Lieberman: This is not your father’s Democratic Party

posted at 11:21 am on July 18, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

And hasn’t been for some time, apparently.  Senator Joe Lieberman had enough standing in his party to win the nomination for VP in 2000.  By 2006, Lieberman had to run as an independent to keep his Senate seat, and while he still caucuses with the Democrats, the independent label fits better.  Lieberman tells Howard Kurtz that the warning signals began almost a decade earlier:

The freshman Democratic senator said he agreed that Congress should formally authorize military action to liberate Kuwait. “I want you to know I’ll strongly support it,” he said, “because I think it’s the right thing to do.”

There was stone-cold silence from the dozen other assembled Democrats—a reaction that Lieberman found “very troubling.”

It was the first step on a winding road that would ultimately produce a bitter breakup between Lieberman and his party. In an age when so much attention is riveted on the brass-knuckle warfare between liberal Democrats and conservative Republicans, perhaps the more corrosive fights occur within each political family, where orthodoxy is strictly enforced.

Of course, we have to get the golly-both-parties-have-gotten-extreme comment, and Kurtz obliges about halfway through his article:

In the end, says Lieberman, “I feel the Democratic Party left me. It was no longer the party it was when I joined it in the image of President Kennedy.” Of course, a similar critique could be offered of the Republican Party, which has veered so sharply right that Jeb Bush said both his father and Ronald Reagan would have had a hard time in today’s party, which “doesn’t allow for disagreement.”

Sorry, but Jeb Bush’s remark was almost satirically foolish from the moment he made it.  Perhaps Kurtz hasn’t noticed, but four of the seven Republican presidential nominees since Reagan left office were named Bush.  The others?  Bob Dole, John McCain, and now Mitt Romney, all of whom few would confuse as an ideologue on the level of Ronald Reagan.  Didn’t Kurtz even bother to apply a little critical thinking to that argument before making it as a counterpoint to Lieberman’s critique?

Everyone knows why Lieberman got ostracized from his party — the war in Iraq.  Practically alone among Democrats, Lieberman stuck to his position from the Clinton era on Iraq and the danger Saddam Hussein posed to the region.  The rest of the party, whose leaders had made public statements warning about the danger of letting Saddam loose when a Democrat was responsible for national security, flip-flopped on the issue when a Republican took over in the White House and suddenly had to make decisions on a global war on terror.  There is nothing illegitimate about a primary challenge (or for principled opposition to the war in Iraq), but Lieberman’s former friends kept mightily silent as the party’s grassroots demonized him as a war-monger who had more loyalty to Israel than the US.  It was a shameful performance, and while Lieberman ended up with the last laugh, it’s no wonder that he has no affection for his former party.

Apart from national-security matters, I don’t agree with Lieberman on much of public policy, but I respect Lieberman for sticking to his principles.  In 2003 and 2004, I thought that had Democrats nominated Lieberman instead of John Kerry to run against George W. Bush, he would have won — and it might not have been a bad outcome, both for the country and for the Democratic Party.


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In other news, water is wet.

The Count on July 18, 2012 at 11:23 AM

Dang not first. Second?

UncleZeb on July 18, 2012 at 11:25 AM

One of the few tolerable democrats.

newportmike on July 18, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Republicans are so far to the right that they nominated a democrat as their nominee!

lorien1973 on July 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

For Lieberman to stand up and give a speech before the GOP convention took guts. I disagree with him on his agreement with Jeb Bush, but I think he deserves a pass for that. I’m curious who he’ll endorse this time around. Perhaps Romney should give him a call. Perhaps McCain should too. I don’t think a Secretary of Defense Lieberman in a Romney administration would be such a bad idea.

Reggie1971 on July 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Joe, Joe, Joe,,, think a bit more.

LBJ!

End of story.

Facts count.

Your one of them, you just lie to yourself better.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on July 18, 2012 at 11:28 AM

He might be a hawk, but he still voted for ø-care.

Red Creek on July 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

UNDERSTATEMENT OF THE YEAR.

ToddPA on July 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

I disagree with Lieberman about a lot of issues, but at least I can respect him as an honorable individual. That’s more than I can say about Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Wasserman-Schultz, Waters, Schumer, and most of the rest of that motley crew of thieves and incompetents and degenerates who make up today’s Democratic party leadership.

AZCoyote on July 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Too bad Lieberman was considered enough of a Democrat for them to have had a filibuster-proof majority in the 111th. Until Brown.

Greek Fire on July 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Of course, a similar critique could be offered of the Republican Party, which has veered so sharply right that Jeb Bush said both his father and Ronald Reagan would have had a hard time in today’s party, which “doesn’t allow for disagreement.”

What?
If anything, my impression is that the GOP has veered left to the center. The comment about not allowing disagreement is fairly accurate, though.

freedomfirst on July 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Neo-communism, its been coming.

Used to be illegal, and with good reason.

Speakup on July 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

My father has never been a democrat.

Bishop on July 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

Didn’t Kurtz even bother to apply a little critical thinking to that argumen

That’s a joke, right? When’s the last time a Leftist applied, or even demonstrated! “critical thinking”?t

oldleprechaun on July 18, 2012 at 11:36 AM

Republicans are so far to the right that they nominated a democrat as their nominee!

lorien1973 on July 18, 2012 at 11:27 AM

Oh come on! We both know Romney is Reich Winger! Who else could have been governor of MA?

