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Why is Lieberman a Shill for Betsy DeVos?

January 18, 2017


Admittedly this is a very minor thing given everything else going on, but I kept seeing pictures and videos of Joe Lieberman sitting next to Betsy DeVos at her confirmation hearings and wondered what he was doing there.

For those with short memories, Lieberman was a Democratic senator from Connecticut who was Al Gore’s running mate in the 2000 election. (Not that anyone would care, but I always thought he was a terrible and useless choice.) After he lost the Democratic primary for the 2006 senate race, Lieberman ran as the de facto Republican candidate (though officially as an independent) and won in a 3-man race.  Then in 2008, he shocked everyone by endorsing John McCain against Barack Obama at the Republican convention. Throughout all of this, the senate Democratic leadership suppressed their gag reflex and allowed him to continue to caucus with the Democrats. He could have been the crucial 60th vote to include the public option in the Affordable Care Act, but voted against it, leaving us with what we now have (perhaps not for very much longer). In 2012, the year he left the senate, he again refused to endorse Obama (or Romney).

Still, it surprised me to see him shilling for a right-wing ideologue like Betsy DeVos, ostensibly to show that she has some support among Democrats–which Lieberman clearly no longer is.

Lieberman failed to mention at the hearing that his law firm, Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman LLP, has represented Donald Trump in all manner of cases since at least 2001.

Lieberman also serves on the board of the American Federation for Children, DeVos’ D.C.-based PAC that SourceWatch describes as ” a conservative 501(c)(4) dark money group that promotes the school privatization agenda via the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other avenues.”


There may well be more to it than that, but that is probably about all the attention that this subject deserves for now.

I suppose there are those who consider Joe Lieberman a principled man who follows his conscience no matter where it leads.  But it sure seems to lead him to some pretty strange places.  For my money, he’s a slimy narcissist, which might explain why he has ended up supporting Donald Trump.

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