Joe Must Go
I could almost deal with the selling out of Bill Clinton in the Monica Lewinsky affair and the nasty habit of kissing George W. Bush – literally, at the last State of the Union – but Joe Lieberman is simply too far to the Right to remain a Democratic senator.
The tipping point for me is his latest support for Bush's Iraq policy, including Bush actually invoking Lieberman's support in yet another pro-war speech delivered yesterday, after Lieberman wrote a Wall Street Journal column that read like a White House press release on Iraq.
"I am disappointed by Democrats who are more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq almost three years ago, and by Republicans who are more worried about whether the war will bring them down in next November's elections, than they are concerned about how we continue the progress in Iraq in the months and years ahead," Lieberman wrote.
Uuuuuuuuh, could it be that a president should get in some kind of trouble for lying to take a nation to war? Shouldn't we be just a tad touchy about that? But, it all gets high praise from none other than Dick Cheney.
“As some of you know, when I first ran for Vice President five years ago, my Democratic opponent was a fine U.S. Senator named Joe Lieberman,” Cheney said. “We disagreed on some issues, but we stand together on this war.”
As if Lieberman's hand-holding with Team Bush isn't bad enough – it doesn't seem to bother him that our nation is going broke and our military people are dying fighting in a county that never attacked us – he's now starting to sound like a real anti-Constitution Republican.
"We can't tolerate the kind of division that current exists in our country," Lieberman said in a recent speech. "It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge he'll be commander-in-chief for three more years. We undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril."
No, Senator, we treat him like a monarch, that we dare not question, at our own peril.
And it's up to the president – whether he was actually elected or not – to earn our trust and to build his own credibility. It's not up to citizens to nod their heads up and down and follow his failed leadership under the stupid notion that questioning his obviously-flawed credibility hurts our national security.
Fortunately, many in Connecticut have had enough of Lieberman, including former Connecticut governor and senator Lowell Weicker, who said yesterday that he will consider challenging Lieberman in his re-election bid next year if no credible anti-war candidate steps up to the plate.
"In the absence of any Democrat giving him a challenge, or somebody of another party of substance, I'd have to consider it, but that's the extent of my commitment at this stage," Weicker, 74, said in a phone interview Tuesday. He said he would run as an independent, but has no timetable for making a decision.
The graphic at left, while unscientific, shows the results as of late last night in a Hartford Courant online poll that shows overwhelming support for a Weicker candidacy against Lieberman.
"I have seen this country propagandized into war," said Weicker, a Republican-turned-independent. "It's now a second wave of propagandizing, with the president taking the stump, joined by persons like Senator Joe Lieberman."
If I lived in Connecticut, I would vote for an independent over Lieberman any day – but I'm hopeful that a strong Democrat will step up to challenged Lieberman in the primary and send him packing.
Of course, Lieberman has one major qualification for hanging with Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld on the Iraq war: He's a chickenhawk himself, having never served in the military but being fully willing to sacrifice the children of others for no good cause. Doesn't that just figure?
I'm ashamed to have ever worn shirts and buttons with Lieberman's name on them in 2000 and to have campaigned so hard for him. But, at this point, I'm sure nobody regrets their choice that year more than a man named Al Gore.