May 23, 2008


Joe Lieberman, ideological turncoat: The senator's indictment of the Democratic Party is just as dishonest as his failure to discuss his own evolution as an ally of McCain's. (Joe Conason, May. 23, 2008, Salon)

Lieberman's theme in the Journal essay, excerpted from a speech he delivered at an event sponsored by Commentary magazine, the leading neoconservative journal, is easily summarized and utterly unoriginal: Democrats were once patriotic and strong on defense, when Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy led the party, but they have lapsed (again) into weakness and vacillation during the Bush era. And Lieberman pillories Barack Obama for suggesting that he would sit down and talk with the leaders of Iran and other adversarial regimes and for failing to stand up to the party's overbearing liberal wing.

For someone who once considered himself a history scholar, Lieberman shamelessly falsifies not only the diplomacy of past and current administrations but also, by omission, his own political pedigree. His Journal essay opens with a lament about the condition of the Democratic Party and an idealized glance back at the "principled, internationalist, strong and successful" foreign policy of Roosevelt, Kennedy and Truman.

"This was the Democratic Party that I grew up in -- a party that was unhesitatingly and proudly pro-American, a party that was unafraid to make moral judgments about the world beyond our borders," he writes. "It was a party that understood that either the American people stood united with free nations and freedom fighters against the forces of totalitarianism, or … we would fall divided." (The nuances of Roosevelt's alliance with Stalin and Kennedy's missile deal with Khrushchev escape Holy Joe, but then nuance always does.)

...Mr. Conason is absolutely right that those earlier Democrats were a disaster as well.

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 23, 2008 12:26 PM
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