Monday, August 21, 2006

Question on Joe Lieberman

There's been some talk for some for months that Joe Lieberman might replace Donald Rumsfeld as Secretary of Defense (see Atrios for a fuller story). Now I have the feeling that Bush makes all kinds of promises to all kinds of people and doesn't work particularly hard to keep those promises. But, if Bush has made a deal with Lieberman (still a big assumption despite the rumors), this is a promise he may keep. Here's the catch: the governor of Connecticut is a Republican. If Lieberman wins his seat back by running as an independent and gets appointed as Secretary of Defense, the seat is going to go to a Republican anyway. Now I've been aware of these rumors for months and they always struck me as odd; what's even more odd though is that I haven't heard Lieberman deny the rumors.

The real problem with Lieberman is that he has created a real ambiguity about where his loyalties are these days and what exactly his positions are. One day he's a Democrat. The next day he's a Republican. The next day he's something else. One thing is clear, however; Lieberman has thumbed his nose at the Democrats by refusing to honor the results of the Democratic primary.

And then, there's simply the issue that Lieberman's understanding of Iraq feels at least three years out of date. Lieberman, through it all, remains far more loyal to Bush than anyone can justify, even as some kind of misguided bipartisan relationship. Bush doesn't do bipartisan, though he 'talks' bipartisan when it's politically convenient.

Sticking with Bush and 'staying the course' is no longer a rational option for those who are serious about foreign policy. Lieberman lost the Democratic nomination. It would be best for everyone if he accepted the results and dropped out of the race instead of running as a proxy for the Republican Party.


Blogger Terrell said...

I have always admired Lieberman. I have assumed his actions honorable even when I found them very flawed -- such as his too-quick acquiescence to Republican hi-jinks in the military vote in Florida in 2000 and his mistaken support of Bush's preemptive war. I hate to see him fall so far as to refuse to honor the results of his party's primary. He should bow out.

Thanks for stopping by my Limb, Craig. It's terrible when my professional activities take precedence over bloviating from the Limb.! ;-)

3:43 PM  

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