If You voted for McCain, You Should be Punished

I didn’t have much time to do anything today as I was traveling, which ended up taking longer than intended. I could devote a whole blog just to the crappy attitude of everyone working in the airline industry, but that is for another day. Given very little time to research, I found myself unprepared to do any research tonight in order to support the thoughts in my head. But I am getting a lot of “dude, there wasn’t a new blog up on your site this morning” emails today. But while soaking in the family atmoshpere of gate D10, I saw a story about Joe Lieberman keeping his position and thought I would post my thoughts around that.

So here’s the deal: You all remember Joe. The Democratic party turned on Joe Lieberman during the primaries in 2006. After 18 solid years in the US Senate, the Democratic party decided they no longer liked the junior Senator from Connecticut, even though he was their party’s candidate for Vice President with Al “I invented the internet” Gore. So the party officially backed Joe’s opponent in the primary. Lieberman lost a stunning defeat after years of faithful service to the party. 

But Joe didn’t lie down or go away. Having lost the right to run for reelection in his party, he decided he would run as an Independent in the general election. He soundly beat the democrat and republican candidates and retained his Senate seat, however he was now listed as independent. He has remained a part of the Democratic Caucus and held the Chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. 

But then Joe made one of the biggest mistakes of his political career: He decided to back his longtime friend John McCain for President. We all know the results. So the Democratic response to a Senator that backed the candidate he believed was the right choice to move America forward? Punishment. He has been kept from attending the Senate Democratic Caucus strategy and planning meetings. Harry Reid and Senate Democrats threatened to remove him from his highly influential Chairmanship. 

See this is what bothers me. This man was punished and reprimanded and had his entire career threatened all because he decided to back the candidate that he felt was right. Because he did not toe the party line and do what the Democrats demanded, he was ostracized and attacked. Democrats in the house could not fathom that a member of the Democratic Caucus went against their directive. Even after that same Democratic Caucus chose to back his rival in the 2006 primary.

This is just one more sign of what our Congress has become. They are no longer interested in serving the people. They are interested in serving the party agenda. If you step out of line, you can lose your career. This is the fundamental flaw of the partisan bickering that our government has become. Joe, you don’t get to represent Connecticut, or the people, or even yourself. You will represent what the party wants you to represent. His choice to make his own decision about the best way forward for our country was not permitted in today’s Congress. 

If it is the party that determines how our elected representatives vote or act, shouldn’t the American people have the right to set the agenda for the party? Shouldn’t the head of the Democratic and Republican parties be an elected position if that is the person that is really determining how we are represented in Congress? Or should we just go a step further and have the American people vote every four years on the items that will be on the party agenda and the position that will be taken. If not, does it really matter who we vote for? Does character or intelligence or past history or morals even matter? It seems to me the only thing that matters on election day is whether there is a “R” or a “D” beside their name. Because no matter what, they are going to simply follow the party line, right down to obeying when to stand up and clap or sit down like a statue during the State of the Union.

When it comes to the two major parties, the name on the ballot means nothing. All that matters anymore is the letter that follows. With any luck we will soon see some more L’s beside candidates names so that we can at least get these dinosaurs to pay attention.

For the record, Joe got to keep his position as Chair of the Committee. A little gift from the democratic party to you , Joe. But don’t you dare ever cross us again and vote your concience or your beliefs.


  1. No, no, no, no, you have it all wrong! See, the whole message of this campaign was bipartisanship. That doesn’t mean actually SHOWING bipartisanship. It just means a whole lot of empty words of how bipartisan you are and then doing whatever your party’s leadership says you should do. If you – God forbid – actually ARE bipartisan, you will be ousted by your party. So to be a succesful politician, you should mention bipartisanship about three times in a stump speech and then do nothing. Just ask the president-elect.

  2. It is certainly shaping up to be the case now, isn’t it Ruben? I have an upcoming blog about the whole “Change we can Believe In” platform that is starting more every day to look like more of the same. I am fairly disappointed with the selections so far in terms of “change”. Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, Eric Holder…. the list goes on. Not a lot of change there. More partisan picks than I expected him to have the guts to make.

    I will take your advice on how to be a successful politician. It certainly worked for our new President Elect. We will find out soon enough if he makes good on that promise. I do believe that he actually meant it when he said it. Whether he is able to do it is another story altogether.

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