He’s the bad penny. The skunk at the picnic. The disgusting skin on your pudding. And he will never, ever, ever go away as long as he’s alive. But it appears that former Sen. Joe Lieberman (Connecticut for Lieberman) is Trump’s top pick among the people who are still craven and self-serving enough to think associating themselves with this president is a good idea. OF COURSE it’s Lieberman. Who else is that much of a troll, asks Vox’s Matt Yglesias?
Lieberman lacks the conventional qualifications for an FBI director, never having served as a law enforcement agent or federal prosecutor. He lacks the kind of administrative experience that one normally looks for in an agency chief. At the age of 75, he’s also very much on the old side for a 10-year appointment. But “Trump bonded with Lieberman” at their meeting on Wednesday, according to Politico, and
personal rapport between the president and the FBI director has not traditionally been considered necessary or even desirable, Trump enjoys breaking with tradition.
For the president to fire the FBI director in an effort to stymie an investigation into his associates, and then replace him with an unqualified successor who happens to be an employee of his personal lawyer, seems a wee bit fishy to me; indeed, Politico quotes a senior Democratic aide as saying it “could be an issue for Democrats.” Another issue for Lieberman will be that grassroots progressive activists hate his guts and have for years.
Trump undoubtedly believes this would be a great bipartisan pick, like he still believe Democrats should have applauded his firing of James Comey because they’re mad at him for that whole Hillary thing. Trump is not a smart man. To their credit, Senate Democrats are initially throwing cold water on it.
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) called it a “mistake” to select an elected official to the post, saying that the FBI director should be a law enforcement official. Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said the country needed a director with “unanimous support,” adding: “That’s not Lieberman.”
A top Senate Democratic aide put the prospects of immense opposition to the pick bluntly in an email to HuffPost: “There couldn’t possibly be worse time to take the unprecedented step of handing the FBI over to a politician. That absolutely includes Senator Lieberman.”
Hell, even Sen. Dianne Feinsten (D-CA) says it’s a terrible idea. Here’s the thing, though. Mitch McConnell is going to go with whoever Trump picks no matter how unqualified and how despised he is. He’s not going to care what the Democrats think. He’ll ram this through. Unless Democrats refuse to allow it.
Total resistance. Boycott the Judiciary Committee confirmations. Wring every minute out of every legislative session taking votes and making Republican speakers answer questions about Trump and Russia and what they knew when. Make this as painful and as difficult as humanly possible. Hold McConnell accountable.