Heís not a Blue Dog and heís not a Red Dog. Heís not the Hit Dog and heís not a hot dog. So what kind of dog is he?
He is Lieberdog, the only one of its kind in all of nature, a species unto itself, sui generis, the one and only. In Connecticut, where he lives and pontificates, Lieberdog even has his own political party: the Lieberdog for Senator Party.
Well then, what sort of creature is Lieberdog? Also known as Stealth Dog, Lieberdog makes very little noise, looks like a shoe store clerk, and does not show up on radar. Lieberdog appears to be harmless but is known for his treachery. Although he has an unusually big mouth, he speaks through his nose. What he says, especially on the subject of health care reform, makes no sense except to the people who run the insurance industry, particularly the healthcare part of it. Lieberdog is an insurance manís best friend.
Lieberdog is also a faithful companion to Republican presidential candidates who flap their arms like flightless birds and speak in riddles. He will perform any number of clever tricks on command and loves nothing more than rolling over. He will fetch and play dead. He will do anything for attention, sometimes to the point where his sniffing and licking can cause embarrassment to sniffee and lickee alike.
Not very long ago, in a public career that has gone on far, far too long, Lieberdog was a Democrat. Indeed, he was the partyís candidate for vice president when Lock Box Man headed the ticket in year 2,000 of the Modern Era. How soon we forget, but it is a matter of fact that this dynamic duo actually won the election, and not just the popular vote. But for a few hanging chads and a shameless Supreme Court, Lieberdog would have stood the proverbial heartbeat from the presidency for four, and most likely eight, years.
He would then have been in a favorable position to grab the Democratic nomination for The Big Job, and instead of traipsing around the country holding John McCainís privates, he would have been running against him, holding his own. There were plenty of reasons to vote against McCain without any help from Lieberdog. Yet there he was. Wherever McCain went, he went. At every picnic, in every auditorium, at every GOP rubber chicken dinner, at every ďspontaneous event,Ē there was Lieberdog, tongue lolling, tail wagging, fetching, licking and sniffing for the Republican candidate.
But Ö but, we thought he was a Democrat. What was he doing at that rally introducing Old Ironsides, the Republican candidate, for the four hundredth time? No, no, no, you donít understand. He used to be a Democrat. But the Democrats in Connecticut turned their backs on him and nominated someone else. So he did what any beaten dog would do. He got mean and he got even.
And as the sole member of the Lieberdog for Senator Party he beat the candidates of both major parties and heís still a senator and he still caucuses with the Democrats and heís still the chairman of the homeland security committee. This doesnít say much for Democratic Party discipline but does Lieberdog care about that?
Lieberdog is a religious dog, a dog of conscience. He has never voted against his principles and he never will. He believes passionately in the right of the big insurance companies to block any meaningful healthcare reform and he thinks we should stay in Iraq forever. He thinks Israel is right in everything it does even when it costs the lives of hundreds ó thousands ó of innocent people.
Lieberdog is a fiscal conservative except where Iraq is concerned. You canít spend too much to support our brave boys and girls over there and anybody who suggests winding down that Bushian enterprise isnít much better than a rotten coward.
If Lieberdog hadnít defected from the party he might be considered a Blue Dog Democrat, whatever that is. The termís derivation is as murky as its politics, but it seems to have had something to do with turning blue as a result of choking, the very thing that many exasperated Democrats would like to do to Lieberdog. Besides, Blue Dogs are all members of the House. Lieberdog disports himself in more important company, in the Senate, where the fire hydrants are the best that insurance money can buy.