Joe Lieberman and the Apocalypse

Unlike Dana Milbank, I am not at all an admirer of Joe Lieberman’s — but I do agree with him about Lieberman’s apparent plans to attend Glenn Beck’s ‘rally for Israel’ in August.

This came up as a news story when an Israeli newspaper reported that Lieberman, along with Newt Gingrich, Michele Bachmann, and Mitt Romney, were going to be joining Beck at his rally. The first three of those quickly denied that they had any such plans — but Lieberman’s response was different:

… “I’d love to participate,” Lieberman confirmed when The Post’s Felicia Sonmez found him in a Capitol hallway. “It’s just going to be a rally to support Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship.”

In addition to his overall status as a paranoid, outer-limits-of-the-fringe-right nutcase, Beck has a well-earned reputation for being an anti-Semite:

Joe Lieberman, first Jew on a presidential ticket, was embracing Beck, the leading purveyor of anti-Semitic memes in the mass media. One of the most visible Jews in America was making common cause with a man who invoked apocalyptic Christian theology in promoting his rally in Israel.

I admire Lieberman, and I’ve defended him over the years when he defied party and faction. But if he shares a stage with this creature, he will surrender the decency that has defined his public life.

When I spoke to Lieberman, he sounded less definite. “Am I going to go? I don’t know,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of other things going on.” I hope he finds something else to do on Aug. 24. As he approaches his Senate retirement, it would spare him a shameful end to a dignified career.

Lieberman, who knew Beck back when he was a morning DJ in New Haven, may have missed some of the broadcaster’s recent feats: hosting a guest on his show who describes as “accurate” the anti-Semitic tract “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”; likening Reform rabbis to “radicalized Islam”; calling Holocaust survivor George Soros a “puppet master,” a bloodsucker and a Nazi collaborator; touting the work of a Nazi sympathizer who referred to Eisenhower as “Ike the Kike”; and claiming the Jews killed Jesus.

“Obviously,” Lieberman said after I presented some of this to him, “that’s troubling stuff.”

Like I said, I do not admire Joe Lieberman at all — indeed, I don’t think he has any decency left to surrender. This maybe-I-will-and-maybe-I-won’t stuff he gave Milbank is also typical of his personal style. He did this kind of equivocating all through the health care debate — it makes him feel powerful and important to keep people guessing. But if he does participate in Beck’s rally, it won’t surprise me at all. I mean, after all, this is the same man who was a Democrat for his entire career until he ran for, and won, reelection to the Senate by switching to Independent after he lost the Connecticut Democratic primary to Ned Lamont, then promised to vote with the Democratic caucus, but turned around and campaigned for John McCain for President against Barack Obama in 2008. He is capable of anything, except integrity.

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