FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Why the Democrats Should Cut Loose Lieberman

 

If the Democratic Party were a real opposition party–a party of principle filled with fighters–I’d say maintaining control of the Senate, even with by a margin of a single, fragile vote, would be important and valuable.

But that’s not what we have.

The Democratic Party, particularly the actual elected congressional delegation and the leadership of the party in the two houses, is so washed out, so gutless, so calculating, and so self-serving, that it hardly rates as a second party.

Because of this, the role of Sen. Joseph Lieberman, recently re-elected by the voters of Connecticut while running as an independent after losing his own party’s nomination to an upstart anti-war candidate, Ned Lamont, is dangerous in the extreme.

Lieberman, who won re-election by stealing the votes of Connecticut’s Republicans from the GOP’s official candidate (Lieberman only won about a third of the Democratic vote), has been a closet Republican for years. He was a Republican in all but name when he ran as Al Gore’s vice presidential partner in 2000, and since helping that campaign go down in flames has been one of George Bush’s most stalwart supporters in Congress.

Let’s look at the Lieberman record:

Absolute and wholly uncritical support for Israel’s right-wing governments and for Israel’s most incendiary and repressive policies towards the Palestinians.

Wholehearted support for the invasion and occupation of Iraq, and for continuing U.S. military involvement in that unmitigated disaster.

Full support for Bush’s criminal policies of torture, kidnapping and stripping away of Americans’ historic right to habeas corpus.

Full support for the Patriot Act and its even worse offspring, Patriot II.

Advocate, along with Lynn Cheney, of government intrusion into universities, and of the undermining of academic freedom, in the name of rooting out alleged “traitors” on university campuses who might have the temerity to question the official story on 9-11, or to challenge the so-called War on Terror.

Support, even, for former Attorney General John Ashcroft’s mad plan for 20 million citizen spies in an Operation TIPS to spy on their neighbors.

Having Lieberman on your side in a narrowly-divided Democratic Senate is like having a nest of termites on a wooden ship.

As the crucial 51st vote that gives Democrats majority control of the Senate, Lieberman is able to hold the entire party hostage to his and Bush’s crazy, right-wing, war-mongering and Constitution-shredding agenda. Absent any fighting spirit and any real principles, the Democratic Party leadership will give Lieberman everything he wants over the next two years, just to keep him on board and themselves in power.

It’s a bad bargain.

America, and the Democratic Party, would be far better off if Democrats in the Senate gave Lieberman his marching orders: either support the party caucus on issues like the war, civil liberties and challenging Bush’s unconstitutional abuses of power, or forget getting any key committee assignments. If he doesn’t like it, he can come out of the closet and become an honest Republican.

So what if that means the Republicans take control of the Senate? They still won’t be able to pass any legislation, with Democrats in control of the House. They still won’t be able to overturn Democratic fillibusters. And in any event, a Democratic House and Senate won’t be able to pass any progressive legislation in the next two years anyhow, with Bush in the White House, casting vetos and issuing his signing statements.

Lieberman in the GOP will be a nobody–a welterweight from a tiny state, out of touch with his own voters. He will be toast in his next election, when no Democrats will vote for him.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Party will be cut free of one particularly noxious albatross.

DAVE LINDORFF is the author of Killing Time: an Investigation into the Death Row Case of Mumia Abu-Jamal. His new book of CounterPunch columns titled “This Can’t be Happening!” is published by Common Courage Press. Lindorff’s new book is “The Case for Impeachment“,
co-authored by Barbara Olshansky.

He can be reached at: dlindorff@yahoo.com

 

 

More articles by:

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Weekend Edition
September 21, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond
Hurricane Florence and 9.7 Million Pigs
Andrew Levine
Israel’s Anti-Semitism Smear Campaign
Paul Street
Laquan McDonald is Being Tried for His Own Racist Murder
Brad Evans
What Does It Mean to Celebrate International Peace Day?
Nick Pemberton
With or Without Kavanaugh, The United States Is Anti-Choice
Jim Kavanagh
“Taxpayer Money” Threatens Medicare-for-All (And Every Other Social Program)
Jonathan Cook
Palestine: The Testbed for Trump’s Plan to Tear up the Rules-Based International Order
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: the Chickenhawks Have Finally Come Back Home to Roost!
David Rosen
As the Capitalist World Turns: From Empire to Imperialism to Globalization?
Jonah Raskin
Green Capitalism Rears Its Head at Global Climate Action Summit
James Munson
On Climate, the Centrists are the Deplorables
Robert Hunziker
Is Paris 2015 Already Underwater?
Arshad Khan
Will Their Ever be Justice for Rohingya Muslims?
Jill Richardson
Why Women Don’t Report Sexual Assault
Dave Clennon
A Victory for Historical Accuracy and the Peace Movement: Not One Emmy for Ken Burns and “The Vietnam War”
W. T. Whitney
US Harasses Cuba Amid Mysterious Circumstances
Nathan Kalman-Lamb
Things That Make Sports Fans Uncomfortable
George Capaccio
Iran: “Snapping Back” Sanctions and the Threat of War
Kenneth Surin
Brexit is Coming, But Which Will It Be?
Louis Proyect
Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9”: Entertaining Film, Crappy Politics
Ramzy Baroud
Why Israel Demolishes: Khan Al-Ahmar as Representation of Greater Genocide
Ben Dangl
The Zapatistas’ Dignified Rage: Revolutionary Theories and Anticapitalist Dreams of Subcommandante Marcos
Ron Jacobs
Faith, Madness, or Death
Bill Glahn
Crime Comes Knocking
Terry Heaton
Pat Robertson’s Hurricane “Miracle”
Dave Lindorff
In Montgomery County PA, It’s Often a Jury of White People
Louis Yako
From Citizens to Customers: the Corporate Customer Service Culture in America 
William Boardman
The Shame of Dianne Feinstein, the Courage of Christine Blasey Ford 
Ernie Niemi
Logging and Climate Change: Oregon is Appalachia and Timber is Our Coal
Jessicah Pierre
Nike Says “Believe in Something,” But Can It Sacrifice Something, Too?
Paul Fitzgerald - Elizabeth Gould
Weaponized Dreams? The Curious Case of Robert Moss
Olivia Alperstein
An Environmental 9/11: the EPA’s Gutting of Methane Regulations
Ted Rall
Why Christine Ford vs. Brett Kavanaugh is a Train Wreck You Can’t Look Away From
Lauren Regan
The Day the Valves Turned: Defending the Pipeline Protesters
Ralph Nader
Questions, Questions Where are the Answers?
Binoy Kampmark
Deplatforming Germaine Greer
Raouf Halaby
It Should Not Be A He Said She Said Verdict
Robert Koehler
The Accusation That Wouldn’t Go Away
Jim Hightower
Amazon is Making Workers Tweet About How Great It is to Work There
Robby Sherwin
Rabbi, Rabbi, Where For Art Thou Rabbi?
Vern Loomis
Has Something Evil This Way Come?
Steve Baggarly
Disarm Trident Walk Ends in Georgia
Graham Peebles
Priorities of the Time: Peace
Michael Doliner
The Department of Demonization
David Yearsley
Bollocks to Brexit: the Plumber Sings
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail