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Monday, August 07, 2006

Fisking for Lieberman

Right in your eye

About that speech........

CT-Sen: The Lieberman Principle
by mcjoan

We are told that Joe Lieberman is a very principled politician. I agree. But it is not the principle his supporters always point out. Here's what the "steadfast" Joe Lieberman said about criticism of President Bush, Bush's Iraq plan, and Rummy from 2003 to 2006. I highlighted the statements Lieberman made when running in contested elections and thus needed Democratic votes and support in italic and his statements in non-election periods when he was not seeking Democratic support or votes in bold.

Joe Lieberman today on dissent:

What I will say is this: I not only respect your right to disagree or question the President, I value it. I was part of the anti-war movement in the late 1960s, so I don't need to be lectured by Ned Lamont about the place of dissent in our democracy.

Joe Lieberman in December 2005 on dissent.

It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril.

Joe Lieberman today on the Bush Administration plans for the Iraq occupation:

The fact is, I have openly and clearly disagreed with and criticized the President for, among other things . . . not having a plan to win the peace[.] [NOTE: Lieberman made these criticisms in 2003, when he was seeking the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.]

Joe Lieberman in December 2005 on the Bush Plan for Iraq:

Does America have a good plan for doing this, a strategy for victory in Iraq? Yes, we do. And it's important to make clear to the American people that the plan has not remained stubbornly still, but has changed over the years.

Joe Lieberman today on Rummy:

I said that if I were President, I would ask Secretary Rumsfeld to resign. I first [NOTE: Lieberman never said it again until his appearance on the Ed Schultz show this week] said that in October 2003. [NOTE: In October 2003, when Lieberman called for Rumsfeld's resignation, he was seeking the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.]

Joe Lieberman in May 2004 on Rummy:

[I]t is neither sensible nor fair to force the resignation of the secretary of defense, who clearly retains the confidence of the commander in chief, in the midst of a war. . . . Secretary Rumsfeld's removal would delight foreign and domestic opponents of America's presence in Iraq.

Have we found a pattern? All the bolded statements, when Lieberman supports President Bush, come when he is not running in contested elections and does not need Democratic support. All the italicized statements, when Lieberman is critical of President Bush, come when he is running in contested elections and does need Democratic support. Could it be . . .?

Lieberman's supporters say

Sometimes there is a higher calling than partisanship. The country desperately needs the type of centrist leadership that Joe Lieberman has provided throughout his career. Unlike the Liliputians, Joe puts country first. While other notable politicians have flipped-flopped for political expediency, Joe has bravely sailed against the wind.

Hmm. Bravely sailing against the wind? Looks like a zig zag to me.

I think I understand the Lieberman principle that his supporters are always trumpeting:

Look, talk about who is a good Democrat or who is a bad Democrat. By running his campaign on this single issue, he has taken the safest Democratic Senate seat and put it somewhat in jeopardy. . . . And he has taken three Democratic House challengers, each of whom has a chance to get elected, and by putting me in a position that I may not be on the Democratic line, has made it harder for them to get elected."

So this is the Lieberman Principle. What is good for Joe is good. When it is good for Joe to criticize the President, then it is good to criticize the President. Only then. When it is good for Joe to be partisan, then it is good to be partisan. Only then. When it is good for Joe to abandon the Democratic party, then it is good. Only then.

The Lieberman Principle: If it is good for Joe, then it is good. Only then.

posted by Steve @ 2:26:00 AM

2:26:00 AM

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