Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Is Lieberman right about the Democrats?

Do you ever watch ABC's This Week hosted by Democrat and former Clinton White House staffer turned MSM "journalist" and "analyist" George Stephanopoulos?

This past Sunday former 2000 Democratic Party vice presidential candidate Sen. Joe Lieberman was a This Week guest and said:

Well, I say that the Democratic Party changed. The Democratic Party today was not the party it was in 2000.

It’s not the Bill Clinton-Al Gore party, which was strong internationalists, strong on defense, pro-trade, pro-reform in our domestic government.

It’s been effectively taken over by a small group on the left of the party that is protectionist, isolationist and basically will —and very, very hyperpartisan.

So it pains me.
At The Atlantic.com Ross Douthat posted yesterday concerning Lieberman's remarks. Here's the money part Douthat's post:
...The only truly questionable portion of Lieberman's remarks is his suggestion that the change agents responsible for the Democratic Party's progressive turn represent "a small group on the left of the party."

It's too soon to tell if the the new-model Democrats are headed for a long-term majority or just a short-term, post-Bush bounce, and maybe Lieberman's right that the the Dems' leftward shift will eventually drive the party into a political ditch.

But given how the landscape looks right now, Lieberman sounds an awful lot like the Rockefeller Republicans of yore, who would complain about how a "small group of extremists" in the conservative movement were hijacking their party and dooming it to defeat, even as those same extremists were leading the GOP to national successes that the Jacob Javitses and Christine Todd Whitmans and Lowell Weickers could only dream about.

There's an important lesson here: Namely, that the American "center" moves around a lot (and varies wildly on an issue-by-issue basis), and thus a party that moves leftward or rightward on the hot-button issues of the day can sometimes find a new center that nobody realized was there.

This tends to leave the inhabitants of the old middle - the Rockefeller Republicans in the '70s and '80s, and perhaps the Lieberman Democrats of today - flummoxed and out-of-step, unable to figure out that just because they've always considered themselves "centrists" doesn't mean the American people will always agree with them....
Douthat's entire post is here.


I respect Sen. Lieberman as someone who puts country before party.

He’s right about the Dems moving further left since 2000.

But I don't agree that it's only a small group that’s taken it in that direction. I also believe the Dems’ leftward shift has been going on for decades.

Just consider what happened to former Lt. John Kerry following his Winter Soldier falsehoods testimony in 1971 before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He slimed America’s troops in Vietnam and launched a political career based on those slimes.

Remember the borking of federal appellate judge Robert Bork? Most Senate Dems at the time – July, 1987 – were willing to throw away any consideration of how “the loyal opposition” should function under our Constitution in order to score a partisan victory.

What did it matter that almost universally legal experts considered Bork eminently qualified to serve on the court? The Dems needed to appeal to special interests groups on the left.

Fast forward to the time of Abu Ghraib when Sen. Ted Kennedy declared in a Senate speech: “[W]e now learn that Saddam's torture chambers reopened under new management: U.S. management."

I was overseas at the time the news of Abu Ghraib broke. The America-haters and the terrorist enablers were saying exactly what Kennedy was saying.

And wouldn’t you expect them to say just what Kennedy said?

Remember Sen. Dick Durbin sliming America with the charge we were treating the prisoners at Gitmo the way the Gestapo, NKVD and Pol Pots killers?

Charles Krauthammer recently said on Fox News the Democratic Party is invested in our defeat in Iraq.

Does anyone doubt that when daily we hear pundits talk about how “bad it will be for the Democrats if thing improve in Iraq;” and Democratic leaders don’t even bother to step forward and challenge that?

I’m not an R, folks, but I could never be a D.


mac said...
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justice58 said...

Joe Lieberman is a faker! He should just admit to being a Republican & clear the air!

Confession is good for the soul!

mac said...
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Anonymous said...

I think Joe Lieberman makes a perfect 'Independent' Senator. He can take his issue stands as he sees fit, on a case by case basis, not by party rule. He easily won his seat in congress, and I figure his state voters know him best. I don't fault him for his views not narrowingly fitting into a certain category.

Anonymous said...

John -

While I think Joe Lieberman talks a fine talk, he doesn't walk a fine walk. I remember well when he excoriated Bill Clinton for being fast and loose with the English language, but when it came time to put up or shut up, he shut up (as in the vote to remove Clinton from office). Nonetheless, I do agree with him that the Democrat Party has tilted to the far left, although I do not see it being all that different from the way it was in 2000.

Also - a note to justice58. I would be a bit more restrained with language. Clearly, Joe Lieberman is not in step with the Democrat Party as it is currently constituted and apparently not in step with your thinking. That though makes him neither faker nor Republican. (Also see Archer05's comments at 7 PM on this matter.)

Jack in Silver Spring

justice58 said...


Joe Lieberman only went "Independent" because Ned Lamont stomped his rear during the Democratic Senate primary in 2006!

Lieberman lost because he was accommodating Bush's Iraq War!

The people voted against him. He had no other choice but to go Independent otherwise he was out! Geeez Jack!

Anonymous said...

To justice58 regarding your comment at 9:58. We are not in disagreement on this issue. I had written:
"Clearly, Joe Lieberman is not in step with the Democrat Party as it is currently constituted ... " It is therefore not surprising that he lost to Ned Lamont; and it is equally not surprising that he became an Independent. That, though, does not make him a faker or a Republican (as per your earlier comment).
One other thing - this is not Bush's War anymore than it was Madison's War, Lincoln's War, Wilson's War or Roosevelt's War. We're all Americans and we are in this together.

Jack in Silver Spring