I’ve got the perfect answer for Senator Joseph Lieberman: Move to Israel, Joe!

I’ve been think about this for some time, and I’ve suddenly come up with the answer. Senator Lieberman should move to Israel. (He’s PERFECT for Bibi Netanyahu, don’t you think, and just as popular. Being in the same tight little area as The Bib will do him the world of good. And his insurance connections would surely come in handy.
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[And as it happens –as I am at it, let me get something off my chest here– I think I might have a good job –a serious job– for the good Senator. Sort out, once and for all, all that Christian-Right “We love Israel” anti-semitic Rapture mishigoss. We’re FED up with it…You know, the “We All LOVE Israel…until, that is, The “Rapture” and The “Apocalypse” come. Then all Jews either convert to Christianity –or burn-in-hell! That’s the same old Patmos Christian anti-semitism, just repackaged in a Best-Seller.
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Israel –and a lot of my friends– buy it now because, they say, “It is good for the Jews” And brings a lot of tourist dollars! But –doesn’t ANYBODY talk about the poisonous premise behind the extreme Christian right’s so-called “Love of Israel”.]
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Now do you feel better? No. Oh well, back to our favorite Senator Joe.
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Just think, looking back: for about five minutes in 2000 I thought Senator Joe was the perfect completion of the Gore-Who? ticket. Turns out that both of them were very, very low on Charm. Actually, zero.
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We all were wrong.
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But –Joe NEVER got over it!
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What –we should ask at this stage– is charm?
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Charm is a personal quality that some people (–more than others–) have of being pleasing, or attractive –even of being fascinating. With time, Joseph Lieberman has demonstrated to us all how very challenged he is on all three fronts.
Is there an anti-charm? A quality that displeases, that drives away, that bores? Right now, that pretty much defines Joe Lieberman. A self-conscious obduracy –with a side-order of Insurance Company fealty.
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With Joe as VP candidate on the Gore ticket, we thought he lent a certain….North-Eastern-ness to that Son of The South, ( who it turned out really wasn’t from the south at all. As a kid Al hung out in the corridors of really expensive hotels in DC while his political dad did his thing. That’s really where Al comes from .)
So Joe added that…N-E ness. That…urbanity. That…you-can-always-depend-on-Joe-to-say something…what?… Wise-but-ponderous! In that low, low, ponderous voice of his.
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Ponderous! That’s the Lieberman word! La Ponderosa! Joe is…heavy. In his view of himself, Joseph aimed for a wise and incorruptable gravitas, but instead of gravitas, Joe came out…heavy. Ponderous….
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So –who would have guessed but the DEM 2000 ticket was….All Ponderous, all the time. Al is not “JOE-ponderous” but he was/is ..not too far removed. [The word was: Vote for Al and Joe: They’re Heavy!]
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In 2000 the “pundints” –I’m adding ‘ n’s to all my pundits until further notice–all discussed what Joe Lieberman brought to the ticket. For myself I thought that what he really brought to the ticket was a certain… what shall we call it…Jewishness! (Were we ready for it? In the highest Office-but-one in the land? OF COURSE we were! We had grown up. We had gotten over…all that. Yes we were ready. This is/was the New America. )
There was no doubt that Al Gore did lack a certain…Jewishness; was Jewishness-challenged –his bagel jokes were way too self-conscious. The lead balloon syndrome.
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(Not that there is anything wrong with it! Let me say that right away; I don’t want to be accused of…what IS that word I’m looking for?…..)
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In any event, what ever it was, Joe Lieberman would bring it to the ticket.
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But. It turns out we GOT THE WRONG JEW! Those dummies picked THE WRONG JEW! I could name a whole bunch of Jews, some of them even politicians, who would have been immeasurably better. Smarter. Faster on their feet. Nicer. Even charming. With –and here’s the difference– a SENSE OF HUMOR! (my God, La Ponderosa is so removed from…. The Velvet Rope (Mort Sahl’s great line; you can –as they say– look it up.)
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Having come so far, let us press on further, — into some even trickier territory!
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Upon reflection, it occurs to me that it wasn’t so much that Joe Lieberman was THE WRONG JEW, he was THE WRONG SORT OF JEW!
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That came to me when I heard of Joe’s SEVEN MILE WALK TO THE CAPITOL IN THE COLD LAST WEEKEND. His Observant Walk. Wow! What a good man! What a HOLY man! What a religious man.
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Nothing wrong with that. We all could probably use some more…observance… in our lives. (If only to observe a few niceties. If only we HAD a few niceties. (Excuse me while I get rid of this pun that’s been yapping at my heels since I mentioned “niceties”: “OK, we don’t have niceties: we don’t even have NICE TIES!” There, are you happy!) Where was I? Ah yes, Joe’s Observant Sabbath walk to the Senate last Saturday.
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Nothing wrong with that. But –how did it get into The Papers, and on TV? Did Joe call them up and tell them he was going to be starting his Observant Walk…..NOW! (Synchronize your watches). I will be brave. I will be serious. I will be well-bundled up against the harsh cold. Get your reporters out; get your cameras out.
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So –Joe Lieberman as The Wrong Sort of Jew? I’m afraid so. By the way, we’re a little confused here: is Joe an Observant Jew or is he –as I have been reading in The Daily Beast(which I am not sure about! But Lee Siegel’s piece was well constructed)– An Orthodox Jew? All the Orthodox Jews that I know all wear Orthodox Jew Clothes; some of them even wear the Orthodox Jew Outfit. And I wouldn’t describe any of them as… Ponderous –maybe there’s a just bit too much humor there for that….
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I hear you asking me: Who –if you’re so smart– would have been the Right Sort of Jew
for 2009? Who would you have picked?
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That –as they say on all the shows these day– is an EXCELLENT question. Most people ask dumb questions (if they get to asking a question at all) but you…sir… have asked… An EXCELLENT question. And I’m not just saying that so you will be nice to me.
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So –I’m glad you asked.
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Who would I have picked?
(Oh GET on with it!)
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I would have picked…and I’ve mentioned him already…. I would have picked a MORT SAHL type.
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A Mort Sahl TYPE, you say. There was no MORT SAHL TYPE. Mort Sahl was unique!
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You know, you’re right: that, actually, was part of my point. Mort Sahl was very smart and he was very FUNNY. Mort did not take himself too seriously. (Say it with me: NOT LIKE SOME! Not like a certain Sen…..Now wait a minute. None of that ad hominey…that’s Al Gore territory….)
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Mort didn’t take himself seriously –or if he did you wouldn’t know it! He struck me as…
more of a Secular Jew type….at least, if he had to get to the Senate on the Sabbath, he would have Just Shown Up there. No Observant Walk business. Just show up –with that folded newspaper. And when he did, Look out dummies, both sides of the aisle! (Aisle say!) I doubt if even a handful of you would have got even a few of Mort’s jokes. But you would have felt it.
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THAT’S the kind of Jew Mort Sahl was. You wouldn’t know. (Except you sort of got ….Mort’s Drift….)
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Come to think of it, I don’t even know if Mort WAS Jewish.
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The only problem with Mort Sahl as Vice President was….I don’t think they would have allowed Mort to smuggle that Folded Newspaper past that Velvet Rope in the Senate back then.
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That must be why Richard Nixon got the job.
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A favorite Mort quip: “If you maintain a consistent political position long enough, you will eventually be accused of treason.”

That sort of stuff is….so dated!


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