Just Say NO To A Jumpin’ Joe


By: Warner Todd Huston

As election night began, there was a discussion on a news radio station about the Senate races. Joe was mentioned. No not “The Plumber,” or the one from Scranton, but Lieberman. The news anchor mentioned that people are now waiting to see if Joe Lieberman will switch his party and become a Republican. Well, as Republicans, we should all be saying NO to a jumpin’ Joe. A Republican Joe Lieberman will do no good for anyone. Not Joe, not Connecticut and most importantly not the Republican Party.

Now, one might disagree in light of the fact that the GOP is almost nonexistent on the East Coast and most especially among the Original Thirteen. Wouldn’t it be nice, some may say, to have at least one Republican among the blue mass to serve our needs?

To that, of course, one must answer in the affirmative. But, would Joe Lieberman, could Joe Lieberman be that man? To that, with a little reflection, one simply must say no. Joe Lieberman cannot be that man.

To be sure, Senator Lieberman was a great ally for his support of John McCain. For that we must be grateful to him. With that support, he has made himself a pariah to his own party from which he will certainly see retribution. He will find himself on the outside looking in as the new administration gear up to govern.

At that rate, he may as well jump ship and try on the mantle of the GOP, right? Not so much.

First of all, if Joe Lieberman becomes a Republican he can kiss another term goodbye. The Republican Party in his home state is practically nonexistent and registered Republican voters a pittance. According to Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz’ office, out of the 2,097,635 registered in Connecticut only 427,020 are registered as Republicans. By contrast, 779,784 are Democrat and 883,274 are registered as Independents.

To stay in office, Lieberman must stay with his wink and a nudge status as “Independent.” Everyone knows he’s a Democrat in reality and that he only took the Independent title because forces outside of his state attacked him in the last election. His voters know it and so does everyone else. But, if he formally dumps the Party he will lose far too many voters to be able to stay in office in blue, blue Connecticut.

Of course, everyone also knows that Lieberman has been one of our go-to guys on the war. Joe Lieberman had been great on the war, there is no doubt. He has been right on target in every respect. So right, in fact, that conservatives and Republicans the country over have fallen in love with the man. Radio talkers like Sean Hannity have fallen all over themselves to praise the Senator and a universal exclamation of thanks has been on the lips of every center right war supporter.

Yes, he deserves those accolades.

But that does not make him one of us.

Lets face it. Joe Lieberman is right on the war and wrong on everything else. And I do mean everything else. He is pro-abortion (with a 100% NARAL rating), high on taxes, pro-embryonic stem cell research, and big on the full list of liberal causes. In every way but one he is a standard, everyday liberal. And he doesn’t come down on our side on practically any issue but the war.

And this is just the thing. If Joe Lieberman jumped the blue ship we would find a man that simply won’t vote our way on any issue but one. The only thing that Lieberman would do for the GOP is to add a single number to our total, but that one number would add nothing to our power to govern. A Republican Joe Lieberman won’t do a thing for the Republican caucus.

Worse, if we accept Lieberman what will we have to give him in return? Politics is a one hand washes the other business and if Joe comes our way we will most assuredly have to give him something. And no matter what we give him it will defeat our principles because to meet Joe Lieberman in the middle on any issue will be a sharp turn to the left.

If Joe Lieberman officially becomes a Republican, he will not get re-elected. And while we have him he will not be able to vote our way on anything. All we will get is a number. And that won’t do any good for anyone.

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