Senator Joseph Lieberman, Republican?

In the divisive world that is contemporary politics, the Bush Administration has found a friend in the most unlikely of places: the democrat roster.

Senator Joe Lieberman has been a true supporter of President Bush and is quite possibly the last remaining democrat who supports the Iraq War. However, Lieberman’s support for the President comes at a price.

After years of ardent support for the Iraq war, Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman could become that conflict's first big political casualty in a Democratic primary race fueled by rising anti-war anger.

Lieberman, the party's vice presidential nominee in 2000, faces a growing challenge from a political neophyte who has rallied Democrats angered by the senator's enthusiastic backing of the war and willingness to support Republican President George W. Bush on other issues. Reuters

Senator Lieberman’s democratic challenger, Ned Lamont, has been aggressively campaigning against the senator’s continued support for the Iraq War and his seeming shift to the right on general issues:

"Senator Lieberman has cheered on the president every step of the way when it comes to the invasion of Iraq, and he is too quick to compromise on core Democratic principles," Lamont, a businessman and former Greenwich town selectman, told Reuters.

"He's wrong on the big issues of the day and he is not challenging the Bush administration," added Lamont, who qualified for the August 8 primary ballot by winning 33 percent of the delegates at the state party convention last month.

Like the President, Senator Lieberman has not allowed the polls to dictate his beliefs, which some might consider honorable. He supported the war when the United States initially engaged Iraq, and he supports it today.

Meanwhile, Senator Lieberman answers to one of the most liberal electorates in the nation: the proud residents of Connecticut. Much to the dismay of the senator, a recent survey of Connecticut voters indicates that “more than 60 percent [among them] . . . believe the war is wrong.”

Whether Senator Lieberman runs as a democrat in the upcoming election remains to be seen. What we know for sure is that he will be running for reelection.

Senator Lieberman, I am confident that the republican party would be more than willing to sponsor your bid for reelection; indeed, they would be lucky to have you. Try wearing an 'R' next to your name and let us know how it fits. Good luck, Senator!

Posted by Dr Politico at June 6, 2006 3:32 PM
Comments
Comment #154841

You said it and I agree. Lieberman is a Republican and you can have him.

Posted by: Paul Siegel at June 6, 2006 4:12 PM
Comment #154842

Doc
The problem isn’t that Lieberman isn’t a Democrat, its that he isn’t a liberal.
The Democratic Party is no more.
Kind of sad in a way.

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2006 4:29 PM
Comment #154851

Is he more like the old northern liberal Republicans of yesterday. I don’t know, but i still think the man is very useful.

Posted by: Rodney Brown at June 6, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #154853

Doc. you can have Joe. As fas as the Republicans being conservative I still don’t believe it. You (the Republican Party) have had controll of congress and the whitehouse for over 4 years and have done nothing to further the conservative agenda.
1. Small government?
2. State rights?
3. Ballanced budget?
4. Fill in the blank!
So while you have the majority in the house senate and white house you have gained nothing!
Take us back to the days of Clinton fighting the Republican congress. Gridlock never looked so good.

Posted by: timesend at June 6, 2006 4:51 PM
Comment #154858

Politico,
Yes, you may take Lieberman — and right now during our special June sale, you can take home Zell Miller as well!!!
Thanks so much for shopping at DINO’s. Come again!

Posted by: Adrienne at June 6, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #154870

Adrienne,

The Republican Party is inclusive. We accept the offer.

Posted by: Don at June 6, 2006 5:35 PM
Comment #154878

Indeed. All white, male, heterosexual, christian millionaires are always welcome in the GOP.

Posted by: Aldous at June 6, 2006 5:52 PM
Comment #154882

George W. Bush, Joe Lieberman, and Zell Miller; three great Americans that allow their conscience, rather than the polls to dictate their actions.

I would follow any of these great leaders in their quest to do what is right for America.

And Timesend, there is a point in time that we should ‘further the conservative agenda’, and there is a point in time when we should concentrate on saving our country from those who would destroy it (both the off-shore enemy, and the home grown ones (read Liberals)).

Now is the time to concentrate on neutralizing our enemy.

