Day By Day

Friday, November 09, 2007

Lieberman Speaks Truth to Paranoia

Sen. Joseph Lieberman gave a terrific speech at Hopkins SAIS yesterday in which he said that the Democratic candidates for president were pandering to a "hyper-partisan, politically paranoid" liberal base. Because of that he avowed that he might vote Republican in next year's election.

As described in the Financial Times:

He [Sen. Lieberman] argued that George W. Bush and the Republican presidential candidates remained truer than the Democratic party to its tradition of a "moral, internationalist, liberal and hawkish" foreign policy that was established by presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John Kennedy.

"The Democratic party I grew up in was unafraid to make moral judgments about the world beyond our borders," he said.

"[Today's Democrats] are inclined to see international problems as a result of America's engagement with the world and are viscerally opposed to the use of force - the polar opposite to the self-confident and idealistic nationalism of the party I grew up in."

.... [more excerpts]

T]here is something profoundly wrong--something that should trouble all of us--when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran's murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.

There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base--even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.

Read the whole article here.

The unstated implication of Sen. Lieberman's remarks was that Hillary Clinton would be the only Democrat candidate worth voting for, because she is the only one who is likely to act responsibly in foreign affairs.

He's right. Hillary would be the only credible president among the Democrat contenders, but the Democratic Party seems to be in the thrall of an activist base that is increasingly divorced from reality. Their "distrust and disdain" for President Bush, noted by Lieberman, is a mark of their irresponsibility.


Bill Kristol notes that none, repeat none of the MSM reported on Lieberman's speech.

If a senator gives a speech, and no major newspaper reports it, does it matter? Joe Lieberman spoke in Washington Thursday on "the politics of national security." The next day, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and USA Today ignored his talk. Most Democrats will ignore it.
He also calls for the Republican candidates to consider Lieberman as a running mate -- right, we saw how that worked out for Al Gore. Kristol seems to think that a coalition of mainstream Republicans and moderate Democrats could bring about a political realignment that would exclude the activist bases of both parties. It's an attractive vision, but one that I fear will never come to pass.

The NY Sun discusses Joe's speech here.

Here is the full text of the speech.