Taking a quick break from his lucrative work as a lobbyist for the law firm that has represented President Donald Trump for years, former Democratic Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) emerged from the realm of complete political irrelevance on Tuesday to urge defeated New York Rep. Joe Crowley to disregard the will of voters and mount a third-party bid against democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
"Sizzling hot take from Joe Lieberman, the man who gave us the eternal gift of crowdfunded cancer treatment."
—New York City DSA
"Ocasio-Cortez is a proud member of the Democratic Socialists of America, whose platform, like hers, is more Socialist than Democratic," Lieberman—who is infamous among progressives for his support for the invasion of Iraq and his successful campaign to kill the public option—wrote in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal. "For the sake of Congress and our country, I hope Joe Crowley will give all the voters of his district the opportunity to re-elect him in November—and I hope they find his name on their ballots."
— People For Bernie (@People4Bernie) July 18, 2018
Lieberman's call for Crowley—who lost to Ocasio-Cortez in a 15-point landslide last month—to keep his political career alive by running on the Working Families Party ticket was immediately ridiculed as a "doomed rearguard action" by the "absolute ghoul" who notoriously endorsed Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) over Barack Obama in the 2008 presidential race.
"Congrats to whichever genius on Ocasio-Cortez's team helped place that Lieberman op-ed," joked Matt Duss, foreign policy adviser for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), echoing the common sentiment that Lieberman's endorsement of Crowley is a boon for the young democratic socialist, given Lieberman's toxic reputation among progressives and the Democratic base.
As many pointed out in response to Lieberman's op-ed, the former Connecticut senator has plenty of experience playing spoiler. After losing the Democratic primary in his state in 2006, Lieberman ran as an independent and won re-election.
While he identified as an independent for the rest of his political career, Lieberman continued to caucus with the Democratic Party.
Joe Lieberman is absolute pure, contemptible trash. pic.twitter.com/vZ5NB5m8Ja
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) July 18, 2018
Let’s check the record. Yes, here it is: Joe Lieberman still owes the Democrats an election for egregiously undercutting his own party during the Bush-v-Gore recount. So, if I recall the rules of the game correctly, Lieberman has to sit this round out.https://t.co/EeghetYF0W
— John Nichols (@NicholsUprising) July 18, 2018
Sizzling hot take from Joe Lieberman, the man who gave us the eternal gift of crowdfunded cancer treatment https://t.co/bYDPGgH1Ln
— New York City DSA (@nycDSA) July 18, 2018
Review of the twilight of Joe Lieberman’s career:
- Dem VP nominee
- Key Dem supporter of Bush’s Iraq War
- Key Dem who helped kill public option
- Hired by law firm of Trump’s attorney
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) July 18, 2018
As Common Dreams reported, Ocasio-Cortez last week accused Crowley of plotting to launch a third-party bid to sabotage her in November's general election because he is refusing to vacate the Working Families Party line.
Crowley responded that he is not running, but does not want to jump through the necessary logistical hoops to get his name off the ballot.
While it is unclear whether Lieberman spoke to Crowley before his Wall Street Journal op-ed was published, Crowley appeared to be responding to the piece on Wednesday when he tweeted simply: "Still not running."