Monday, March 9, 2009

Just Lieberman Being Lieberman...

When their approval ratings are high enough, I guess it's ok to pal around with terrorists:
Sen. Joe Lieberman has changed his tune on Barack Obama. After campaigning across the country for Republican John McCain in 2008 and attacking Obama as naive, untested and unwilling to take on powerful special interests, Lieberman now showers praise on the popular new Democratic president. "He's shown real leadership," Lieberman told The Associated Press in an interview. "Bottom line: I think Barack Obama, president of the United States, is off to a very good start."

The Connecticut independent, who faces re-election in 2012 in a state where Obama is popular, is eager to mend fences with Democrats still fuming over his criticism of Obama during the general election campaign. Lieberman has applauded Obama's national security team. He gushed over Obama's "inspirational and unifying" inaugural. Lieberman even played a key role helping Obama win Senate passage of the economic stimulus plan.
. . .
Lieberman scoffed at any suggestion his embrace of Obama is more about political expediency than principle.

"I haven't changed ... I've always had a voting record that is more with the Democrats than with the Republicans," he said.
Yeah, your voting record is more with the Democrats than it is the Republicans. Knowing this fact, some might ask why you tirelessly campaigned for the Republican Presidential candidate and spoke at the Republican convention, but whatever. It's not like facts have stopped him before:
Many Democrats still chafe at how Lieberman needled Obama during his Republican National Convention speech with the line "eloquence is no substitute for a record."

Or when Lieberman cast the race as a choice between "one candidate, John McCain, who has always put the country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate who has not. Between one candidate who's a talker, and the other candidate who's the leader America needs as our next president."

Lieberman said he understands why he struck a nerve with Obama's backers.

"We were in the middle of a campaign and we just plain disagreed ... When I said those things not only did I believe them, but I believe looking at the records of the two people then, they were right," Lieberman said.

Lieberman said he never meant to suggest that Obama did not put his country first. Lieberman said his words were "too subject" to that interpretation and that he wishes he had spoken more clearly.
Too subject to interpretation? How about this?

NAPOLITANO: Hey Sen. Lieberman, you know Barack Obama, is he a Marxist as Bill Kristol says might be the case in today’s New York Times? Is he an elitist like your colleague Hillary Clinton says he is?

LIEBERMAN: Well, you know, I must say that’s a good question. I know him now for a little more than three years since he came into the Senate and he’s obviously very smart and he’s a good guy. I will tell ya that during this campaign, I’ve learned some things about him, about the kind of environment from which he came ideologically. And I wouldn’t…I’d hesitate to say he’s a Marxist, but he’s got some positions that are far to the left of me and I think mainstream America.

Or this:
"I wish he would acknowledge the surge is working, rather than changing his position on how and when we should exit Iraq, without acknowledging that these are changes of positions that are understandably based on conditions on the ground. A president's credibility is based on the courage of his or her convictions, his or her acceptance of reality, and consistency of views are critical elements of national leadership. A president who squanders those does so at our nation's peril."
Or this...
LIEBERMAN: Well, I think that - let me say generally that Sen. Obama doesn't come to this debate with a lot of credibility. Basically on the question of Iraq, John McCain has had the guts to stand out on his own arguing for what he thought was right. And it turned out that he was right about the surge working to improve conditions in Iraq.

If we did what Sen. Obama wanted us to do last year, Al-Qaeda in Iran would be in control of Iraq today. The whole Middle East would be in turmoil and American security and credibility would be jeopardized.

Joe Lieberman really is the textbook example of why people hate politicians.


  1. ahahahah wow i haven't seen all those quotes collected in one place before, they're great.

    "obama? yeah he seems like a nice guy but honestly he's also a marxist anti-american radical who wants to feed iraq to the iranians."

    "did i say something like that? perhaps i wasn't clear, obama is great! uh please reelect me..."

    connecticutans having extreme buyers remorse is really annoying, i want to say it serves them right for electing the guy- but then i want to sympathize with them because damn, they're being represented by joe lieberman. choices, choices...

  2. As a (former) Connecticut voter, I can explain Lieberman's 2006 reelection to an extent.

    Obviously Lieberman needed the support of a chunk of democrats to win CT, as there are more democrats than republicans there. But they're really not his base: if you look at these CNN electorate graphs, it's hard to argue that he didn't win as a republican under another name.

    Remember, despite reliably going democrat on the presidential level, Connecticut is the most conservative state in the northeast aside from NH (which is just weird and is more like the mountain west than anything). The number of blue laws, and weird tax regulations in CT is ridiculous – even democrats run on things like property tax caps at the local level. Hell, it's only illegal for states to ban contraceptives because of Griswold v. Connecticut.

    Thus, although Lieberman is facing the consequences of his support for McCain now that Obama has won, a McCain win would probably have meant that a safer seat than he had before. I'm not even totally convinced that it's in jeopardy now, though I certainly fucking hope it is, as four years is a long time. His support may have been a gamble, but it was clearly a political move rather than a sacrifice.

    As for the 33% of dems who voted for him: he was the incumbent. It's why he had a shot of winning at all as an independent, and why he won. It's an unbelievable advantage to be able to print bumper stickers that say "I'm stickin with Joe" rather than "Vote Lieberman." Between the demographics and his incumbency, his win wasn't all that impressive. It was precisely about maintaining the insane status quo of the conservative democratic party.

    In any case, this analysis also explains something about his political style. He's not going against the grain of popular opinion with his "bipartisanship," his positions are just the result of a strange electorate.

  3. But yeah, those quotes are fucking hilarious.