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Thu

16

Nov

2006

Let Lieberman Go; He's an Albatross
Thursday, 16 November 2006 17:35
by Dave Lindorff

If the Democratic Party were a real opposition party--a party of principle filled with fighters--I'd say maintaining control of the Senate, even with by a margin of a single, fragile vote, would be important and valuable.

But that's not what we have.

The Democratic Party, particularly the actual elected congressional delegation and the leadership of the party in the two houses, is so washed out, so gutless, so calculating, and so self-serving, that it hardly rates as a second party.

Because of this, the role of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, recently re-elected by the voters of Connecticut while running as an independent after losing his own party's nomination to an upstart anti-war candidate, Ned Lamont, is dangerous in the extreme.

Lieberman, who won re-election by stealing the votes of Connecticut's Republicans from the GOP's official candidate (Lieberman only won about a third of the Democratic vote), has been a closet Republican for years. He was a Republican in all but name when he ran as Al Gore's vice presidential partner in 2000, and since helping that campaign go down in flames has been one of George Bush's most stalwart supporters in Congress.

Let's look at the Lieberman record:



Absolute and wholly uncritical support for Israel's right-wing governments and for Israel's most incendiary and repressive policies towards the Palestinians.

Wholehearted support for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and for continuing U.S. military involvement in that unmitigated disaster.

Full support for Bush's criminal policies of torture, kidnapping and stripping away of Americans' historic right to habeas corpus.

Full support for the Patriot Act and its even worse offspring, Patriot II.

Advocate, along with Lynn Cheney, of government intrusion into universities, and of the undermining of academic freedom, in the name of rooting out alleged "traitors" on university campuses who might have the temerity to question the official story on 9-11, or to challenge the so-called War on Terror.

Support, even, for former Attorney General John Ashcroft's mad plan for 20 million citizen spies in an Operation TIPS to spy on their neighbors.

Having Lieberman on your side in a narrowly-divided Democratic Senate is like having a nest of termites on a wooden ship.

As the crucial 51st vote that gives Democrats majority control of the Senate, Lieberman is able to hold the entire party hostage to his and Bush’s crazy, right-wing, war-mongering and Constitution-shredding agenda. Absent any fighting spirit and any real principles, the Democratic Party leadership will give Lieberman everything he wants over the next two years, just to keep him on board and themselves in power.

It's a bad bargain.

America, and the Democratic Party, would be far better off if Democrats in the Senate gave Lieberman his marching orders: either support the party caucus on issues like the war, civil liberties and challenging Bush's unconstitutional abuses of power, or forget getting any key committee assignments. If he doesn’t like it, he can come out of the closet and become an honest Republican.

So what if that means the Republicans take control of the Senate? They still won't be able to pass any legislation, with Democrats in control of the House. They still won't be able to overturn Democratic fillibusters. And in any event, a Democratic House and Senate won't be able to pass any progressive legislation in the next two years anyhow, with Bush in the White House, casting vetos and issuing his signing statements.

Lieberman in the GOP will be a nobody--a welterweight from a tiny state, out of touch with his own voters. He will be toast in his next election, when no Democrats will vote for him.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party will be cut free of one particularly noxious albatross.

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Jimmy Montague said:

0
That's right.
I agree 100 percent. Don't kick the sumbitch in the ass when you slam the door on him, though. You'll get brown stuff all over your shoe.
 
November 16, 2006 | url
Votes: +0

Anonymous said:

0
...
I strognly disagree. Let us not forget that Lieberman strongly disagrees with the President on the enviornment, on stem-cell research, on drilling for oil in Alaska, on abortion, on the Federal Marriage Amendment, on flag desecration, on women's role in the world, on gay rights, on economic policies, on tax cuts, on the role of the state in general, on gun control, and on many other domestic issues. Significantly, Lieberman is an enviornmentalist whereas Bush is an anti-enviornment extremist. Bush does not just have a foereign policy agenda, but a right-wing domestic agenda. On all the issues I just listed, Lieberman stands against this Bush's right-wing domestic agenda. Domestic issues are sometimes issues of even more passion to Republicans than foreign policy issues. As a result, Lieberman would be a bad fit in the Republican Party dominated by people who strongly disagree with Lieberman on every single one of the domestic issues I listed above. The result of this is that Lieberman would not be a likely candidate to become a Republican. The Democats having control of both houses is a psycoligcal milestone that having control of only one house will not give the Democrats. Simply contorling the Senate makes the Democrats seem for more powerful and influential than if they did not. By no means should the Democrats throw away their oppurtunity to control both legislative houses of government. That is why Demorats must pray for the recovery of Sen. Tim Johnson and make Lieberman as welcome in the party as possible.
 
December 17, 2006
Votes: +0

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