Sunday, August 27, 2006

Abandoning Lieberman?

Lieberman stumping as an Independent

You want an example of how short-sighted and fickle our two political parties are? Look no further than the current Senate race in Connecticut, where Senator Joe Lieberman was abandoned by his party, essentially for being a moderate. Republicans have taken this opportunity to back Lieberman, likely at the cost of their own candidate. Lieberman was the guy we ran as our VP candidate with Gore in 2000, remember when we won the popular vote? Less than 6 years later, Democrats have abandoned Lieberman for his moderate views on the Iraq war and support of some Bush Administration policies.

The situation has put both parties in hypocritical positions. Republicans, who have frequently painted Lieberman as a leftist, are now supporting his views as being reasonable and moderate. Democrats are abandoning one of the ranking members of their party in the Senate, at a time when every seat will be critical for control of the Senate. Liberal blogs have turned on Lieberman faster than you can say "spin that dradle", and many of their attacks have been complete misrepresentations. Partisanship is in full swing.

The problem for the Democrats is that, as a party, they have taken the wrong position on the Iraq War. While setting a deadline to bring the troops home from what has been a debacle at every stage, seems like a perfectly reasonable stance to take, the execution of this strategy by Democrats like John Kerry has been poor. Setting arbitrary deadlines for troop withdrawal and leaving Iraq in a state of chaos is not a viable option at this point. Lieberman, Hillary Clinton and others in the Democratic party have had the right idea, which is to force the Bush Administration to set a timeline with tangible criteria for troop withdrawl.

As it stands now, the Bush Administration has no metric for success in Iraq. Bush is indifferent to the fact that we will be there "as long as he's President." Unfortuntaely, this is no better than saying "Bring the Troops Home for Christmas." The lack of an acceptable criteria for withdrawl is an example of how poorly thought-out the Bush Administration's strategy for Iraq has been from the beginning. Democrats have an opportunity to re-shape our strategy in Iraq, and set themselves up to the White House in 2008, by campaigning under a viable timeline for success in Iraq. This is something the Republicans can't campaign against, and haven't come up with on their own.

Instead, Democrats continue to present a fractured front on the issue, focusing on political polarization instead of actual policy steps to get us out of the mess that Bush got us into. It's a golden opportunity, and it's obviously more important for us to be the opposite of the Republicans, instead of finding reasonable solutions to these problems.


Lord Bling said...

Why are we over there again? Conservative estimates have the war already costing us around $250 billion, and going up every day. Iraq wasn't a front for terrorist activity until we showed up, but if we leave, civil war will explode there.

HCP said...

I am not advocating that we bring the troops home right now, but something needs to be done. It pisses me off more and more every time I watch the news, and troops that are coming back from 2+ tours of duty are being forced right back. I understand that some of those men and women are volunteers, but others are people that viewed the military as an opportunity to escape terrible living situations. And while I understand that that is what they are there for, I also think we have a responsibility, and duty to them, to only put/keep them in harms way when absolutely necessary.