The Paradox of Joe Leiberman

In spite of his very liberal proclivities and voting record, he’s siding with Republicans on some crucial issues.

On the Iraq/Afghanistan war:

By SEN. JOHN MCCAIN & SEN. JOE LIEBERMAN
Commentary
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2007

HAVING SPENT much of the past year mired in legislative trench warfare over Iraq, advocates in Congress seeking a mandatory withdrawal of troops are now refusing to pass funding for our forces deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

For Congress to fail to provide the funds needed by our soldiers in the field is inexcusable under any circumstances — but it is especially disappointing right now, coming at the very moment when Gen. David Petraeus and his troops are achieving the kind of progress in Iraq that few would have dared imagine possible just a few months ago.

We recently traveled to Iraq, where we saw and heard firsthand about the remarkable transformation that our brave men and women in uniform have succeeded in bringing about this year.

As every major news outlet now acknowledges, security has improved dramatically across Iraq since Gen. Petraeus took command and began implementing a bold new counterinsurgency strategy — the so-called “surge.” Today, rocket and mortar attacks have dropped to their lowest levels in 21 months. Car bombs and suicide attacks in Baghdad have plummeted 70 percent. Iraqi civilian casualties are sharply down throughout Iraq. And the number of U.S. soldiers killed in action has fallen for five straight months and is now at the lowest level in nearly two years.

Simply put: a year ago, al-Qaida was winning in Iraq. Now we are.

Our Soldiers know they have seized the momentum in this fight.

Idealistic and innovative, they rightly recognize what has happened this year under Gen. Petraeus as one of the most extraordinary turnarounds in American military history.

As a result of the hard-won gains our troops have secured, Gen. Petraeus has been able to initiate a drawdown of U.S. forces. The first 5,000 American troops are now on their way out of Iraq, with more likely to follow in the months ahead. However, we should not have an automatic timetable for withdrawing brigades. Gen. Petraeus should decide the size of the force he needs to maintain security and keep our enemies on the run.

The success that Gen. Petraeus and his troops have achieved could provide the foundation for a new bipartisan consensus about Iraq in Washington. All of us, after all, want our troops to succeed in Iraq so that they can begin to come home with honor.

Unfortunately, too many Democrats have thus far been reluctant to welcome the reality of progress –instead searching for ways to deny or disparage it.

Link: http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Sen.+John+McCain+%26+Sen.+Joe+Lieberman%3A+It’s+inexcusable+for+Congress+not+to+fund+troops+in+Iraq&articleId=b4707463-23e6-4961-880a-a74d52f89031

He backs McCain for President.

Link: http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/12/17/america/NA-POL-US-McCain-Lieberman.php

On national security:

Since retaking Congress in November 2006, the top foreign policy priority of the Democratic Party has not been to expand the size of our military for the war on terror or to strengthen our democracy promotion efforts in the Middle East or to prevail in Afghanistan. It has been to pull our troops out of Iraq, to abandon the democratically-elected government there, and to hand a defeat to President Bush.

Link: http://lieberman.senate.gov/newsroom/release.cfm?id=287039

He supports the right of citizens to own personal weapons, and he supports the death penalty.

He switched from Democrat to Independent in August, 2006.

And there’s strong speculation that he’ll deliver a keynote speech at the upcoming GOP convention:

According to The Hill, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) “is leaving open the possibility of giving a keynote address on behalf of Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) at the Republican National Convention in September.”

“Republicans close to the McCain campaign say Lieberman’s appearance at the convention, possibly before a national primetime audience, could help make the case that the presumptive GOP nominee has a record of crossing the aisle. That could appeal to much-needed independent voters.”

Link: http://politics.steidler.net/2008/04/16/lieberman-may-speak-at-gop-convention/

He’s still way too leftwing  when it comes to domestic spending, illegal aliens, Social Security, and some other domestic issues. But, all things considered he’s more moderate than his Demcoratic counterparts.

Which draws acidic criticism from people like “Blinky” Pelosi:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted Sen. Joe Lieberman on Wednesday for making what she called “totally irresponsible” remarks about Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama and warned that the Senate might retaliate by revoking Lieberman’s committee chairmanship.

……the House speaker’s rebuke of Lieberman, the Connecticut Democrat-turned-independent, is likely to please Democratic activists, who are irate at Lieberman’s sharp jabs at Obama.

Campaigning for Republican John McCain in York, Pa., on Tuesday, Lieberman appeared to question Obama’s patriotism when he called the election a choice “between one candidate, John McCain, who has always put his country first, worked across party lines to get things done, and one candidate that has not.”

“You’re right,” Pelosi said. “Joe Lieberman has said things that are totally irresponsible when it comes to Barack Obama. Here we have a leader for the future, really a great leader for the future and one that comes along only every now and then, and they know it so they have to undermine him. And one of their best weapons, of course, is someone who is considered by some to be a Democrat.”

Link: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/08/13/MNRL12AEMM.DTL&tsp=1

Patriotic democrats who put the country first are a thorn in Pelosi’s side.

For a complete breakdown of Leiberman’s stance on the issues and voting record:

Link: http://issues2000.org/Joseph_Lieberman.htm

It still remains to be seen whether Leiberman will cross the aisle, but if he does, he’ll have his work cut out. He will have to continue his shift toward the center/right to convince us of his credabilty.

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