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Your Daily Ned: Bush’s Lap Dog Wants It Both Ways

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You blog long enough and you do things you never thought you’d do — like reprint GOP opposition research.  

But I came across this while I was looking up some Lieberman stuff, and I thought it was amusing in light of the coordinated attack unleashed today by Bobo Brooks and other wingnut concern trolls who now claim that Joe Lieberman is a true man of principle.

(*COUGH*  clears throat…)

And so, without further ado, straight from the RNC… 

Who Is Joe Lieberman?

Who Is Joe Lieberman?

“The Lieberman persona is so inventive, has been so creative, has been so gymnastic in its many shapes and forms, that only he can even begin to explain it. . . . Many politicians look a bit oily, a bit uncomfortable moving across and around the political spectrum, but our Joe looks as comfortable as if he’s merely changing clothes.” (Laurence D. Cohen, Op-Ed, “The Chameleon Who Came To Dinner,” The Hartford Courant, November 3, 2002)

“The Lieberman persona is so inventive, has been so creative, has been so gymnastic in its many shapes and forms, that only he can even begin to explain it. . . . Many politicians look a bit oily, a bit uncomfortable moving across and around the political spectrum, but our Joe looks as comfortable as if he’s merely changing clothes.” (Laurence D. Cohen, Op-Ed, “The Chameleon Who Came To Dinner,” The Hartford Courant, November 3, 2002)

The Facts About Joe Lieberman (D-CT)

The Facts About Joe Lieberman (D-CT)

On School Vouchers, Lieberman Betrayed His Beliefs To BECOME GORE’S RUNNING MATE

On School Vouchers, Lieberman Betrayed His Beliefs To BECOME GORE’S RUNNING MATE

In The 1990’s, Lieberman Passionately Supported School Choice, But In The 2000 Campaign, He Cynically Ran Away From His Record.

On Social Security, Lieberman Sacrificed His Convictions FOR AMBITION

On Social Security, Lieberman Sacrificed His Convictions FOR AMBITION

As A Senator, Lieberman Thought Investing A Portion Of Social Security In The Markets “Has Got To Happen,” But As A Campaigner, Lieberman Succumbed To Gore’s Pressure To Abandon This Position. (Robert Novak, “Moderate Talk, But A Distinctly Liberal Walk,” Chicago Sun-Times, August 10, 2000)

More...On Affirmative Action, Lieberman Flip-Flopped

More...On Affirmative Action, Lieberman Flip-Flopped

As Chair Of The DLC, Lieberman Denounced Group Preferences As “Patently Unfair.” But In 2000, He Ran Away From His Record. (“CBO: Clinton Deficit Larger Than Advertised,” USA Today, March 10, 1995)

On Corporate Corruption, Lieberman Obstructed Reform, But “Found Religion” When The Political Tides Turned Against Him

On Corporate Corruption, Lieberman Obstructed Reform, But “Found Religion” When The Political Tides Turned Against Him

Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt Said Lieberman “Led The Charge” To Halt Regulation That Could Have Curtailed Corporate Corruption. (Editorial, “Congress’ Own Corporate Scandals,” Business Week, September 30, 2002)

On Tax Relief, Lieberman CONTRADICTS HIMSELF

On Tax Relief, Lieberman CONTRADICTS HIMSELF

Lieberman Called For A Tax Cut To Pull America Out Of The 1991 Recession, But Criticized The Bush Administration For Cutting Taxes To Pull America Out Of Recession.

On Supreme Court Nominations, Lieberman TRIES TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS

On Supreme Court Nominations, Lieberman TRIES TO HAVE IT BOTH WAYS

Lieberman Vowed Not To Apply A Pro-Abortion Litmus Test To Supreme Court Nominees, But Joined A Campaign That Promised To Do That Very Thing.

Joe Lieberman In Depth

Joe Lieberman In Depth

Situational Ethics: Joe’s Journey From Populist, To Moderate, To Moralist, And Back Again

Situational Ethics: Joe’s Journey From Populist, To Moderate, To Moralist, And Back Again

1980: “Some Lessons Are Learned Only Through Experience, And Here [Is A Lesson] That I Learned From My Loss In 1980: A Candidate Must Keep Polling Right Up Until The End, And Be Prepared To Conduct The Campaign Accordingly.” (Senator Joseph Lieberman, In Praise Of Public Life, 2000, p. 60)

1986: Lieberman Appears Inauthentic To Many. “Some say Attorney General Joseph I. Lieberman is an important force for justice in Connecticut. . . . Others say he’s a publicity-hungry, showboating politician.” (Sterling North, “Connecticut Lawsuit Alleges Big Oil Retained The Windfall,” New England Business, September 1, 1986)

1987: Always Looking For A Political Conquest, Lieberman Targets His Next Opportunity – U.S. Senator Lowell Weicker’s Seat. After conducting a poll, consulting his family, and being recruited by Senator John Kerry, who provided Lieberman with “a thick [opposition research] book on Weicker’s career,” Lieberman concluded that Weicker’s seat was vulnerable. Lieberman wrote, “This was a unique moment in my career. I had never been coy about having political ambitions and regularly thought about the next office I might seek. . . . In 1987, I was drawn into a race that I had not seriously considered, but it was for an office – United State senator – that was my ultimate ambition.” (Senator Joseph Lieberman, In Praise Of Public Life, 2000, pp. 73-77)

