Tell It Like It Is
Russ Feingold was blunt on ABC’s This Week this morning (via e-mail):
Lieberman (on video): “If we just pick up as Ned Lamont wants us to do and get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England, and it will strengthen them and they will strike us again.”
Stephanopoulos: “Senator Lieberman thinks that your approach will strengthen the terrorists and it’s a victory for terrorists. What’s your response?”
Feingold: “Well, I like Joe Lieberman, but I support Ned Lamont. Because Joe is showing with that regrettable statement that he doesn’t get it. He doesn’t get it. The fact is that we were attacked on 9/11 by Al Qaeda and its affiliates and its sympathizers, not by Saddam Hussein. And unfortunately Senator Lieberman has supported the Bush Administration’s disastrous strategic approach of getting us stuck in Iraq instead of focusing on those who attacked us. I mean, look at the places that have been attacked: India, Morocco, Turkey, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Somalia, Spain, Great Britain. What does this have to do with Iraq? And Senator Lieberman is stuck on that point. Ned Lamont and I believe that we should refocus on those who attacked us on 9/11 and not simply try to cover our tracks because this was such a very poor decision in terms of the overall battle against the terrorists who attacked us.
Stephanopoulos: Do you think Senator Lieberman should get out of the race?
Feingold: Well, you know, I think that’s his own decision. It would be better for the Democratic Party, I think it would be better for the people of Connecticut, it would be better for the country if he did it. Not because he hasn’t been a good Senator, not because he isn’t a good man, but this is a critical time. And we have to change course. We have to focus on those that attacked us on 9/11 and get away from this very mistaken policy in Iraq. So it would be helpful if he would do it, but obviously Joe will have to make that decision for himself.
Good for Russ Feingold. The Bush Administration ought to be held accountable for their poor decisionmaking and for the failed results of those bad decisions. The Rubber Stamp Republican Congress should likewise be held to account in elections this fall.
That the GOP sees Joe Lieberman as their firewall in forestalling the public’s right to hold them to account is fairly obvious — to everyone but Joe Lieberman. Or perhaps he does know this, but his allegiance to his former party is so weak that it pales by comparison to his ego needs to push forward without regard to the consequences to the Democratic party nor to the country as a whole.
And if that is the case, how truly sad. This was never a battle that had to be fought. Had Joe Lieberman held himself to a higher standard and actually listened to the wishes of his constituents instead of feeling the need to lecture them on how they ought to be thinking, trying to push them down a path that the vast majority of continuously did not want to go. That his ego was so vast that he could not see past it to what the people of Connecticut — and indeed a majority of Americans — want was telling. That he continues to refuse to own up to mistakes puts him in the same category as Goerge Bush — a failure who refuses to own up to his responsibility in those failures, and a danger to the nation because he refuses to learn from those mistakes. It pains me to have to say that about a man who served his nation for eighteen years in the Senate, but it is simply the truth.
So, thank you Russ Feingold for laying it flat out this morning — would that every other Democrat would do the same. And thank you to Howard Dean for speaking bluntly about it on Meet the Press this morning as well — and for calling the latest Lieberman statements for what they were: the same talking points being spread around as GOP propaganda by Dick Cheney, Ken Mehlman and Tony Snow. (When I can get a copy of Dean’s statements, I’ll post them — he was great today talking about the misplaced priorities in our nation and where the focus ought to be. "We need to be tough and smart, not just talk tough.")
You know we’ll continue to keep an eye on this and continue to report both public and private statements about this as we are made aware of them.
Real Democrats stand up for themselves, their party and their nation. The future of our Constitution and our nation’s reputation and commitment to liberty hang in the balance in this year’s election — and we expect nothing less than real patriots. So stand up and be counted, or get the hell out of the way.