Joe Lieberman: Shunned in his own party
Because he refuses to back down on his belief that going into Iraq was the right thing to do:
Five years after running as the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket and a year after his own presidential bid, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut has become an increasingly unwelcome figure within his party, with some Democrats seeing him more as a wayward son than a favorite son.
In the last few days, the senator has riled Democratic activists and politicians here and in his home state with his vigorous defense of President Bush’s handling of the Iraq war at a time some Democrats are pressuring the administration to begin a withdrawal.
Mr. Lieberman particularly infuriated his colleagues when he pointed out at a conference here that President Bush would be commander in chief for three more years and said that “it’s time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that.”
“We undermine the president’s credibility at our nation’s peril,” Mr. Lieberman said.
Much of the open criticism has been from liberal groups and House members. But his comments have also rankled Democrats in the Senate. Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the minority leader, phoned Mr. Lieberman this week to express concerns with his views, Mr. Reid’s aide said.
“Senator Reid has a lot of respect for Senator Lieberman,” said Jim Manley, a Reid spokesman. “But he feels that Senator Lieberman’s position on Iraq is at odds with many Americans.”
An aide to another leading Democratic senator who insisted on anonymity said the feelings toward Mr. Lieberman could be summed up as, “The American people want to hold George Bush accountable for the failed policy in Iraq, and Senator Lieberman doesn’t.”
Mr. Lieberman, who remains immensely popular in his home state, is aware of the hornet’s nest he has stirred.
“Some Democrats said I was being a traitor,” he said in an interview on Friday, adding that he was not surprised by the reaction, “given the depth of feeling about the war.”
Not really surprising, considering the things Sen. Lieberman has been saying all along about the Iraq war – especially lately (here and here). And as they keep pushing away from one of the very few in their party who makes sense on the Iraq war, the GOP releases an ad that appropriately describes the Democratic position on the Iraq war: Retreat and Defeat.
Oh, and the President’s ratings are up, Dems. Again. Perhaps this is the reason?
Related Toldjah So posts:
- Dems once again fail to find unified message on Iraq
- Winning in spite of defeatist attitudes
- Dems and media determined to ignore Iraq progress
- W’s approval rating rises
- The undermining of this war
- Joe Lieberman: the black sheep of the Democratic party
- A powerful reminder of why we must never waver
- MoveOn.org pulls anti-war ad
- Democrats won’t want to hear this butâ€¦
- Cheney’s smackdown speech to the American Enterprise Institute
- Dem House Representative calls for immediate troop withdrawal