Lieberman: Democrats Protectionist, Isolationist, Hyperpartisan
“Independent Democrat” Joe Lieberman says he hasn’t left the Democratic Party — they’ve left him.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Lieberman, Independent of Connecticut, said it is not the same party that made him its vice presidential candidate in 2000. “It’s not the Bill Clinton-Al Gore party, which was strong internationalists, strong on defense, pro-trade, pro-reform in our domestic government,” he said. “It’s been effectively taken over by a small group on the left of the party that is protectionist, isolationist, and very, very hyperpartisan. So it pains me.”
[John] McCain, he said, is “a reformer, somebody who understands ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country and remembers the other part of the Kennedy inaugural, which said that we will bear any burden, pay any price to assure the survival and sustenance of liberty. That’s John McCain.”
Here’s the video:
I’ve been reluctant to draw the Lieberman-Miller parallel, in large part because Miller voted with Republicans on everything, whereas Lieberman still votes with Dems on most domestic policy issues. But Scherer’s right; Lieberman’s denunciation of the Democratic Party is, at a minimum, Miller-esque, and should disqualify Lieberman from holding any kind of seniority within the caucus.
Of course, stripping him of his seniority would give him a legitimate reason to break his campaign pledge that he’d caucus with the Democrats. If Lieberman switched sides, the Republicans would control the Senate via Dick Cheney’s tie-breaking ability.
As to Lieberman’s charges themselves, they’re a little strained. Certainly, neither party has a monopoly on being hyperpartisan. The Democrats have been protectionist for years; Clinton and Gore were outliers and NAFTA was passed mostly on the strength of Republican support. And the Democrats aren’t isolationists. They want to intervene in Darfur and are more activist than most Republicans on global warming, Tibet, and other international issues. They just want out of Iraq.