Yesterday Senator Al Franken denied Joe Lieberman's routine request for an "additional moment" to drone on about an amendment to the health care bill on the Senate floor. If you're someone who's felt any degree of frustration with Lieberman's recent role in killing the public option, it's a trivial but deeply fulfilling video:
Franken happened to be presiding over the Senate as Lieberman spoke about amendments he planned to offer to the bill; after his ten minutes were up, he requested a little more time. Franken's contemptuous tone speaks volumes about Lieberman's popularity among Democrats: "In my capacity as the senator from Minnesota, I object." Wonkette's Jim Newell calls the exchange "a brief respite of procedural porn & violence for the very sad American Left."
"Really?" replied a surprised Lieberman. "Okay. I won't take it personally." But Senator John McCain did object, expressing outrage and dismay over Franken's behavior, saying, "I've been around the Senate twenty years, and it's the first time I've ever seen a member denied an extra minute or two to finish his remarks. And I must say that I don’t know what’s happening here in this body but I think it’s wrong."
Franken's spokeswoman, Jess McIntosh, told the Daily News that the Minnesota senator wouldn’t allow Lieberman to continue because time limits were being enforced by Senate leaders rushing to finish a defense spending bill and get to the health bill.