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Last week saw the predictable but nevertheless titillating loss of Joe Lieberman to his rival, so-and-so. The concession speech given by Old Joe had all the earmarks of the kind of sad, petty division that out-of-power political parties have to go through before they unite behind some kind of crazy idea and attack successfully. Joe Conason’s analysis went well beyond the obvious. Conventional wisdom says the loss is purely about the senator’s position on the Iraq war. As he sees it, and as Ze Frank might agree, it’s a little more complicated than that. Although Conason may be giving a little bit too much credit to Slate….

The way I see it, though, this is shaping up to be a very sad end to a mostly-respectable career for Joe. Most of the time, there’s nothing inherently wrong with straddling the aisle and being the kind of fuzzy legislator who compromises even his most apparently fundamental beliefs for the sake of, well, compromise.

The Lieberman camp didn’t put the concession speech up on his site, but you can listen to other speeches there if you want. The July 30th clip suggests not only that Lieberman knows he will lose, but that he’s already practicing for a new career as a kids’ birthday party entertainer. Hear how he really gooses the word “soot” (“… and more lakes and rivers be filled with soot??”) Hear how he gets such an inspired response – from his audience, the people of Connecticut:

“NOOOO!”

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