Politics Stops at the Water’s Edge?

Sen. Joe Lieberman gave a floor speech yesterday, part of which is excerpted as an op-ed in today’s New York Post.

[T]here is one area in particular where we simply cannot afford to allow campaign politics to take over – and that is the current crisis in Iraq.

We are at war. The lives of more than 100,000 American troops are on the line in Iraq. So, too, is the fulcrum of our present and future national security.

The stakes in Iraq for our future security and our victory in the wider war against terrorism are of the highest magnitude – and our politics must catch up with that reality.

I recognize that differences of opinion about why and how we went to war in Iraq run deep and run wide. But I believe deeply that we cannot allow arguments about past policies to stop us from finding common ground to face the present and future threats in Iraq.

I agree with this in principle, but am not sure how it translates into reality. To the extent Sen. Kerry disagrees with the president on Iraq–and given his flexibility on the issue, that extent is unclear–it seems like a reasonable thing on which to focus during an election campaign. Doing it in a way so as not to undermine the war effort is, of course, desirable. But I’m not sure how that works in reality.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.