For those who haven't read Jeffrey Goldberg's New Yorker profile
of Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), it's a defining portrait of a man who finds it lonely in the Senate -- where, he says, âa lot of Democrats are essentially pacifists and somewhat isolationist" -- and, one has to think, lonely at the movies:
Lieberman likes expressions of American power. A few years ago, I was in a movie theatre in Washington when I noticed Lieberman and his wife, Hadassah, a few seats down. The film was âBehind Enemy Lines,â in which Owen Wilson plays a U.S. pilot shot down in Bosnia. Whenever the American military scored an onscreen hit, Lieberman pumped his fist and said, âYeah!â and âAll right!â
But Goldberg doesn't quite penetrate the possibly impenetrable veneer of Lieberman's persona, a man who claims that he "can't explain why" Democrats might be upset when Lieberman accuses them of giving comfort to the enemy by opposing the administration's plans for escalation in Iraq.
Unsurprisingly, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) does perhaps the best job:
McCain told me that one explanation for Liebermanâs obdurate support for the President was politics. Lieberman, he implied, had invested too much in his advocacy of the war to back away now. âIt might be that Joe was assaulted so harshly in the campaign that he felt that if he showed any chink in his armor, people would exploit it,â he said. âYou could do the commercial yourself.âNote
: Perhaps the best clue of how Lieberman sees himself was lost on me. If anyone can explain in comments Lieberman's remark
"I'm the Lorax... I'm saving that one tree" (referring to Dr. Seuss' lorax
, I gather), I'd appreciate it.