I’m sure that someone will take offense at my refering to Joe Lieberman as a quisling, but what else can one call a man who, on the major issues, can only be described as a willing collaborationist?
From the NY Times endorsement of Ned Lamont:
… Mr. Lieberman is not just a senator who works well with members of the other party. And there is a reason that while other Democrats supported the war, he has become the only target. In his effort to appear above the partisan fray, he has become one of the Bush administrationâ€™s most useful allies as the president tries to turn the war on terror into an excuse for radical changes in how this country operates.
Citing national security, Mr. Bush continually tries to undermine restraints on the executive branch: the system of checks and balances, international accords on the treatment of prisoners, the nationâ€™s longtime principles of justice. His administration has depicted any questions or criticism of his policies as giving aid and comfort to the terrorists. And Mr. Lieberman has helped that effort. He once denounced Democrats who were â€œmore focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraqâ€ than on supporting the warâ€™s progress.
At this moment, with a Republican president intent on drastically expanding his powers with the support of the Republican House and Senate, it is critical that the minority party serve as a responsible, but vigorous, watchdog. That does not require shrillness or absolutism. But this is no time for a man with Mr. Liebermanâ€™s ability to command Republicansâ€™ attention to become their enabler, and embrace a role as the presidentâ€™s defender.
On the Armed Services Committee, Mr. Lieberman has left it to Republicans like Lindsey Graham of South Carolina to investigate the administrationâ€™s actions. In 2004, Mr. Lieberman praised Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld for expressing regret about Abu Ghraib, then added: â€œI cannot help but say, however, that those who were responsible for killing 3,000 Americans on September 11th, 2001, never apologized.â€ To suggest even rhetorically that the American military could be held to the same standard of behavior as terrorists is outrageous, and a good example of how avidly the senator has adopted the Bush spin and helped the administration avoid accounting for Abu Ghraib.
Mr. Lieberman prides himself on being a legal thinker and a champion of civil liberties. But he appointed himself defender of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and the administrationâ€™s policy of holding hundreds of foreign citizens in prison without any due process. He seconded Mr. Gonzalesâ€™s sneering reference to the â€œquaintâ€ provisions of the Geneva Conventions. He has shown no interest in prodding his Republican friends into investigating how the administration misled the nation about Iraqâ€™s weapons. There is no use having a senator famous for getting along with Republicans if he never challenges them on issues of profound importance.
If Mr. Lieberman had once stood up and taken the lead in saying that there were some places a president had no right to take his country even during a time of war, neither he nor this page would be where we are today. But by suggesting that there is no principled space for that kind of opposition, he has forfeited his role as a conscience of his party, and has forfeited our support.
I don’t know whether Ned Lamont can beat Joe Lieberman in either the primary or, should it come to that, in the general election assuming that Lieberman makes good on his threat to run as an independant. He is already claiming martyrhood for a cause which seems to have only two adherents (himself and rent-a-whore Marshall Wittman), but I’m sure the lazy cocktail-weenie pundits will run with that narrative (not to mention the wingnuts who are all so concerned with the state of the Democratic party since their liberal internment camp wet-dream seems unlikely… for the moment). Lieberman, having taken his press clippings to heart has convinced himself that he is the “soul of Democratic party” that must save the party from itself. One almost expects him to rebrand himself as Joe “Scoop Jackson” Lieberman and claim his own wing of the party…a wing barely large enough to fill a four-top at Denny’s.
As it is now, Lieberman has officialy become damaged goods and hence has become the Democratic Party’s Sheridan Whiteside who threatens, condescends, manipulates and blackmails the Stanley familiy (played by the Democratic party in a star turn) who just wish that he would just go away.
We should be so lucky.