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December 17, 2009

Rousing The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party: (Or, What Part of “NO” Don’t You Understand?)

Franken vs. Lieberman health 2.jpg
Franken vs. Lieberman health 1.jpg

After Governor Dean threw down the progressive gauntlet earlier in the week in challenging the health care sell-out, Senator Franken carried the new found sense of “NO” into the Senate chamber Thursday giving the compromise-crusher and legislative anarchist, Joe Lieberman, a taste of his own medicine.

Watching the video isn’t nearly the same as looking at these still frames. That’s because Senators, being great actors, reflexively fall back into that fake sense of comity and collegiality. As such, the main take-away from watching the video is the phony ha-ha-ha Lieberman demonstrated after Franken cut him off at the knees, followed by that strange projection, Joe telling Franken “don’t take it personally.” On the other hand, the tendency — watching Franken — is to fix on that dorky expression (because Franken often is dorky looking) after the Lieberman slap down at the very end of the clip.

What we really want to concentrate on, however, are the still frames above, the first showing Lieberman (at the 29 second mark) flashing fury immediately after Franken tells him his time is up — Lieberman briefly revealing his true feelings in having to submit to Franken’s authority. The second frame shows Franken at the 36 second mark clearly evidencing the same confidence as Dean as he looks directly at Lieberman, delivering his: “I object.”

That look — sorely missing since the election — boldly sends the message that the GOP and America Inc. Democrats have no monopoly on strength; that the days of progressives being taken for granted are over; and that, if anybody thinks this is a bad thing for Obama and the party, think again.

(Title phrase courtesy of Paul Wellstone.)

(screen grabs via C-SPAN)

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