Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Lieberman on Terrorism

I find Senator Lieberman's position on Iraq, terrorism, the anti-war influence and his relationship with the Democratic leadership most interesting these days especially given his position as being the Democrats' nominee for Vice President only two presidential elections ago.

Here is a portion of a summary of an interview the Senator did with The Hill, "Lieberman escalates attack on Iraq critics":

Ever since Connecticut Democrats refused to back him for a fourth term in Congress, Joe Lieberman has been burnishing his independent credentials in the narrowly divided Senate while becoming increasingly critical of the Democratic Party on the war in Iraq.

Lieberman, the Democrats’ 2000 vice presidential nominee, insists he is not actively considering joining the Republican Party. But he is keeping that possibility wide open as his disenchantment grows with Democratic leaders. The main sticking points are their attempts to end the war in Iraq and their hesitation to take a harder line against Iran.

“I think either [Democrats] are, in my opinion, respectfully, na├»ve in thinking we can somehow defeat this enemy with talk, or they’re simply hesitant to use American power, including military power,” Lieberman said in a wide-ranging interview with The Hill.

“There is a very strong group within the party that I think doesn’t take the threat of Islamist terrorism seriously enough.”

...As Lieberman sees it, however, the Democratic Party has slipped away from its “most important and successful times” of the middle of last century, where it was tough on Communism and progressive on domestic policy.

...He has no plans to endorse a Democrat for president, including the senior senator from his home state, Christopher Dodd, and is open to backing a Republican candidate for president. Lieberman also startled Democrats when he lent his support to the re-election bid of Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a top target of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

During this month’s Iraq debate, Lieberman was working behind the scenes strategizing with Republicans and was front-and-center in several GOP press conferences denouncing Democratic tactics to push for an end to the war.

Lieberman was the lone non-Republican to vote against Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) efforts to shut down debate on an amendment to bring troops home by next April. (Reid voted against the cloture motion to file a similar motion at a later time.) Lieberman was also alone when he joined 40 Republicans in voting to kill an amendment by Sen. Jim Webb (D-Va.) to extend the time between troop deployments in Iraq.

“I’m disappointed that I am in so small a minority among Senate Democrats in taking the position that I have,” Lieberman said.

But even as he has played a key role on some of their top domestic initiatives, Democrats have at times kept their distance from Lieberman. Last week, for instance, Reid held a press conference with several Democrats to tout their efforts to pass the 9/11 Commission bill and a homeland-security spending plan. Lieberman, the lead Senate negotiator on the measure and chairman of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, was conspicuously absent.

Reid said it was not intentional to leave Lieberman out of the press conference, but Lieberman said not being invited was “surprising.”

The distance that Democratic leaders appear to be keeping from Lieberman could result from the animosity that the Democrats’ anti-war base has directed toward him. That criticism intensified even more last month, when he suggested military intervention against the Iranian government.

...Lieberman is unfazed and says he has no intention of formally rejoining the Democratic Party.

“For now, I find being an independent more fun,” Lieberman said. “The partisanship in this place is out of control. As an independent I’ve got the opportunity to speak out against that.”



Might Lieberman consider a run for Vice President as an Independent with a Republican nominee?

No comments: