Saturday, December 10, 2005

It's Not That Big A Tent, Really

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) has become persona non grata to Democrats because of his firm support for the Bush Administration and for the troops fighting in Iraq. The "big tent" of the Democratic Party does not appear to be large enough to hold a firmly pro-war former VP candidate.

Lieberman's pro-war views may be winning him praise from a grateful White House, but some Democratic colleagues see him as undercutting their party's efforts to wrest control of Congress from the GOP next fall.

"He's doing damage to the ability of Democrats to wage a national campaign," said Ken Dautrich, a University of Connecticut public policy professor. "It's Lieberman being Lieberman. And it's frustrating for people trying to put a Democratic strategy together."

Lieberman's support has been denounced by Howard Dean, who maintains that you can be staunchly anti-war and still "support the troops."

"We believe that talking about the president's failed strategy in Iraq is not unpatriotic," Dean said on CNN. "It may undercut the president, but it does not undercut our troops."

Horsehockey. When you "undercut" the president you weaken the foreign policy decisions of the president in many areas, not just the war, by giving other nations an impression that American positions will not be supported. Additionally, by calling for withdrawal or "redeployment" you are failing to support the troops, implying that they'll be unable to successfully complete the job they started. Al Qaeda is counting on that lack of support as part of their strategy.

Dean tossed a parting jab at Lieberman, claiming Democrats are not as divided on Iraq as press reports say. "The differences are pretty small, perhaps, Senator Lieberman excepted," he said.

Mike McCurry had this to say:

"They may not agree with him, but Democrats respect what he is saying," said former Clinton White House spokesman Michael McCurry. "People know he's not playing politics with Iraq."

It would seem, actually, that Democrats do not respect what he's saying, particularly Dr. Dean's wing. The second part is true. Lieberman is not playing politics with Iraq - he's stating his position. It's the "Howard Dean/we can take back Congress if we're anti-war" group that is playing politics with it. By doing so, however, they're taking the position of the leftmost 25%.

Is this a recipe for success? It wasn't in 1972.


Thanks for the links!

But That's Just My Opinion
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