A Mistake For Conservatives to Support Lieberman


By: Warner Todd Huston

Joe Lieberman is getting the first primary challenge he has had for 18 years in Connecticut’s Democratic primary. It is so off putting to the good Senator that he is claiming he will run as a “petitioning Democrat” — which means as an independent — if he should lose the primary to challenger, Ned Lamont.

There is only one reason Ned Lamont is mounting this challenge to Joe Lieberman; Lieberman’s stand on Iraq.

Lamont is a classic limousine leftist with little by way of new ideas and no real support or organization in the Democratic Party of Connecticut. But he does have the support of lefty bloggers across the country and the Bush haters of the fever swamp.

Oh, the nutroots of the lefty blogosphere have a whole litany of “reasons” that they are opposing Lieberman, but when all is said and done it is Lieberman’s perceived support of Bush’s Iraq strategy that they are mad at.

For instance, one of the nutroots’ claims that Lieberman has failed them was the Senator’s stance against Clinton during the Lewinisky scandal. But this is really just a smoke screen, a non-issue. For, despite Lieberman’s claimed stance, he still did not vote to convict the disgraced president when his chance came to stand up for his supposed convictions.

There are others, but they are equally of little substance.

So, it all comes back to the war in Iraq. That’s it. They are one-issue voters. Not voting for Lamont, but voting against Lieberman and all over that one issue.

Sadly, even though they haven’t a vote, Conservative Republicans are also one-issue voters where it concerns Joe Lieberman. They support him merely for his support of Bush’s Iraq strategy.

This is a great mistake by Conservatives.

For instance, talk show host, Sean Hannity, has been falling all over Lieberman for well over two years saying how he “admires” him and how he believes Joe is a “great man”. It is all based on Joe’s support of Bush’s Iraq plan. And, I have seen similar blind support of Connecticut’s junior senator time and again on the Right leaning blogs, too. Recently I read a line on Michelle Malkin’s new blog, Hotair.com, where a commentor said, “We’ll give you McCain and you give us Lieberman and all will be well”. I have seen other such unthinking adulation many places in the Conservative blogosphere.

All of this gushing is because of Lieberman’s support of Bush’s Iraq strategy.

It must be. Because it sure isn’t because of Lieberman’s voting record.

Lieberman has voted either outright against every Republican initiative or, as in the case of Soc. Security reform, has hedged his bet but still on the negative side of the issue. Only with Iraq policies has Lieberman voiced his agreement with Republican ideas.

In measuring Lieberman’s record, the American Conservative Union has given him a rating of “0″ for calendar year 2004, only an “8″ in 2005, and a low “17″ for his lifetime in Congress based on his votes in the Senate. (By contrast, much as my Conservative friends may not like him, McCain’s ACU rating is 72, 80 and 83 respectively.)

He voted against every Bush tax cut, voted against Justice Alito’s Supreme Court appointment, opposes traditional marriage laws, is against drilling for oil in Alaska, is for partial-birth abortion, and supports some of the absurd restrictions as outlined in the Kyoto Protocols. And this is just for starters.

Lieberman is not a “conservative” Democrat. It’s just that simple.

So, for conservatives to be won over to his support merely on that same one issue that his detractors are upset over him for is a great mistake for a true conservative to make.

There is no doubt that Lieberman has stood up to the nutroots on this one issue. He has stuck to his guns on his support for Iraq. We can all admire him for that and support his decisions in this instance. Absolutely we can hope he beats this crazy leftist, Lamont, as well. I most certainly am not saying we should pillory him as those on his own side are doing.

But to vocally and forcefully claim him an ally is a step too far. In fact it is many steps too far. Lieberman, save for this one issue, as important as that issue is, is not our friend. He is not our ally and he cannot be looked to when we need crucial support for conservative initiatives and ideals. The man is a classic 1970′s liberal.

Admittedly it is fun to see him defying the far left, fever swamp, nutroots. That is for sure. And, I must also admit that I sometimes get that twang to yell, “Go get ‘em Joe.” But I warn my fellow Conservatives: Don’t let your own desires to smack the nutroots around blind you to Lieberman’s true positions.

I cringe every time I see a Conservative blog, or radio talker slobber over Lieberman as that support is just another blow to our agenda every time it is voiced. So, the next time you think you want to cheer Joe Lieberman on, remember this Op Ed.

Joe Lieberman is NOT our friend.

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