listen, I
was wondering - you wouldn't mind if I also keep running for my
Senate seat, too, would ya?"
Gore: "Hey, you don't need to worry about some dumb little Senate
seat now. You're going to be VICE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED
STATES! Whoa! Hey, how does that grab ya?!"
Lieberman: "Rrr-ight. Hmmm. You see, it's just that I love the people
of Connecticut so much and I would hate to disappoint them and..."
Gore: "Disappoint them? Why, heck, you're going to be the most
famous man ever from Connecticut when you're VICE PRESIDENT
OF THE UNITED STATES! You'll be sitting right by my side for
the next eight years."
Lieberman: "Don't get me wrong. It's not that I don't appreciate it
and I would love to be your vice president. It's just that, well, you
know, I'm in the Senate to serve the people and insurance companies
of my state, and, as we say in the insurance business, it's all about
risk/benefit analysis. So, if you don't mind me asking, what do you
think your chances are of winning?"
Gore: "My chances? Are you serious? I just offered you the
second-most powerful office in the world! I can't believe this!"
Lieberman: "Make no mistake about it. I'm honored. Thrilled. Really.
And if you, I mean we, win, whoa boy, great. But just in case, you
wouldn't really mind if I kept running for my Senate seat at the same
time, would ya? You know, NOT BECAUSE I don't personally
believe that you will TROUNCE George W. Bush. Oh, no. Not that.
I love the sound of PRESIDENT Gore - music to my ears! So how
'bout I do you a favor and run with you, and you do me a favor
and let me have my insurance policy."
Folks, what do Lieberman's actions say to you about his own BELIEF
in the winnability of the Democratic ticket this year? Not much, eh? Yet
-- and here's the part I don't understand -- Gore and Lieberman are
US, though, to believe in THEM, to go with a "winner." Don't be
votin' for that Ralph Nader guy, they tell us, he can't "win." But if
Lieberman is unwilling to give up his Senate run, what message
is he sending us?
I'll tell you what -- he believes that there is a great chance
Gore-Lieberman will NOT win. And if that's the case, if that's what
THEY think, then why are any of us bothering with them? If you
vote for Gore-Lieberman, you are voting for two men who don't even
believe in their own election! What does that tell us about the other
things they SAY they believe in? Will they really make our schools
better, our senior citizens secure, our environment safer? If they don't
even have the courage of their own convictions, why are we being
asked to not follow OUR convictions and vote our consciences?
Lieberman is like a baby who wants it his way, to have his cake
and eat it, too.
This is why most people in this country do not like Democrats.
They're a bunch of wimps and whiners and crybabies. And they are
so easy to see through. At least with a guy like Big Time Dick
Cheney, you get a man who believes in what he believes in and f---
you if you don't like it. He's proud of voting against Head Start and
equal pay for women and any attempt to get Nelson Mandela out of
He'll even go against his own party and say something civil about
gays and lesbians. He just doesn't give a damn. No wonder he
and his boob-headed partner may win.
Perhaps the most important lesson in the Great Lieberman Hedge is
that, when it really comes down to it, he and Gore and the Democrats
don't really care if another Republican ends up being appointed to the
Senate. With Lieberman already the number one Senate recipient of
campaign funds from the insurance industry and the number two
recipient of money from the pharmaceutical companies, he's about
as "Republican" as they come. According to the New York Times,
79 percent of his PAC money comes from Big Business, and only
3 percent is donated by labor unions.
Perhaps what Lieberman and Gore are acknowledging is that there
isn't a lot of difference between the two parties these days and that
the governor of Connecticut can just go ahead and appoint whomever
Either way, just like Joe, he'll be the senator from Aetna.
P.S. Tonight, on "The Awful Truth," (Bravo, 8pm and 11pm ET) our
good friend and Awful Truth correspondent, Karen Duffy, takes on
the nursing home industry by leading a bunch of kung-fu fighting
senior citizens as they visit one nursing home under state
investigation (check out www.theawfultruth.com). Also, Karen has
written a wonderful, funny book on her efforts to beat back the
Grim Reaper over the past few years. When we won our Emmy
Award for TV Nation in 1995, we had no sooner come back to
our seats with that little gold statue to hear Karen say that she
wasn't feeling well. And it was all downhill from there. Or uphill
in Duff's case. She wrestled that tumor in her head to the ground
and her account of this ordeal and the cast of characters around
it can be found in her book, Model Patient, available now in your
fine independent bookstores or online at http://www.amazon.com.
P.P.S. Hey, Floridians I'll be at Florida State University speaking in
the Ruby Diamond Auditorium at 8:00 pm. this Monday evening,
October 23, 2000. Hope to see Jeb Bush there!
P.P.S. Be sure to check out Ben Hamper's latest column at
http://www.michaelmoore.com/hamper/ It's a hilarious account of his
experiences as a correspodent on "The Awful Truth."