Opinion: Sen. Al Franken shuts up Joe Lieberman -- and the comic wasn’t joking


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An unsubtle brush-back pitch thrown today by the most recent late-night comic to be elected to the U.S. Senate. And an indication of how high emotions are running among Democrats over this endless healthcare debate.

In 2006, Democrats tried unsuccessfully to oust Sen. Joe Lieberman from his Connecticut seat over his support for the Iraq war. These days, they are even more unhappy with the Democratic vice presidential candidate from 2000.


That’s because not only did Lieberman campaign for his Republican chum John McCain last year, but now-Independent Lieberman exercised his clout as the crucial 60th Democratic vote this month to kill some provisions of the healthcare bill that he didn’t like.

Now his liberal pals don’t like him even more and are mounting a campaign to get even.

Today, Lieberman was explaining some amendments that he intended to offer. At the end of Lieberman’s allotted time, an unsmiling Democrat, Al Franken, who was presiding in the chair, interrupted to say that Lieberman’s 10 minutes were up.

Lieberman made a routine motion that he be allowed a few additional moments to finish, usually a pro forma courtesy in the world’s most exclusive club of talkers.

Franken made the un-routine move to object.

‘Really?!’ exclaimed a surprised Lieberman.

Take that.

End of Lieberman speakig.

McCain then rose in his friend’s defense but, of course, to no avail, seeing as how not only did the Arizonan lose the 2008 presidential election handily but his party is a distinct Senate minority now. And don’t let anyone forget it.

Check out the brief C-SPAN video here. For the Senate, it’s goshdarnit pretty blunt stuff from Stuart Smalley.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Video courtesy of the all-seeing, all-knowing folks at C-SPAN