A friend once joked to Joe Lieberman, former senator and vice-presidential nominee, that the Democratic party was like his appendix: it was there but not doing much for him.
“It’s a funny line,” he says by phone from his law office in New York, “but the truth is that it’s more than that because I feel good physically when the Democrats do well – in my terms – and I do get pain when they go off and do things that I don’t agree with.”
Lieberman may be in for a world of pain now. The other Joe – also 79, also a Democratic ex-senator – was expected to share his centrist convictions as US president. Instead Joe Biden as president has surprised friends and foes alike with the scale, scope and audacity of his multi-trillion-dollar agenda.
The Democratic party itself has moved left over the past decade, making it an increasingly awkward fit for Lieberman, who voted for…