Joe Lieberman And John Hagee: Still BFF
People say that John McCain and Joe Lieberman are joined at the hip, but that's not fair. John McCain is occasionally hit by pangs of decency; Lieberman never is. For example, when asked whether waterboarding is torture at a debate … Read More
People say that John McCain and Joe Lieberman are joined at the hip, but that's not fair. John McCain is occasionally hit by pangs of decency; Lieberman never is. For example, when asked whether waterboarding is torture at a debate last fall, McCain answered, "I am astonished that…anyone could believe that [waterboarding] is not torture." Lieberman, on the other hand, observed that waterboarding "is not like putting burning coals on people’s bodies." Good point, Joe!
So when it turned out last week that the Apocalypse Now theology of "Pastor" John Hagee includes the idea that Hitler was God's own personal gopher between Himself and His chosen people, McCain very quickly cut bait. Which meant that the countdown to Lieberman slobberingly embracing Hagee was on.
Sure enough, the news came on Wednesday that Lieberman will be the headline act at Hagee's annual conference for Christians who support Israel as a rope supports a hanged man. And yesterday, the AP reported Lieberman's rationalization: "while Hagee's comments were unacceptable and hurtful, [Lieberman] will judge him on his life work fighting anti-Semitism and building bridges between Christians and Jews." Which is, of course, complete horseshit. Lieberman has been a water-carrier for Hagee for years and the idea that Lieberman didn't know what Hagee and his followers think of Jews is risible. When Hagee was "only" in trouble for his anti-Catholic bigotry, Lieberman couldn't have been happier to rush to his defense.
Just how marginal is the fringe Lieberman has decided to occupy? It's not just reform rabbis like Eric Yoffie and David Saperstein who don't think Christian preachers and organizations actively lobbying for the annihilation of Israel are friends of the Jews. Abe Foxman, who had no objection to Hagee's bigotry as long as it was "not a Jewish issue," seems to have noticed that preaching that the Final Solution was divinely ordained is a Jewish issue. Think about that for a second: Foxman has the mental dexterity to deny the Armenian genocide, but not to deny John Hagee's antisemitism. Lieberman is making a bargain too corrupt for Abe Foxman.
Not, by the way, that Lieberman's total lack of scruples is a function of his transformation into an exhaust valve of the Straight Talk Express. Back in the long, long ago days of the year 2000, when Lieberman was busy doing for Jewish national candidates what Geraldine Ferraro did for women in 1984, he managed to suck up to Louis Farrakhan for votes. So maybe Lieberman will be remembered as a peacemaker in the end; who else could assemble a rainbow coalition of antisemitic religious charlatans with such aplomb?
(P.S. Lieberman's also a lousy senator. That huge clusterfuck in the Department of Homeland Security? Guess who's in charge of oversight.)