Sunday, October 26, 2008
Joe the Punter
At the beginning of the third season of Battlestar Galactica, most of what remains of the human population has been forced into an uneasy communal relationship with the Cylons after their surprise invasion of New Caprica. "Communal relationship," however, is a gross euphemism, as the reality is that the humans are little more than slaves to their Cylon overlords: they're under vigilant watch and forced to live in constant fear; they're subtly and sometimes not-so-subtly threatened with overwhelming force should they conspire against the military state; they're tortured in prison camps if they get out of line.
During this period of subjugation, a few humans -- either through rank opportunism or simply a resignation to the inevitability of the situation -- choose to cooperate with the Cylons and the puppet government they've created. They serve in office, join the secret police which is tasked with hunting down and "dealing with" insurgents among the population, and work in administrative positions.*
After the humans are freed in a daring rescue and are finally back with the fleet, those who collaborated with the Cylons on New Caprica are systematically hunted down by a secret tribunal, "tried" and, if convicted, executed. This sentence is carried out by putting them into a launch tube and firing them out of the air lock into space.**
Why do I bring this up?
Because Joe Lieberman is now talking to anyone who will listen about how much "respect" he's always had for Barack Obama.
No doubt sensing which way the political winds are blowing and hoping not to be rendered utterly irrelevant by them, the one-time Democratic vice presidential candidate turned full-time GOP attack dog seems to be trying to hedge his bet in the final days before America goes to the polls. For months Lieberman has played John McCain's sycophantic Renfield and led the charge against Barack Obama, accusing the Democrat of not putting "country first" and insinuating that he may be a Marxist. But now that the McCain campaign looks to be headed for an embarrassing defeat, Lieberman -- feckless little weasel that he is -- may be looking for a way back into the fold that he so categorically turned away from. It's one thing to think independently and put conscience above party; not only is this generally the correct way to behave -- it's the only way for anyone who considers him or herself to be intellectually honest. Lieberman didn't do that though -- not by a long shot. He used his position as someone who was nominally an insider within one political party to work toward the goals of another, basically taking on the role of double-agent. And what's worse, despite his claim of "respect" for Barack Obama, he helped mastermind a series of vicious attacks on the man he now fears may wind up being president and worked as hard as just about anyone to ensure his defeat.
So, what should become of Lieberman on November 5th if Obama wins the presidency?
Three words: Suck space, Joe.***
*I realize that the profiteering confederate is pretty much an archetype by this point and that a stronger analogy would've been, say, those very real people who cooperated with despotic regimes during wartime, but I'm all about pop culture and happen to like Battlestar Galactica, so deal with it.
**I'll overlook the fact that, in the context of the show, the secret tribunal is supposed to be a nefarious entity -- a vigilante group which does more harm than good -- and that Gaius Baltar is eventually acquitted of collaborating with the Cylons. I can do this because it's my blog -- so once again, deal with it.
***No, of course I'm not suggesting that Joe Lieberman be shot into space. It's a metaphor. For sending him somewhere he'll never be heard from again. Like space.