Posted by: Bob Hillard at June 6, 2006 6:01 PM
Comment #154886

“Now is the time to concentrate on neutralizing our enemy”

Well said Bob.
But how do you neutralize the enemy when half the voters believe America IS the enemy?

Posted by: kctim at June 6, 2006 6:08 PM
Comment #154892

Dr P

I think you are correct in many ways. Particularly with the war and Lieberman. I would love to see him continue to do so. I would also love him to stay as a democrat. No offense meant by that. I just think it is valuable to have someone on the other side of the aisle that is willing to actually talk and think through things and not just spout off anger at the drop of a hat according to which way the wind blows.

That being said. I think it is sad that so many see him as a good addition to the Republican party. Consider there are many areas that he is very democrat in. Either the republican party has become the democrat party of yesterday and the democrat party has become the socialist party of yesterday or my understanding of conservatism is just flat out wrong.

One more thing, I think it very sad when someone who has been a very faithful democrat for so long and has accomplished a lot for the democrats is so readily thrown to the wolves. I think those who are willing to do this are not democrat but extreme liberals.

Posted by: Randall Jeremiah at June 6, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #154895

Look, the election will determine whether the Connecticut, in particular the Democrats of that state want Lieberman to continue his tenure.

Tolerance is one thing. I’m sure folks can be more civil to Joe, and I encourage them to be. At some point, though, he’s got to decide which side of the fence he’s going to land on. He can’t sit there forever.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2006 6:31 PM
Comment #154896

Dr. Politico and Bob,
I share your views of Sen. Lieberman. As a matter of fact when Weicker was up for reelection, many years ago we jumped party lines and voted for Lieberman, just to get rid of Weicker. It worked and we have never regretted the decision. In a letter to the Senator in late March of this year I promised him again to vote for him because the other people running for office in the state of Connecticut are all “dyed in the wool” liberals who can only think about how to undermine a sitting President and make the world wonder about our confusion and our dedicated terrorist enemies salivate at the prospect we might lose heart and quit the Middle East. That won’t stop them from coming after us anyway, it will make them that much more determined because they think that indeed we have no staying power.
All of this as a result of the many millions of American citizens who put personal animosity and dislike of an elected President ahead of our national priorities. How insanely irresponsible can we get? May be these things are happening because too many of our people have no decent grounding in the lessons of history and will therefore repeat the same mistakes. Similar to the mistakes made in the 1930-ies when most Europeans and their leaders, except Churchill let Hitler come to power. Between the Czechs and the French they could have wiped Nazi-dom off the face of the earth in 1936,’37 or even 1938. But they didn’t understand, didn’t believe the signals and let a calamity engulf the world.
We are looking at the same possibility with Iran now which would be much easier for us to deal with if we were unified in the Iraq and Afghanistan issues. Being unified for success is a clear signal to an enemy that he better think twice before jumping off the cliff.
Unfortunately, there are but few people in this country who are reading the signals the way I believe they are pointed. And Senator Lieberman is one of those people. By all means he should be on the Republican side in this fight but also because his instincts, experience and character make him the kind of American leader all of us need, not just the Democrats.

Posted by: fred at June 6, 2006 6:33 PM
Comment #154899

kctim-
Just because we want this nation to demonstrate more restraint doesn’t mean we want it shackled in the dungeon. We a country built on the notion that governments can and should be restrained in what they can do to people. If we show people outside of this country an uncharacteristic lack of restraint, then we might give ourselves some trouble convincing them who the real bad guys are. I don’t want my country confused with one of these shitholes where the leaders wield absolute power and don’t respect peace and international order. You know, like Iraq, when Saddam had hold of it?

Maybe you see that as weak, but I believe this country is strong enough and smart enough to win without hamstringing it’s reputation abroad, and giving the propaganda victory to our enemies. America should shine through our actions. Our actions should not reflect a country we’re not.

Bob Hillard-
If you guys made better peace with us, you’d fight better wars with our real enemies. Those who start out wars having alienated parts of their population (or set up the circumstances that do so later) hobble the war effort, especially if things go wrong. We’re getting problems like Haditha because Rumsfeld and the others wanted to have this war to themselves, instead of sharing it with all the people who had a stake in it.

