Poor old Joe Lieberman seems to be stuck in the wrong political party. He has the values of a Republican. He has the politics of a Republican. So why is he running as a Democrat?
Lieberman's mistaken political identity is causing him to lash out at others, most notably progressive Democratic presidential candidates Howard Dean and John Kerry, who he accuses of taking the Democratic Party in the wrong direction. Hey, he ought to know -- after all, it was Lieberman and Gore who failed to defeat Cheney and Bush in 2000. Lieberman actually believes that he's got a winning record, poor man.
Lieberman has been particularly venomous against Democrats who had the audacity to oppose George W. Bush's war. Lieberman has continued to proclaim that the unprovoked invasion and occupation of Iraq was a great idea, even as evidence mounts that the case for war was built upon an mountain of out-and-out lies.
Most recently, Lieberman says of the war in Iraq:
"We must not shrink from the use of force when our security or our values are at stake."
At first, that statement sounds like a great general principle, but remember that Lieberman is talking about the war against Iraq. The facts are clear. Lieberman is wrong on both points: Iraq was not a threat to American security, and did not threaten American values much either.
The claim that Iraq threatened American security has been ripped to shreds and exposed as a bald-faced lie.
Every single argument George W. Bush made to convince Americans that Iraq was a security threat to the United States turns out to have been a brutal lie. Joseph Lieberman knows this (He's a scoundrel, but he's no idiot). Yet, Lieberman continues insist that the war was justified as a defense of American security. Thus, Lieberman joins in the shameful lies of George W. Bush.Kill Them For Their Values!
Then there's Joe Lieberman's idea that the United States must invade other countries in order to defend American values. Well, that sounds great at first, but upon reflection, it becomes obvious that going to war for the sake of values is a path of recklessness.
Which American values are we going to defend with the lives of American soldiers? The belief in a good, hard day's work? Are we now going to invade and occupy Brazil because they let their women go topless on beaches? Will our soldiers die in India because they value movies with lots of silly singing and dancing there? Who gets to decide which American values are worthy of a bloodbath?
If the residency of George W. Bush has proven anything about Americans, it's that we do not share any single core group of values. Oh, the Republicans like to say that we all have the same values, but consider the following recent signs of huge cultural divisions within the United States:
Republican Senator Trent Lott made a comment suggesting that he wished that America had stayed on the path of racial segregation. The Republican Party defended the idea, but other Americans insisted that Senator Lott resign as leader of the Republican Senate.
Earlier this year, Republican Senator Rick Santorum, and other senior Republican leaders, said that the government ought to have the power to investigate people's private acts of consensual sex in their own homes, then arrest the investigated if their sexual acts do not follow the strict guidelines set forward by government bureaucrats. No, I am not making this up. Republicans value this sort of big government moralism. Other Americans don't.
Then there's the case of professional moralist William Bennett. William Bennett, a staunch Republican, has spent years telling other Americans what kind of moral values they ought to have. Earlier this year, however, William Bennett's secret compulsive gambling habit came to public attention, and Bennett had to admit that his actions had the appearance of impropriety. It seems that instead of using his vast wealth to help people in need, as he has preached that people have the duty to do, Mr. Bennett racked up millions of dollars in gambling losses. He said it helped him to relax. Well, some Americans, mostly Bennett's supporters, thought that was just fine, but many others didn't.
There has also been a huge national division of values over the unprovoked invasion of Iraq, with one million Americans marching in defiance of the values of Bush and Lieberman on one day alone. Even at the height of the impeachment hearings, President Clinton never drew protests one tenth that size.
It's become increasingly clear over the last few years that Americans just don't see eye to eye with each other when it comes to values. How can Senator Lieberman argue that America should engage in bloody and expensive wars against other countries for the sake of American values, when Americans can't even agree amongst themselves what those values are?
Joseph Lieberman's crusade to force his conservative values on everyone else has made him look increasingly foolish. Recently, one of his aides proudly reminded a reporter that "he has taken on Hollywood." So what? What kind of Democrat believes that America's number one problem is in Hollywood? The Joe Lieberman kind, I guess.
Ooh, watch out! Hide your valuables! It's the villains who make the Talkies! They've ruined the sidewalks of Los Angeles with their handprints, and now they're coming to your neighborhood to do the same! America needs a President who can defend the nation from Ben Affleck and video rentals! If he's elected President, will Joseph Lieberman launch a Justice Department probe of Brittney Spears and the terrible looming threat of the culture of belly button jiggling? Do we have the kind of time to spend on such silliness?
So far, Joseph Lieberman's campaign has been set apart from his Democrat rivals only by Lieberman's increasingly bizarre promises to defeat George W. Bush in a national election by promising to basically do the same things that Bush is already doing. Bush lowers taxes, and Lieberman says he would have done the same. Bush goes to war, and Lieberman stands on the sidelines cheering. Bush takes an axe to the separation of church and state, and Lieberman is his partner in doing so. What makes Lieberman different from Bush, his promise to be really, really tough on Hollywood?
Lieberman has done little during the last few months but tell Democrats how they've got it wrong, saying that Democrats need to be more like Republicans. He says that people with progressive values are leading the Democratic Party down the path of destruction. Uh huh.
The more I listen to Joseph Lieberman, the more one thought comes to mind. The only plausible explanation for Lieberman's bizarre call for Democrats to become Republicans is that Lieberman is himself a secret Republican, planted within the Democratic Party by Republican operatives in order to cause trouble.
Lieberman seems to be genuinely in love with the Bush White House. It's the most tragic political love story we've seen in a long time. Poor Joe is acting out his feelings for George W. Bush by trying to gain his approval. Mr. Lieberman, we know how it feels to really want to be with someone, but to be afraid at the same time. We say, don't be afraid. Go on. Join the Republican Party. Get a job in Bush's White House. If you can't love the one you're with, be with the one you love.
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