2006/08/28

Lieberman responds

Senator Joe Lieberman responds (In a way that bloggers can respond back to) by writing an editorial for the Hartford Courant. He complains about people taking their politics too seriously, identifying the problem as: "partisanship and polarization that is blocking us from addressing the issues." Funny, I thought it was called democracy in action.

His comments on saving the submarine base at Groton are heartwarming IF one agrees that America needs that base and that money spent on the base is money well-spent. Not having looked into that particular issue, I can't really say, but I'm not aware that submarines have done much for US national security over the past two decades without a Soviet Union to oppose.

Lieberman is correct in identifying his "different way forward" as distinct from Ned Lamonts preferred mode of confrontation to the President. But his idea of handling the issue:

"I believe that the best way for us to win the war in Iraq is to come together - the administration, Congress, and Republicans and Democrats - to find a solution that will allow our troops to come home with Iraq united and free, with the Middle East stable and the terrorists denied a victory."

is fatally flawed by the utter and total lack of cooperation from the President. As Bob Edgar, the head of 38-denomination National Council of Churches said back in January 2003: "We're asking [President Bush] to at least listen to us before he makes the final decision to go to war." By March, it was clear that religious representatives were getting frustrated over their inability to dialogue with Bush:

"The entreaties of the pope and the cardinal seem not to have persuaded Mr. Bush, who at a news conference a day later made clear that war was imminent and that if necessary, the United States would wage it alone, without the support of the United Nations. If so, many Christians say the attack would not be a 'just war,' according to a theory developed by St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, because it would not have what they consider proper authority, an important requirement for a just war."

More recently has of course been the case of Cindy Sheehan, a woman who did not consult with Democratic pollsters and strategists before heading out to speak with the President in Crawford, TX. ( I'm not even sure she's met with Democrats since then, either.) But Bush's reasons for not meeting with her were entirely political.

"For Bush, Sheehan's presence seems to create a no-win situation.

"If he invites her to talk, he further elevates her protest, potentially angers the other families of the more than 1,850 Americans who have died in Iraq and provides Sheehan a greater forum to spread her anti-war views.

"If he ignores her, he risks appearing so callous that he doesn't have the time, or the inclination, to spend a few minutes of his vacation with a mother who lost her son as a direct consequence of the president's foreign policy decisions."

As we know, Bush decided on "callous." Bush was never the slightest bit interested in discussing his policy with anyone who disagreed with him, a fact made very clear by Paul Koring of Toronto's Globe and Mail

" 'I will never question the patriotism of somebody who disagrees with me,' [Bush] said, raising the very issue. In fact, questioning the patriotism of political opponents who crossed the Bush administration over the war in Iraq, both before it was launched and ever since, has been routine."

Senator Lieberman ought to concentrate his persuasive powers where they need to be concentrated, on the President and the President's supporters in the Repbulican Party. We on the anti-war left are not the ones who need lecturing or persuading.

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