Democrats & Liberals Archives

Senator Lieberman

I have a preference for Democratic candidates for President other than Joe Lieberman. To be utterly pragmatic about who is the Democratic candidate for President is difficult. With the long campaign, the variety among the candidates, and the constant spin applied by the media to the simplest elements of the candidate’s behavior making a choice is not easy. I like Joe Lieberman’s stated stance on domestic issues, where we most differ is on the war on Terror and the development and execution of Foreign Policy.

I like to think about who can win when I study the candidates during the selection process and on the Primary Trail. In that regard Joe fails the test in my historical experience and in relation to the other choices available. Both John Kerry and General Clark have more credibility in regard to acting as Commander in Chief. Both also differ substantially from Joe in their posture in regard to Foreign Policy. Both will draw more Democrats to the polls with their more moderate views about war and its uses to combat terror than will those of Joe. The candidate that best pulls his base to the polls will win the general election this time, as they usually have in the past.

In regard to domestic policy I like Joe’s rhetoric more than I like his centrist votes over his career. He has not been a strong vote for the interests of the Middle Class on many issues and seems too close to the Republican center for my comfort. His vision of what is good for the nation differs substantially from mine, but that is not the only deciding factor in making my choice. I think that he is unelectable. I also believe that if he was elected, he would provide center right leadership. I believe the nation needs center left leadership during the next Administration to overcome some of the handicaps visited on us by this Presidency.

The hope for a future in which our national interests coincide with those of other peace loving peoples of the world rides with the Democrats in this election. The people here love peace, but the Military Industrial complex in this nation needs war in order to flourish. To a very great extent the Military view of Foreign Policy has prevailed over the last fifty years. It has only occasionally served the nation well at home or abroad during that time, but it has immense power in our government. We have a corrupt system of supply and command built into the current military structure of our nation. It is rotting at the core with the easy transitioning of people from the military to the industries that supply it. From both sides of that partnership the same people transition into the civilian Administrative Branch that is there to oversee and control it and the legislature where they support it with their votes.

The money that drives this engine, which consumes trillions of dollars and many human lives as fuel each decade, comes from us, as sometimes do the lives. We pay the huge bills that enrich men like; Dick Cheney, George Bush the son and George Bush the father. There are many others, most are less prominent than those named above. The flow of hundreds of billions of dollars through the companies that compose this giant leech on our national treasury enriches these insiders far more than most Middle Class voters can imagine. Then of course they stand tall as Patriots, and praise one another highly for the great service that they have done our nation. They are truly patrons of a problem that afflicts our nation today. That problem is the inappropriate use of military power to control other nations in order to assure the arrival of strategic supplies for our Multinational Corporations.

One stint at the helm of Haliburton yielded 35 million dollars to Dick Cheney. Dick, of course, never used his access to powerful people in this government and the Middle East to enrich himself, did he? And if he did, so what, goes the mantra of the middle right. Joe Lieberman has supported this engine with his votes without fail. He is strident in his defense of the Foreign Policy dictated by the needs of this war machine. The real threat to our democracy is not only from terrorists. In my opinion an equally real threat exists in the form of the out of control “defense” establishment. It is our own leadership which has this country so frightened that it accepts preemptive war as our future. Our Defense Establishment has used terrorism to strengthen its hold on our purse that was slipping slightly because of the end of the cold war.

Of course we live in a dangerous world, and I think we need to take care of our national defense with a balanced approach that uses effectively our natural advantages in the world. One of our greatest advantages is the Democratic form of government that we use to support our nation’s interests. That government is not well served by having the industries that supply military power to our nation engaged in selecting our candidates for office. But that is what happens when the corporations in those industries can hold “dinners” for candidates of their choice. At those “dinners” millions of dollars in private funds, paid originally out of taxpayer’s pockets, are recycled as private contributions to those candidates. This legalized bribery assures the support of even good men like Joe Lieberman for this corrupt combination of industry and Military.
Are any of the other Democratic candidates better? Are any capable of withstanding the blandishments of this eminently powerful group? That is hard to tell, we will only know by their actions after they are elected and devote some effort to repairing our nation. John Kerry, Wesley Clark and John Edwards are the most electable of all those who might turn their power as President to curbing the excesses of the “Defense” establishment in our nation. Dennis Kuchinich is the most dedicated to this effort but cannot possibly win election without the money available to the other three. Currently I like John Kerry most of the electable choices but there is still time for that to change.

Howard Dean has my respect for leading the charge against the war but his prospects of winning an election against George Bush are small in my estimation. His wife’s absence hurt him in Iowa and it will hurt him again. His emotions are a little too present for a lot of voters comfort and too much of a contrast to the cool arrogance of Bush to help him. Finally his grasp of the differences between running one of the less populous states and running the Federal Government work against him. He has no real insight into the power of the Defense establishment and that will hurt him; as it did Bill Clinton in his relations with the military which were always strained. A merciless purge of the war advocates in the Department of War is needed and Howard Dean does not know enough to carry out such a mission.

The problem of our Military Industrial Complex is huge today. This problem has been huge since the Cold War led us to accept this seemingly innocent idea; that a massive peacetime military with outposts everywhere in the world was in our best interests. Certainly hindsight is easier to use to disapprove of the past, than it is to change the future. Whether or not the Cold War was best served by our Military Industrial Complex in the form it took during that time is the purview of historians now. Whether or not it serves our interests in the War on Terror is another question. In part that is the greatest question of this election. On this issue Joe Lieberman fails the test of independence of thought sufficient to allow him to make changes where they are needed. That is why he would never get my vote for President. It is the most important reason that I will work to see that he is not the candidate for President from the Democratic Party in this election. God bless and keep you all safe in these times of too much fear of those outside our borders; and too little mistrust of those ultimate insiders that can unwittingly injure it in their greed and drive for power.

Posted by Henri Reynard at January 23, 2004 12:21 PM