1988: To Obtain His “Ultimate Ambition,” Lieberman Successfully Purges His Liberal Democrat Identity And Redefines Himself As A Moderate. “Lieberman is expected to play down his progressive image, with the hopes of drawing support from Republicans displeased with Mr. Weicker’s record in the Senate.” This shift “enables him to hold onto the Democratic base,” while attracting “independents . . . [and] conservatives who would like to vote against Weicker, but not for someone who is running openly as a liberal.” (Nick Ravo, “Lieberman Begins Bid To Win Weicker’s Seat,” The New York Times, February 23, 1988; The Cook Political Report, May 31, 1988)

Early 1990’s: Perfecting The Art Of The Veneer-Candidate, Lieberman Goes To Washington, Professing To Be A “New-Dem,” But Voting Like An Old-School-Liberal. “His voting record was not demonstrably different from that of your average liberal Democrat, but his rhetoric was enough to get him invited to dinner at the right (literally and figuratively) think tanks. He was an eager and early participant in the New Democrat movement, which at least pretended that the Democratic Party didn’t want to steal all your money and spend it on government.” (Laurence D. Cohen, “The Chameleon Who Came To Dinner,” The Hartford Courant, November 3, 2002)

1998: From Moderate To Moralist, Lieberman Lambastes Clinton Over The Lewinsky Affair On The Senate Floor, Takes The National Spotlight, And Elevates His National Stature. “Lieberman is perhaps best known to voters for a September 1998 speech that criticized Clinton’s behavior in the Monica Lewinsky scandal as ‘not just inappropriate. It is immoral.’” Lieberman continued, “‘[I]t is harmful, for it sends a message of what is acceptable behavior to the larger American family-particularly to our children.’” (Congressional Quarterly Website, http://oncongress.cq.com, Accessed December 11, 2002)

2000: From Moralist Back To Populist, Lieberman Banks Left To Pursue Vice Presidential Ambitions. Lieberman called his Vice Presidential candidacy “‘a victory for a set of ideas,’ but different groups [at the Democratic Convention] heard different versions of the set. Lieberman . . . reassure[d] basic Democratic constituencies – including teachers, African Americans and union members – that he is sympathetic to their interests despite [his] centrist New Democrat ideas . . . . Lieberman acknowledged that the Gore campaign message of . . . standing up ‘for the people, not the powerful’ is not classic New Democrat rhetoric.” (Mike Allen, “Reaching Across Liberal-Centrist Divide,” The Washington Post, August 18, 2000)

2002 (And Beyond): To Further His Presidential Ambitions, What Shape Will Lieberman Contort Himself Into Next? Expect More Of The Same. When Gore chose him, “Lieberman ranked as one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate . . . question[ing] affirmative action, support[ing],” school choice, “and generally irritat[ing] some of the Party’s most stalwart constituency groups. During the campaign, Lieberman hewed closer to the party line . . . . [A]s he weighs entering the Democratic Presidential primaries-with their left-skewing voters-he has reestablished his [liberal] bona fides . . . . He voted against the Bush tax cut, denounced the Republicans’ environmental policies, and, in homeland security, made a stand for unions.” (Jeffrey Toobin, “Candide, Joe Lieberman Looks Hopefully Toward The White House,” The New Yorker, December 16, 2002)

Lieberman On The Issues: When Opportunity Knocks, Principle Gives

Lieberman On The Issues: When Opportunity Knocks, Principle Gives

On School Vouchers, He Betrayed His Beliefs To Win Gore Votes

On School Vouchers, He Betrayed His Beliefs To Win Gore Votes

As A Senator, Lieberman Supported School Choice. Defending school choice and charter schools, Lieberman said, “The undeniable reality here is that this system is already in ruins, and to blindly reject new models and refuse to try new ideas is simply foolish. We can and must do better for these children, and to cling stubbornly to the failures of the past will just not get us there.” (Senator Joe Lieberman, The Senate Government Affairs Committee Hearing, April 17, 1997)

But As A Vice Presidential Hopeful, He Ran Away From His Record. In answer to a question about his support for public school vouchers, a position opposed by Gore, “Lieberman signaled his willingness to follow Gore’s lead: ‘If you want to get me off this idea, the best thing to do is elect the Gore-Lieberman ticket.’” (Ken Foskett, “Democrats Downplay Differences,” The Atlanta Journal And Constitution, August 10, 2000)

On Social Security, Lieberman Sacrificed His Convictions In The Face Of Political Pressure

On Social Security, Lieberman Sacrificed His Convictions In The Face Of Political Pressure

As A Senator, Lieberman Thought Investing A Portion Of Social Security In The Capital Markets “Has Got To Happen.” “‘A remarkable wave of innovative thinking is advancing . . . some personalization of retirement plans.’ Such a plan, [Lieberman] added, can ‘give people more confidence about what their retirement years will be like. . . . [I]ndividual control of part of the retirement/Social Security funds has got to happen.’” (Robert Novak, “Moderate Talk, But A Distinctly Liberal Walk,” Chicago Sun-Times, August 10, 2000)