Americans, with few exceptions do not argue with the causes of keeping this country safe and secure. You might see the debates as unnecessary and even harmful, but those debates are necessary to people reconciling themselves to whatever the final result is. The more you try and stuff legislation down the throats of your dissenters, the more you will end up breeding opposition to your side. Let us fight at your side, if you want us off your backs.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2006 6:46 PM
Comment #154901

Adrienne:

“Thanks so much for shopping at DINO’s. Come again!”

Don’t you need a Fristy for that?:-)

Posted by: Tim Crow at June 6, 2006 6:58 PM
Comment #154904

Fred-
Undermining a sitting president while a terrorist threat was growing. What do you call the Impeachment? What do you call leaping to accept Sudan’s B.S. explanation about the facility being a baby formula factory? Clinton is not the man you want to compare Bush with, when it comes to Bush’s first year in office. Clinton’s staff told Bush’s that terrorism was going to be the big threat. Bush felt it was going to be rogue nations. Who hit us on 9/11? Well, you folks are on the bandwagon now, now that you like the president.

Seriously, what would you have said pre-9/11 if Clinton had sent troops into Afghanistan to kill Bin Laden? And tell me the truth. I remember many of your people making that wag-the-dog argument when he did that.

And where were the conservatives before WWII in America? They were backing isolationism, some even backing those who would become our enemies.

Now, that is not to say that Conservatives have not recognized threats and acted appropriately, or that liberals didn’t have their share of appeasers and isolationists. After all, FDR did have to promise not to get us into any Foreign Wars when he was reelected in 1940. And Wendell Wilkie, his opponent, did turn around and mobilize Republicans to their country’s aid.

The truth is, though, you have to let us in on the deal. This isn’t a Republican war we’re fighting right now, it’s an American one, and this administration has refused to listen to far too many of them. The price of not listening has been the loss of popular support for his policies. Y’all have to figure out that you cannot have this nation’s defense all to yourself anymore than you can have the nation itself all yours. It’s our military, too, it’s our country, too, and it’s our lives, too. If y’all in Republican Party recognized the commonality of our desire to protect this country, and let us in on the decision-making, then you’d have the unity you want.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 6, 2006 7:02 PM
Comment #154905

Dr. Politico and Bob,
I share your views of Sen. Lieberman. As a matter of fact when Sen. Weicker was up for reelection, many years ago we jumped party lines and voted for Lieberman instead. It worked and we have never regretted the decision. In a letter to the Senator in late March of this year I promised him again to vote for him because the other people running for office in the state of Connecticut are all “dyed in the wool” liberals who can only think about how to undermine a sitting President and make the world wonder about our confusion while making our dedicated terrorist enemies salivate at the prospect we might lose heart and quit the Middle East. That won’t stop them from coming after us anyway, it will make them that much more determined because they think that indeed we have no staying power.
All of this as a result of the many millions of American citizens who put personal animosity and dislike of an elected President ahead of our national priorities. How insanely irresponsible can we get? May be these things are happening because too many of our people have no decent grounding in the lessons of history and will therefore repeat the same mistakes. Similar to the mistakes made in the 1930-ies when most Europeans and their leaders, except Churchill let Hitler come to power. Between the Czechs and the French they could have wiped Nazi-dom off the face of the earth in 1936,’37 or even 1938. But they didn’t understand, didn’t believe the signals and let a calamity engulf the world.
We are looking at the same possibility with Iran now which would be much easier for us to deal with if we were unified in the Iraq and Afghanistan issues. Being unified for success is a clear signal to an enemy that he better think twice before jumping off the cliff.
Unfortunately, there are but few people in this country who are reading the signals the way I believe they are pointed. And Senator Lieberman is one of those people. By all means he should be on the Republican side in this fight but also because his instincts, experience and character make him the kind of American leader all of us need, not just the Democrats.

Posted by: fred at June 6, 2006 7:04 PM
Comment #154907

Maybe they’ll trade Lieberman for Rino McCain. Maybe McCain will go on the down low with the Demos’ if he’s censored in the Senate.
Musical chairs anybody?

