Dana Milbank offers some much-needed perspective on Sen. Joe Lieberman’s lonely last senate address in today’s Washington Post:
… The sparse attendance wasn’t unusual for a farewell speech, but it was a sad send-off for a man who was very close in 2000 to becoming a major figure in American political history as the first Jew on a major party’s national ticket. He was denied the vice presidency not by the voters but by the Supreme Court. As he joked in his farewell speech, he was “grateful to have received a half-million more votes than my opponent on the other side — but that’s a longer story.”
Six years later, he was drummed out of his party because of his willingness to embrace Republicans (he received a kiss from George W. Bush after a State of the Union address).
And so it was a man with few political allies who bid the chamber farewell. “I regret to say as I leave the Senate that the greatest obstacle that I see standing between us and the brighter American future we all want is right here in Washington,” he said. “It’s the partisan polarization of our politics which prevents us from making the principled compromises on which progress in a democracy depends.”