The pompous sanctimony of those in Washington's most exclusive club is expected. Still, it's worth highlighting naked hypocrisy in general and, in particular, when it involves Joe Lieberman, a man of peerless self-importance. Sam Stein dug up a quote from Lieberman from 1994 when the senator was floating a plan to fundamentally alter the filibuster and transform it from being a roadblock to a speed bump. Back then Lieberman was lecturing anyone who would listen that the filibuster is what "ails Washington" and should be eliminated. I happen to agree with 1994 Lieberman; despite splitting the government into three branches we've nonetheless decided a super-duper majority in the Senate is still needed to get anything done. This allows for more grandstanding and backroom dealing, but not better policy:
This year, of course, Lieberman is saying that he's considering filibustering health-care reform. It's tempting to just make this about Lieberman, but it isn't, really. A lot of young senators consider the filibuster somewhat insane. Many of them come from the House, where action is easier, or they led state legislatures, where the filibuster didn't exist. Others were governors or leaders in the private sector. They enter the Senate and are appalled that the place is paralyzed by bad-faith proceduralism.
But over time, they lose that perspective. They serve in the minority for a while and realize they like the filibuster. They find themselves serving as a crucial vote on some issue or another and find they like the power. They spend a lot of time with older senators and decide they like the chamber's institutions. And they either drop the fight or, as in Lieberman's case, join the other side.