Posted by: Speakup at June 6, 2006 7:23 PM
Comment #154915
Maybe they’ll trade Lieberman for Rino McCain. Maybe McCain will go on the down low with the Demos’ if he’s censored in the Senate. Musical chairs anybody?

Wow… as an independent, I’d be willing to take both of them.

Hmm… Any thoughts on Lieberman’s chances of getting the Republican nomination for President in 2008? ;-)

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at June 6, 2006 7:47 PM
Comment #154920

Lieberman would have a better chance at the Whitehouse as a Republican than the panty waiste McCain does in any party. True conservatives are looking around for the tar and feathers when McCain is mentioned.

Posted by: Speakup at June 6, 2006 8:10 PM
Comment #154926

timesend
And here I thought I was the only one here that doesn’t believe that Republicans are conservative.

Joe Lieberman as I see it doesn’t fit in as a liberal in today’s sense. But he sure doesn’t fit in as a true conservative either. Maybe Republican is a better label for him

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 6, 2006 8:30 PM
Comment #154927

Lieberman would have a better chance at the Whitehouse as a Republican than the panty waiste McCain does in any party. True conservatives are looking around for the tar and feathers when McCain is mentioned.

Posted by: Speakup at June 6, 2006 08:10 PM

He just might at that. In fact he might have a better shot at it as a Republican than as a Democrat.
No true conservatives aren’t looking for the tar and feathers when McCain’s name is mentioned. We just don’t like him or any other Republican being tied to us. But we don’t want to tar and feather them.
Maybe shoot them. ha!

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 6, 2006 8:36 PM
Comment #154962

No one who respects the chimp is getting a seat anywhere. You can have Leiberman.

Posted by: Max at June 6, 2006 10:04 PM
Comment #154989

So how do you tell who the real conservatives are? And what is your definition of a real Conservative and why in the hell did you vote the second time around for the likes of W and his band of idiots if your a real conservative?

Posted by: j2t2 at June 6, 2006 10:50 PM
Comment #155004

j2t2
I don’t know who you addressed your comment to but I’ll answer ya anyway.
I doubt very much any true conservative voted for W a second time. If they did they’re more gullible than they should be. Most that voted for him twice are Republicans and folks that don’t pay much mind to what’s going on between elections. And there’s a whole heap of them around that don’t pay much mind to what’s happening. If there weren’t none of the current crop of politicians would keep their jobs.
I didn’t vote for him either time. All though he was the less of the two main party evils in both elections.
I usually vote for an independent if one can make the ballot or I vote for a third party that I can live with. Even then it seems most the time I have to hold my nose and vote.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 7, 2006 12:21 AM
Comment #155005

j2t2
Reckon I should answer your fist question too.
the way you tell a true conservative from the phonies running around in DC it by their record.
Do they practice fiscal conservatism?
Do push for need social change and fight against unneeded?
Do they work for a strong national defense?
Do they try to do what they say even if no one else will vote with them?
Are they willing to work with the folks on the other side to solve problems?
Answer no to any of these and the person most likely ain’t a true conservative.
I know some of these can be said of a true liberal also. And that’s good.

I doubt that you’ll find very many true liberals that are Democrats.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 7, 2006 12:34 AM
Comment #155017

Ron I was just venting. Thanks for the info. And yes it is hard to hold your nose and vote these days isnt it.

Posted by: j2t2 at June 7, 2006 1:42 AM
Comment #155025

Lieberman’s problem isn’t that he supported the Iraq war — many Democrats did — it’s that he’s still a cheerleader for President Bush, even now that it’s painfully obvious Bush has no idea how to win.

Had Bush pulled off a victory in Iraq, he’d have more support, left and right. But Bush is a L-O-S-E-R. Lieberman’s enthusiastic support for a failed policy only invites contempt.

Posted by: American Pundit at June 7, 2006 2:44 AM
Comment #155030

American Pundit,

Its good to hear that we in the military who are the ones that have to put the policies of the President into effect are loser too. Thanks. Bush said this would be a long struggle. He said it would take time. He did indeed underestimate the insurgency, but that’s not the point.

Americans are spoiled and like to believe that wars don’t cost anything. The ease of Desert Storm and our operations in Bosnia only reinforced this. A true model for Iraq should have been Somalia. Bush and his administration did not adequately plan to secure the peace once the Iraqi military was defeated.

