Some of my fellow progressives are understandably gnashing their teeth over the sparing of Judas Joe Lieberman. They may find it ironic that Hillary Clinton -- who wrote most of the script for the McCain attacks on Barack Obama -- might end up as Secretary Of State if she decides to. On MSNBC, Chris Matthews was sputtering with frustration over the "nice'" and Chuck Todd wondered how long the liberal blogosphere would put up with it.
Speaking for my tiny little chunk of the liberal blogosphere, I don't like Joe Lieberman. I was disgusted by Hillary's campaign. And I couldn't be happier with Obama's decisions.
You see, I took all that talk about new politics seriously. In speech after speech, Obama said we had to move past "the smallness of our politics" and he didn't single out the Republicans. He didn't say the smallness of their politics. The smallness has been in both parties and it's turned our political system into a decades long episode of Crossfire where angry and self-righteous adherents shout at each other across an infinite abyss because they are both totally convinced of the righteousness of their own positions.
With these early pre-Presidential decisions, Obama is showing confidence in the idea that he ran on; that America was ready for not just new policies but for a whole new approach to governing. It's the biggest possible change I can imagine.
It's not just good politics. It isn't some clever move. It's what those better angels Obama kept mentioning look like. No wonder it's confusing to so many people of all ideological stripes.
Mind you, I'm not claiming to be above this. I've done my share of partisan growling and barking and I surely will again. It's not your problem, brothers and sisters. It's mine. It's ours.
And on that note, I'll end with a quote from one of the most profoundly religious films ever; Quentin Tarantino's Pulp Fiction.... I quote from the book of Jules Pitt in the scene at the very end of the movie.
If you want to picture yourself as Samuel L. Jackson sitting in a diner and aiming a huge pistol at Joe Lieberman (Pumpkin) and you want to imagine Hillary in the role of Honey Bunny, feel free. It's kind of fun.
You read the Bible?
There's a passage I got memorized.
Ezekiel 25:17. "The path of the
righteous man is beset on all sides
by the inequities of the selfish
and the tyranny of evil men.
Blessed is he who, in the name of
charity and good will, shepherds
the weak through the valley of the
darkness. For he is truly his
brother's keeper and the finder of
And I will strike down upon thee
with great vengeance and furious
anger those who attempt to poison
and destroy my brothers. And you
will know I am the Lord when I lay
my vengeance upon you."
I been sayin' that shit for years. And if
you ever heard it, it meant your
ass. I never really questioned
what it meant. I thought it was
just a cold-blooded thing to say to
a motherfucker 'fore you popped a
cap in his ass. But I saw some
shit this mornin' made me think
twice. Now I'm thinkin', it could
mean you're the evil man. And I'm
the righteous man. And Mr. .45
here, he's the shepherd protecting
my righteous ass in the valley of
darkness. Or is could by you're
the righteous man and I'm the
shepherd and it's the world that's
evil and selfish. I'd like that.
But that shit ain't the truth. The
truth is you're the weak. And I'm
the tyranny of evil men. But I'm
tryin'. I'm tryin' real hard to be
Jules lowers his gun, lying it on the table.
Lee Stranahan is a film maker and writer who has started work on his first feature length documentary project - a film about the state of race relationships after the 2008 election.