"For him to accuse McCain of personal attacks is like accusing the Three Stooges of being silly."
- Rep. Barney Frank (D-Ma), denouncing Grover Norquist’s labeling of a Senate Indian Affairs committee report connecting him with convicted felon Jack Abramoff as a "personal attack" by Senator John McCain
Recently Joe Biden gave a speech in which he said that Democrats need to show leadership on national security issues. It would be nice if the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee would understand that it does, in fact, fall to him to provide that leadership, but perhaps that's asking too much.
I'll tell you what - I have too good of a memory about some of the leadership that Senator Joe Biden has displayed on National Security, particularly during the Kosovo crisis when he was publicly itching to put U.S. troops' boots on the ground, accompanying Senator John McCain in sheer defiance of President Clinton's (and Wesley Clark's) leadership and policy. There are some things that really stick with you, and you look back and see what kind of disaster you would've had on your hands had you done something like that. You thank God it didn't turn out that way.
In the case of the Iraq War, we curse the sky that it turned out the way it did, and I haven't heard Senator Biden come up with a way out...only a way to dig further in. Wesley Clark was a damned smart hawk. He showed the McCains and the Bidens of the 1999 Senate how to effectively use our military while they harped and struggled against him (and against the Commander in chief). Judging from their lack of leadership in setting a a necessary set of political parameters to intelligently get our troops out of the FUBAR mess in Iraq, I don't think they've learned a whole lot.
The following was written by Roland Paris, assistant professor of Political Science and International Affairs at the University of Colorado, Boulder:
..opponents of McCain-Biden continued to argue that the lessons of Vietnam argued against the deployment of ground forces to Kosovo: for example, some of these opponents equated McCain-Biden with the 1964 Gulf of Tonkin resolution, which, they argued, had given the U.S. president a“blank check” to wage the Vietnam War. The Senate eventually voted to table the resolution, but the debate surrounding the motion illustrated the dual character of the metaphor war in the Congress: not only was there competition to define Kosovo in the light of different historical metaphors, but there was a concurrent struggle to establish the implications of particular past events, including the Vietnam War.
Senator Clinton Clarifies Position on Connecticut Race
Markos points to an important political development. Senator Hillary Clinton has spoken out on the Connecticut primary situation in which Senator Joe Lieberman is publicly preparing for a potential run as an Independent in the event that he should lose the Democratic primary to anti-Iraq-War challenger Ned Lamont.
Hillary Clinton, no doubt properly prodded by new hire Peter Daou, has made it clear that despite making common cause with Lieberman on the war, this is about an entirely different issue. It is about respecting the party and its voters.
Senator Clinton's statement:
I've known Joe Lieberman for more than thirty years. I have been pleased to support him in his campaign for re-election, and hope that he is our party's nominee. But I want to be clear that I will support the nominee chosen by Connecticut Democrats in their primary. I believe in the Democratic party; and I believe we must honor the decisions made by Democratic primary voters. The challenges before us in 2006 call for a strong, united party, in which we all support and work for the candidates who are selected in the Democratic process.
A wise move. I'd said something similar yesterday when a blogger at the One America Committe blog had asked what position Senator John Edwards was taking on the Lieberman candidacy. I'd said:
I'm sure Senator Edwards will support any Democrat the people support. Isn't that the way it should be? Anything else is pure politics, and since he's outside the DC rat race, Senator Edwards doesn't have to play that game as Senators like Chuck Schumer are playing it right now. The adept interviewer Andrea Mitchell had a field day with Sen Schumer last Sunday on Meet the Press because it was too easy to pin him to the wall with controversial inconsistencies on his support of Senator Lieberman's campaign. What will he do now? Support Sen Lieberman as an Independent? YIKES. It's no wonder Democrats are having trouble looking unified.
Senator Lieberman has been a grave disappointment to me. I had such respect for him and I believe to this day he's a wonderful and moral man. But my confidence in his leadership has gone flat. I encourage you to read Whatever Happened to Debate and Joe Lieberman? at my blog to help you understand where I'm coming from on this issue.
Then there are the people who say the party is leaving Joe Lieberman. No one is twisting Senator Lieberman's arm to run as an Independent. It is obvious that Senator Lieberman wants to retain his seat as Senator - at any cost - even if that means dumping his Democratic credentials. The fact is this: Senator Lieberman has become less popular among the people for refusing to debate the Iraq War and worse, harshly critciizing those who stand up to do so. He finally has a serious challenger. People who want to warp public opinion about the people who make up the Democratic party will swear that the Democrats have left Joe Lieberman when the polar opposite is true. Watch Joe file the papers. Watch him cut and run.
The tide is obviously going with Ned Lamont. If Senator Lieberman's that willing to run without the party, what does that say about his estimation of the value of his own party? Jim Jeffords left the Republicans for core disagreements he had with their philosophy and their actions. Now Senator Lieberman is prepared to do the same, as is his option. But don't let him or others try to convince you that he was edged out by the party mechanisms and that Democratic party isn't the big tent we've always prided ourselves on being.
He left us (watch him run away) - we didn't leave him.
I'm waiting to see if Senator Lieberman will be the 'Zell-out' of 2008 at the Republican National Convention.
UPDATE 3pm: John Nichols of The Nation blogs about Senator Clintons willingness to only move so far toward the middle:
Clinton is trying hard to maintain a position that is at least close to the middle of the Democratic Party. That's the ground Lieberman abandoned altogether when he strongly endorsed the continued occupation of Iraq and refused to join most other Democrats -- including Clinton -- in supporting a vaguely-worded proposal by Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed and Michigan Democrat Carl Levin that urged the Bush administration to start thinking about an exit strategy.
The Washington Post (via AP) classifies Senator Clinton's recent political move as "hedging", but what if she's beginning to understand that citizens like me don't begrudge Lieberman's position on the war as much as him telling people like us citizens and our representatives that we should put a gag over our own mouths and throw a blanket over our conscience when it comes to debating the Bush administration's conduct of the war?
I've heard of flight plans to avoid prison sentences, but Ken went a bit far with this particular one.
If God will consider forgiving Ken Lay for what he and the Bush administration did when they refused to assist California and other Western states during the energy crisis, making consumers suffer electricity losses and causing them to pay unaffordable prices while laughing at them, then I suppose he's negotiating with St. Peter - I wonder if St Pete can be bribed like George W. Bush was?
Whoa - is Brian Wice prescient or what? [Look at his headline].
Regarding the trading of electricity futures, a blogger named Evan recently went along with the adage that living well is the best revenge. The idea lives on (even if Kenny boy doesn't).
You know, I'm really a kind person and I'm not proud of seeming insensitive here. I have to say that I've worked my ass off in an honest way all my life and I've never stolen from a soul. I'm not greedy; I've never had a fancy Colorado vacation home, and wouldn't expect to maintain the privilege of keeping one if I'd ripped off so many poor people in this country. I think most people will feel the same, so I am baring the darker side of my soul here. To me, Ken Lay was the poster boy for the avarice of today's Republicans. I hope their power dies in November.