That being said, the liberal politicos have not helped at all. Nothing good is ever reported out of Iraq. It takes time to rebuild a nation, but we aren’t being given it by cut and run Democrats who spin the war to their own benefit for cheap political points. Here’a a crazy idea. Instead of running down our leadership and demonstrating to the terrorists that we don’t have the will to win, recognize that we need time to accomplish our mission. We’re working hard to build a functional country over here, and cheap shots at the President and our policy only serve to help the terrorists and destroy our morale. People like American pundit hurt at least one soldier (me) and to see it every damned day is truly disheartening.

Posted by: 1LT B at June 7, 2006 3:05 AM
Comment #155037

1LT B:

Maybe you could tell us the “Good News” from Iraq yourself?

btw… Good News is such a subjective thing. Perhaps you could interview the Iraqis themselves for this “Good News”?

Posted by: Aldous at June 7, 2006 4:15 AM
Comment #155053

Aldous
Sure,look here.
Benchmark it.
Read it every day.
1LT..Thank you for your service.


linktext

Posted by: sicilianeagle at June 7, 2006 7:30 AM
Comment #155058

The trouble with Lieberman being a Demorcrat, is he isn’t a true Democrat. He doesn’t hate Christians, he doesn’t hate conservative Jews, he doesn’t hate our US Military, he doesn’t hate our Country, he’s not Black, Hispanic, Arabic, or Oriental, he’s not a Lesbian, he’s not homosexual, and the man knows where he stands and what he believes. So for Lieberman to be in the Hate filled Democrat Party, he’s kinda like a Kennedy (or beached whale, same thing almost) out of water. Something just aint right there. He’s too good of man and honest to be in that party, and hope he comes on over to where he’ll be welcome. I’d be glad to trade Miss Snow or Mr McCain anyday for him. I feel sorry for the Democrats. First election report out and a Republican won. As if that’s any surprise to anybody.

Posted by: Gopher at June 7, 2006 8:03 AM
Comment #155060

Stephen,
I am a little bit at a loss about some of your comments which appear to result in your statement that we (?) should “let you in on the deal”. What deal? A unified country deal? As you well know, for 3 months after 9/11 the country was unified in its grief and anger about what had been perpetrated by terrorists. Everyone was on the team, including our Congressional politicians. As you will also remember, prior to 9/11 broad segments of our Democratic citizens, as well as many Europeans, had been sniping, ridiculing and obstructing the new Republican government for the simple reason that they so intensely disliked President Bush, who in their view stole the election.
But after the end of 2001, mostly the Democratic part of our politicians took up the cudgels again of fighting, hamstringing and otherwise derailing the normal functioning of government.
You know as well as anybody that the Democrats decided to go functionally as well as philosophically in opposition to the legitimate administration, it was their choice.
Hence, your point about “letting you in on the deal” is upside down. It is your decision to rejoin the common effort and you well know how beneficial that would be for the country and how statesman-like that would be for the Democratic party’s leaders. Republicans would like nothing better, because it has been an American war from the beginning. It is more than unfortunate that so many Americans still do not seem to understand that we had no choice but to go after the terrorists in their havens and support countries. Even though the original intelligence turned out to be faulty. President Bush has done a really remarkable job under very trying domestic circumstances and I can only remind all of us that we would probably already be out of Iraq and Afghanistan if we had been unified in that effort all along. Now the terrorists believe we have no staying power and are throwing ever more murderers of women and children into the fray to scare us out of there. Then they will come here.
What’s your view of the situation Stephen?

Posted by: fred at June 7, 2006 8:20 AM
Comment #155106

1 LT B

As an old veteran myself I more than sympathize with your thinking and your coleagues. Fortunately, there are probably many millions more people supporting you and our efforts in the Middle east than you realize. Part of the problem is that all the anti-Americans and anti-war types get all the press and TV time. For what it is worth, I have spoken out in support of President Bush from the beginning, look at my Blog (schaesberg.blogspot.com)and will continue to do so until this thing is won and we have come to our senses nationally. So please keep up the good work and know that many of us are saying prayers for all of you in the military every day. God Bless.

