286835750_f16da31448_m.thumbnail.jpgI know I can’t be the only one nervous about Joe Lieberman pimping for John McCain:

As President, John McCain will bring America together again. He will inspire a new American unity and a new American patriotism. He will push all of us to work together to solve our biggest problems, and defeat our most dangerous enemies.

But to nobody’s surprise save for the unduly credulous, Lieberman helps McCain not with Independents, but Republicans:

According to a Fox News/Opinion Dynamics poll released last week, Lieberman’s endorsement makes only 15% of independents more likely to vote for McCain, yet it persuades 25% of Republicans.

Which makes perfect sense, because when Republicans hear the word "bipartisan" they know it’s code for "give the GOP everything it wants." If someone suggested it mean giving in to the Democrats on anything, they’d all be screaching like a pack of howler monkeys.

But here’s the danger:

It’s not Lieberman the maverick or moderate who helps McCain the most; it’s Lieberman the moralist.

The Connecticut senator – who, besides his hawkish stance on foreign policy, continues to caucus with Democrats – has for several years now been a regular fixture on conservative talk radio. In 1998, he became a hero to the right wing for openly denouncing Bill Clinton’s misconduct. Just as Lieberman’s obvious comfort talking about religious faith irritates many on the left, it endears him to evangelical Christians, as does his campaign against violence and sex in movies and video games.

Why is this distinction – Lieberman’s appeal to conservatives more than independents – so important now? Because McCain has a famously rocky relationship with the Christian right. If he doesn’t start smoothing it out now, he cannot win the nomination. If, on the other hand, he does start to repair the rift, he can string together a broad Republican coalition and continue his improbable comeback. ….

I can see it now. Lieberman shores up McCain with the evangelicals, and the two of them waltz around singing Kumba-fucking-ya and Joe talks about how nobody wants to end the war more than he does and it all makes perfect sense to people using about 2% of their brains. Then old fart McCain kicks, and we’re looking at…President Lieberman.

Please, by all that is holy, kick him out of the caucus and strip him of his seniority now. The only two politicians he’s endorsing so far are Republicans. And really, the satisfaction of being able to say "we told you so" has long since waned.

Don’t make us be right again.

(h/t tparty)

Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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