Friday, December 09, 2005

Lieberman is on the outs

We all know and (to some degree) dislike Senator Lieberman. Somehow, whenever Democrats are making headway in the media and American consciousness, he is there to undercut our efforts. He has become the go-to-guy for Fox News to spin its "Democrats don't know what they stand for" mantra.

The other day, Lieberman said:

It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril

Noted hawk and recent Democratic hero, Jack Murtha responded:
Undermining his credibility? What has he said that would give him credibility?"
Then we get this from a subscription only Roll Call article:

Up until now fellow Senate Democrats have declined, at least publicly, to criticize Lieberman, although privately many acknowledge there is growing frustration with the conservative Democrat. But in what could be a sign that Reid's patience is growing thin, the Minority Leader Tuesday all but rejected a Lieberman proposal for a new "war council" made up of military and Congressional leaders similar to the one used by former President John F. Kennedy during the Vietnam War.

While saying "I think the world of Joe Lieberman," Reid nevertheless panned the council proposal as useless until the White House fully engages Congress on Iraq policy decisions.

"Frankly, until we get some direction from the White House, we can have all the meetings in the world, but until we get the commander in chief involved we're not going to get anywhere," Reid said, adding that his statement was a "very, very, very qualified no" as to whether he would support the formation of a war council.

There is a political myth that the right has been perpetuating for the last few years. It says that one cannot be critical of the president in times of war because criticism of the president is tantamount to criticism of the war itself, of the troops, and of giving aid and comfort to the enemy. Lieberman's statements give truth to this wretched lie, and I am glad it seems like the leadership within the party is slapping him down.

Howard Dean today says this:
"I think that's mostly press gobbledygook," he said. "The press wants to focus on the differences. The differences are pretty small, perhaps Senator Lieberman excepted."
The title of the article I read cannot get much better--"Dean: Democrats have United Plan." The party seems to be coalescing around the Murtha plan, or at least one that is very, very similar. We already know that Nancy Pelosi was on board, and it now seems like Reid will be too.

Dean's mouth may get away from him some times, but he isn't stupid. He knows how good Reid has been in the Senate, and understands how vital it is for all of our leaders to be singing in harmony. He has worked with the party for the past year and I am guessing he had a good conversation with Reid sometime last night over exactly how to craft the Democrats message on Iraq. That slight against Lieberman was no slip of the tongue. It was retribution.

Lieberman, it seems, is out. Everyone else is in.


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