Posted by: fred at June 7, 2006 10:39 AM
Comment #155115

Gopher,

your bigoted comments are disgusting. I guess I am a true Democrat because I am Hispanic. Ditto for my family members who are Jewish.

I guess you only want the Republican Party for white men and their subservient white women.

I am disgusted.

[out]

Posted by: CPAdams at June 7, 2006 11:06 AM
Comment #155116

Aldous said “Indeed… All white, male, heterosexual, christian millionaires are always welcome in the GOP.”

That is such antiquated thinking and proves that the Dems are great at bashing people with one side of their mouth while they “preach” that they are the party “of the people” with the other side… You can’t have it both ways…

I am 56 years young and grew up in a very Blue Collar, hard core, “Democrat” household. As I got older and actually looked at the world the way it was, and not the way the Dems said it is, I started thinking for myself and changed parties.

My wife and I combined make about $68,000 a year.
(I work two jobs) We are lending some support to our two kids who are in college (who are also paying their fair share by WORKING for it!) Unfortunately people like you and your party (along with the tax tables)keep trying to classify me as a “Rich” Republican…

Your comments only serve to prove that Winston Churchill was right….. “Any 20 year-old who isn’t a liberal doesn’t have a heart, and any 40 year-old who isn’t a conservative doesn’t have a brain’.


Posted by: Learnedmylesson at June 7, 2006 11:07 AM
Comment #155137

1 LT B,

There is a fundamental misunderstanding of your view of the anti-war movement. I agree with you when you say that americans are spoiled, the mere fact that we consume a majority of the world’s resources tells us all we need to know in that regard. None of us believe that “wars don’t cost anything”— we know all to well that they do. I don’t know you, never will— but i will be candid with you: I prefer you guys to be home. I don’t agree either with the manner of your deployment or the reasons behind it. And because of that belief, and because i have seen the body couts of both sides, how could i support this war? My contempt for Iraq doesn’t stem from hatred, but the opposite.

I love my countrymen too much too support a president who disrespects his men in uniform by sending them into unneccessary battle. I support you man, i support you and the guys with which you serve in a way that no god damned yellow ribboned “Support our Toops” bumper sticker ever can. Questioning the Presidents policy isn’t a cheap shot, its my duty, its my mission.

I have never once questioned our troops efforts. I believe you are doing the best you can with what you have, thats all I can ask of you, and you deliver. Thank you for that.

Knowing that your country loves you man shouldn’t hurt the morale. Next time you feel that way, just take one moment to consider the true motives of us “liberals”, try and understand not what the arguement is, but where the roots of our arguements lie. You’ll find that we too are your supporters.

Posted by: tree hugger at June 7, 2006 12:09 PM
Comment #155141

1LT B
Thanks for your service.
My son just went back to Iraq for his second tour.
Our best wishes and prayers are with y’all.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 7, 2006 12:17 PM
Comment #155147

Joe Lieberman is an old school Democrat, just like my folks were, just like I was, just like Zell Miller and Ronald Reagan were.

Strong on defense, jobs and family, Joe is out of touch with today’s Democratic voter, who, basically hates for the sake of hating. Weak on defense, socially out past left field, and no policy on jobs, today’s Democratic party is a hollow reminder of a glorious past.

Posted by: mac6115cd at June 7, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #155148

Learnedmylesson
Your new here aren’t ya?
Don’t let Aldous ge to you. He says those outragous things just trying to get someones goat.

fred
Thanks for your service.

Posted by: Ron Brown at June 7, 2006 12:28 PM
Comment #155164

Who ever said that being a part of the Republicans or Democrats dictates conservative, moderate, or liberal views?

I happen to be a Conservative Libertarian that is registered Republican because I am in Liberalchusetts…

Posted by: ChrisC at June 7, 2006 12:54 PM
Comment #155241

I wrote:

“Thanks so much for shopping at DINO’s. Come again!”

Tim:
“Don’t you need a Fristy for that?:-)”

Eew! But yeah, you’d need a “fristy” for that. But I was talking about the GOP shopping for new members amongst Democrats who aren’t progressive in any way, shape or form. You know, cast-offs. Kind of like they once took in the racist Dixiecrats. In these particular cases they don’t need a “fristy”, or even a “frist full of dollars” to shop at DINO’s — because we’re giving them away!