But As A Campaigner, Lieberman Succumbed To Gore’s Pressure To Abandon This Position. “In June, [2000] the Gore campaign prudently asked Lieberman to prepare an ‘op-ed column’ on Social Security. ‘My Private Journey Away From Privatization’ attacked ‘an expensive experiment’ and endorsed Gore’s plan. It appeared in no newspapers, but was filed at Gore headquarters for future distribution – which came this week.” (Robert Novak, “Moderate Talk, But A Distinctly Liberal Walk,” Chicago Sun-Times, August 10, 2000)

On Affirmative Action, Lieberman Flip-Flopped

On Affirmative Action, Lieberman Flip-Flopped

As Chair Of The DLC, Lieberman Denounced Group Preferences As “Patently Unfair.” “Lieberman said the DLC has no specific position on the review of affirmative action under way by the White House, but he said he feels group preferences are ‘patently unfair.’” (“CBO: Clinton Deficit Larger Than Advertised,” USA Today, March 10, 1995)

But In 2000, He Ran Away From His Record. “[W]e’re two active minds. That’s the nature of our friendship and partnership . . . . Incidentally, some of those topics you mentioned, like affirmative action, we’re together on.” (ABC’s “Good Morning America,” August 9, 2000)

On Corporate Corruption, Lieberman Obstructed Reform, But “Found Religion” When The Political Tides Turned Against Him

On Corporate Corruption, Lieberman Obstructed Reform, But “Found Religion” When The Political Tides Turned Against Him

Former SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt Said Lieberman “Led The Charge” To Halt Regulations That Could Have Curtailed Corruption. Lieberman “led the charge. He introduced legislation to bar the SEC from enforcing the rule,” to require accounting of stock options. Lieberman also wanted to require the “SEC to ratify each of [FASB’s] decisions . . . [and he] sponsored a Senate resolution that declared the FASB proposal a cockamamie idea . . . [with] ‘grave consequences for America’s entrepreneurs.’” (Arthur Levitt, “Take On The Street,” Business Week, September 30, 2002)

But To Save Face, Lieberman Decried The Breakdown In Corporate Accountability As “A Scandal Of Lost Values.” Lieberman told the DLC national convention that Enron and WorldCom were “scandal[s] of lost values as much as lost value. Not content with a booming economy and a bullish market, a lot of powerful people turned into con artists and thieves to satisfy their personal greed. . . . They forgot that in America, as we New Democrats have always said, opportunities come with responsibilities.” (Senator Lieberman, Remarks At The 2002 DLC National Convention, July 29, 2002)

On Tax Relief, Lieberman’s Record Is Contradictory

On Tax Relief, Lieberman’s Record Is Contradictory

As A Statesman, Lieberman Called For A Tax Cut To Pull America Out Of The 1991 Recession. “We sure are in a deep recession today. Let us cut taxes so we can put more money into the hands of the middle class . . . . Let us cut taxes on business so they will invest and create the kind of jobs that will make us competitive and protect our future. Read our lips, Mr. President, let us cut taxes because it is good for America.” (Senator Joe Lieberman, Congressional Record, October 25, 1991)

As A Presidential Hopeful, Lieberman Criticized The Bush Administration For Cutting Taxes To Improve The Economy. “[T]he Bush Administration suffers from a profound economic leadership deficit . . . . This Administration has no growth strategy, except their one-note plan that could fit on the back of a shampoo bottle – ‘Cut taxes, increase spending, borrow, repeat.’ That’s not a recipe for a growing economy and more jobs, but for exploding deficits and lost jobs.” (Senator Joe Lieberman, Remarks At The 2002 DLC National Convention, July 29, 2002)

On Supreme Court Appointments, Lieberman Will Betray Principle To Advance His Career

On Supreme Court Appointments, Lieberman Will Betray Principle To Advance His Career

Lieberman Vowed Not To Apply A Pro-Abortion Litmus Test To Supreme Court Nominees. Speaking with “the pro-life lobby, Lieberman said he would have voted to confirm Robert Bork to the Supreme Court had he been in the Senate at the time. And future such nominees? ‘I’m not going to vote against a judicial nominee just because he’s pro-life,’ Lieberman promised. ‘I’m not going to apply a litmus test.’” (“Joe Lieberman Borks Himself,” The Weekly Standard, September 25, 2000)

But He Joined Gore’s Campaign, Who Promised To Do That Very Thing. On ABC’s Nightline, Gore said “[I]f you believe in a woman’s right to choose – a right that must never be weakened, never be undermined, never be taken away, join us now. The Supreme Court is at stake and our campaign is your cause.” (ABC’s “Nightline,” October 2, 2000)

All right, we disagree on almost every point except the fact that Lieberman is a slippery little creep who will say anything to advance his political career and stands for absolutely nothing.  I think it’s nice we can reach across the aisle every once in a while and agree on something, don’t you?

(graphic by Dark Black) 

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Firedoglake.com. Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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