After thinking on it for quite a while, I think it is indeed time for Joe Lieberman to leave the public stage and to leave it gracefully. By all accounts however- it won’t be a graceful exit.
Senator Lieberman’s continual support for not only the Iraqi war but for the ill fated Bush-Cheney-Rumsfeld management of that war is baffling. Sure there were many in Congress who initially supported the war because of the pre-war propaganda about WMDs. Only the most gullible and idiotic Americans swallowed the notion that Iraq had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11-unfortunately that is a wide swath of the American public- but most elected officials didn’t buy that argument. The WMD case was made to Congress and the UN- and who, other than the most cynical citizens (like myself), would have doubted the intelligence that was created around this myth? Why would any person, administration or agency create lies to thrust young Americans into harms way for no tenable reason? Oil, money and a foothold in the middle east come to mind- but nobody but a group of neo-cons would think that this is a good enough reason to go to war. So- WMDs hoodwinked members of Congress. For their votes in favor of allowing George Bush to go to war, no one should be punished. I guess members of Congress are just a bit more naïve than I would have imagined.
But even if members of Congress can get a pass for their initial vote on the war because they believed the WMD rhetoric, there is NO excuse for continued support of this war- specifically the management of said war by the civilian leadership. Senator Clinton grilled Secretary Rumsfeld last week- and rightfully so. I am sure she didn’t expect him to have a mea culpa moment, but it needed to be said- and it needed to be said to his face. But Good ol’ Joe continues his support of the war and the disastrous management of the war. Has there ever been a military campaign with so many blunders since Napoleon decided to invade Russia in the midst of winter? If for no other reason- he should go.
When he ran for Vice President he kept his Senate seat- kind of like a High School Senior applying to a safety school. That in itself isn’t a big problem- other Senators have done the same when they have run for higher office, but he was running his campaign for the Senate at the same time he was running for Vice President. Doesn’t show so much loyalty to the ticket does it? Now he says he will run as an independent if he loses his primary bid. Tell me- is he a loyal democrat? Is he a man of conviction? Or a man that just needs to stay in the Senate for his own ego? Looking at his 2000 action and his 2006 threat to run as an independent, I have come to the conclusion that it is all about Joe.
If Ned Lamont wins the primary- and all indications are that he will- Joe Lieberman should exit the national stage with grace and elegance, not with bitterness and rancor. Will he step up and be the gentleman he portrayed himself to be during the 2000 Presidential election? I hope so- but I fear not.