Posted by: Adrienne at June 7, 2006 3:50 PM
Comment #155251

Hi, Learnedmylesson,
You are right on the money in my book and said your piece very well. Please keep it up.

Posted by: fred at June 7, 2006 4:10 PM
Comment #155288

Fred-
It’s true I didn’t like Bush at the very beginning. You have to understand that they didn’t exactly go to charm school on these things from our perspective. That supposed riot of campaign workers which mobbed a polling station, future UN ambassador John Bolton showing up in the midst of a count and declaring loudly that things were over, and the often criticized intervention of the Supreme Court, which seemed to make up a ruling out of thin air, then said that it was not to be taken as precedent. When Bush finally got into office, he had succeeded in alienating many people who he could have done more to reconcile with.

Then he turned around and started acting like he had some kind of mandate- this, the guy who had barely won.

But with 9/11/2001, America was willing to stand with him, and willing to give him the power to do what needed to be done. People assumed that he, like others, might be forged by the situation into a stronger leader.

Much of Bush’s political trouble comes from his failure to live up to that ideal.

First, he let Osama get away. The real deal in terrorism, the head of the group that struck us, and he fumbled that. My Honeymoon with the new Bush ended at the point where he told the nation that he really wasn’t concerned about Bin Laden anymore. From there, he pounded the pavement for the 2002 elections, spending more time in these crucial months post 9/11 campaigning for Republicans, and making the political point that anybody who opposed his Iraq agenda was going to get it. Good Democrats, who had served their countries were slandered as the mistrust of Democrats was spread and reinforced.

Still, not everybody was convinced. Then came the case for war. That was what brought many Americans, including me, to support the war in Iraq.

Unfortunately, Bush didn’t square with us. He bought our cooperation at the price of knowingly giving us false and unreliable information about the case for war. If it had been true, and the WMDs had been found, the terrorist links exposed, Bush would be sitting pretty now.

Unfortunately, he was not only wrong, but almost consistently wrong, in terms of both policy and justification for the war. A Senate Panel, going over the evidence, said that almost every single accusation we made about his programs was poorly founded, if not false. There was no A-bomb program to produce that smoking gun in the shape of a mushroom cloud. There were no stockplies of chem/bio weapons. The only thing they concluded was reasonable was about the rockets, which had greater range than he was allowed.

It takes dedication to get so many things wrong so consistently. You have to have some sort of chronic disconnect in your intelligence chain. I believe the disconnect was with the people at the top of that chain. They wanted information that suited their agenda, so they picked and chose the stuff what would back it, ignoring the procedures and the processes that would subject the intelligence to critical analysis and burst the bubbles.

What happened with Bush was only different in scale from a regular person letting a bias affect their judgment You know you put your car keys in the living room, so you spend hours looking there before finding them in the Kitchen when you sit down to rest. Well, they knew they had WMDs to find, so it’s likely when they found the stuff that backed them up, they stopped there, then moved on to getting more evidence. To be too critical about it would be to overintellectualize things in their view. Getting lost in the quibbles, being the gung-ho people they are, was unacceptable to them.

Unfortunately, in intelligence, you have to be critical. You have to examine your facts, and then your analysis to find the flaws. The last point at which you need to be finding out the problems of the intelligence, is when you take action based on it. Unfortunately, that’s what happened.

Okay, so we were wrong. Well, unfortunately, the overconfidence of the White House officials wreaks its damage again. They knew their plan, what they had to do, and they had no interest in doing something so careful, so hedged, as coming up with plans for things, in case their first plans were wrong.

These sorts of flaws are the result of Bush’s failings as critical thinker, and the party’s failure as an encourager of critical thinking.

That failure reflects in the attitude of the Republican supporters. Again and again, the issue of moral support is brought up, and given great weight, even as it becomes obvious that our average soldiers problem is not commitment.

It’s ironic, really, that the Republicans blame failures of moral support here, given two things: one, everybody’s supporting the soldiers. No major outlets or political figures on the left are saying the soldiers aren’t doing their best. Everybody’s wishing them well. Two, I can’t tell you how many times the Republicans have trotted out some Iraq Veteran telling you how important he thinks his mission is, and how much he wants to help his fellow soldier.

No, if there’s a problem with morale, it relates to the failures of material and strategic support. Folks in Washington are expecting these soldiers to win this war themselves, without real leadership from the top- a problematic thing, given the failure of this administration to anticipate the real conditions of Iraq and the need for an occupation.

The Bush adminstration actually expected to hand this problem off to the Iraqi exiles like Chalabi, have them move in to replace the decapitated Ba’athist regime. Only trouble is, the government fell apart, and nobody took these guys on as the obvious successors. As the Bush administration procrastinated on adapting to the situation, the insurgency grew, and took advantage of the lack of soldiers brought to the fight.

Americans mostly supported the war at the start, but Bush came across with way too many nasty surprises. The only good suprises were that elections worked at all. Other than that, we’ve taken more casualties than expected for the post war period, and have suffered through the losses of Fallujah and Najaf, not to mention the scandals of Abu Ghraib and (now)Haditha.

The Bush adminsitration made things worse by trying to hide the problems, refusing to acknowledge them. From the Flypaper strategy of bringing the terrorist on to protect America (a way to explain the increasing unrest as a good thing) to the disappearance of billions of dollar, to the armor and stop-loss/national guard callup controversy, the adminstrations denial of its problems have only been equalled by Americas ability to perceive them anyways.

Ultimately, you folks need to get with the program. The problem is not that we Democrats didn’t want to help, the problem is that our help and even our style of operation has been defined as undesireable. Because of that, this country’s options have been prematurely thinned, and objective standards of quality have been ignored in favor of self-serving partisan varieties.

This war is the victim of the rigid orthodoxy of foreign policy that has developed Among Republicans over the last few decades. Too few of the people who are now in charge of the war are willing to think outside their ideology to face the war as a non-partisan, practical, material problem.

Posted by: Stephen Daugherty at June 7, 2006 5:34 PM
Comment #155325

may as well run as a republican pretty clear that this pompous self righteous chicken hawk isnt a deomcrat.

Posted by: wdwr at June 7, 2006 7:06 PM
Comment #155843

Stephen,
I think I understand from which direction you are looking at our current political and military controversy. It is satisfying to build a picture of people and events that supports one’s views of what really may have happened or how things are done in Washington or elsewhere. On the other hand, I have learned that it is one thing to have strong opinions about things and something else to believe that therefore whatever anyone else says or whatever new information becomes available must be wrong, fabricated or prejudiced.
None of us, as we discuss these matters, I think, really has direct personal experience with what exactly happened in discussions and reviews of various serious poltical and military matters among those who are charged with the real responsibility to keep this country safe and functioning. In addition, we are all human and therefore prone to make mistakes. Only strong individuals will admit them, Bush has, while it is oh so easy for us outsiders to nitpick and opinionate afterwards when things haven’t gone the way they should have. I am one of those who really believe that President Bush and his advisors made their decisions to go into Iraq based on what was then claimed to be the best available intelligence. That information had been scrubbed and checked and reviewed and in the end a President is utterly at the mercy of his staff, from all executive departments to provide him with what is claimed to be the best info there is. And then he makes his decision. Companies operate the same way and I have some experience with similar instances where operational decisions were made on the basis of best available intelligence, which later turned out to be incomplete or even wrong. But that did not necessarily impugn the individuals who developed it, we determined how and why such information was believed and learned from the experience, sometimes at considerable cost. Hence it is easy to indulge in criticising those in power who, with hindsight ,prove to have made claims that turned out to be wrong, but that is not a good basis to condemn everyone as a bunch of liars and incompetents.
Instead of indulging in these selfserving criticisms it would help the country a lot more if we kept our cool and gave them the benefit of the doubt. There is too much criticism going around and not enough critical, constructive thinking. We need the latter more than enjoying our First Amendment rights.
There is nothing personal about my remarks, I see this as a general problem in our society today. Let me know how you tink about this.

Posted by: fred at June 8, 2006 10:23 PM
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