/sarc

gwelf on July 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

He might be a hawk, but he still voted for ø-care.

Red Creek on July 18, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Dude’s a hardcore fiscal lib, but he’s at least true to his beliefs. I can respect that. It’s disgraceful how many Dems flip-flopped(or even lied) on national security and foreign policy issues just to damage the Bush Presidency. At least Lieberman stuck to his guns no matter what it threatened to do to his political career.

Doughboy on July 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

Exactly what I’ve been telling my brain-dead, die-hard, we inherited the Dem label from our union father (and won’t stop believing Dems care about the working-class) siblings for about 15 yrs.! If my dad were still alive, he wouldn’t be a democrat anymore.

JAM on July 18, 2012 at 11:37 AM

This isn’t your father’s democrat party is as big a canard
as global warming or that unions were once useful.

New democrats are old communists: KKK,segregation,racism,Bull Conner,
and on and on….Wilson, FDR, Johnson.

lilium479 on July 18, 2012 at 11:38 AM

He caucused with the dems – thus he gave us dingy harry and after all they did to him – can’t forgive him for that!

Bambi on July 18, 2012 at 11:40 AM

Gallup:

47% believe Obama is too liberal

31% believe Romney is too conservative.

Enough said.

kevinkristy on July 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Lieberman tells Howard Kurtz that the warning signals began almost a decade earlier:

But the liberal media was never going to report on the warning signals.

Dr Evil on July 18, 2012 at 11:41 AM

Too bad Lieberman was considered enough of a Democrat for them to have had a filibuster-proof majority in the 111th. Until Brown.

Greek Fire on July 18, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Agreed, Lieberman is as far left as Pelosi.

Kjeil on July 18, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Democrats, with lies and other help from their cheerleading lapdogs in the MSM, have positioned themselves as the center of politics, the mainstream. To them, there is no such thing as an ‘extreme leftist’. There are only ‘right-wing extremists’, and anyone (like Lieberman) deviating from that groupthink is something of an enemy to them.

Democrats, like JFK and even LBJ, used to be pro-American. Now, our United States is seen as a criminal entity even when we’re attacked first and seek to retaliate. I dread to think what would have happened on 9/11 if Gore were president instead of Bush. I bet Gore would have all but surrendered, and I’d be writing this in Arabic instead of English.

Assuming I wasn’t beheaded first for being an ‘infidel’ Christian, that is.

Liam on July 18, 2012 at 11:46 AM

We have given you a Democratic Republic…if you can keep it

Benjamin Franklin

This election will be the test!

Natebo on July 18, 2012 at 11:47 AM

It hasn’t been your father’s dem party since Stephen A. Douglas.

wraithby on July 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Lieberman, Bayh and Rendell– about the only 3 I can tolerate–on a good day…with a little barley in me…

hillsoftx on July 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Lieberman has always been a open minded and respectful Dem.

IMHO, Reagan would describe him a friend & a worthy opponent. If McCain wanted his “Hands across the aisle” strategy to have worked, guys like Lieberman would have to have been in the Leadership role.

Notice how they are not, compared to 25 years ago. That’s telling.

BlaxPac on July 18, 2012 at 11:48 AM

Apart from national-security matters, I don’t agree with Lieberman on much of public policy,

Lieberman applauded Israel building a wall between them and the West Bank. However he didn’t see any need for the U.S. to build a “Fence” on our southern border. Meanwhile the United States has Mexican Drug Cartel Gangs operating in numerous U.S. cities.

Maps and Graphs showing density.
US
HAS YOUR CITY BEEN INFILTRATED BY MEXICAN DRUG CARTELS? FIND OUT HERE
Posted on July 17, 2012 at 1:44pm by Jason Howerton

Joe Lieberman more worried about Israelis security than American security. Really tells anyone all they need to know about Joe Lieberman.

Dr Evil on July 18, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Of course, a similar critique could be offered of the Republican Party, which has veered so sharply right that Jeb Bush said both his father and Ronald Reagan would have had a hard time in today’s party, which “doesn’t allow for disagreement.”

Translation: Usual media meme – “The Democrats may be bad, but ZOMG!!! LOOK AT HOW EXTREME THE RETHUGLICANS ARE!!!

crazy_legs on July 18, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Be gone, gak!

Pork-Chop on July 18, 2012 at 11:51 AM

Neo-communism, its been coming.

Used to be illegal, and with good reason.

Speakup on July 18, 2012 at 11:32 AM

When you go through citizenship naturalization you used to have to swear that you are not now a communist and have never been a member of a communist party, and I suspect that is still so. I wonder how many members of the democratic party in Congress could take that oath? Could little Bammie?

slickwillie2001 on July 18, 2012 at 11:52 AM

Ed is too soft on Liberman. He may be with us on defense, but he has vote for all of the Dem’s Marxist crap. In his mind the believing the government should operate within it’s enumerated powers is far right.

Kjeil on July 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Barney Frank is often quoted as saying:

“Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together.”

It would, indeed, be Orwellian to call the sex that Barney Frank has with his new husband “government,” but imagine the shrieks and swoons if government decided to regulate or tax it!

“One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”

- George Orwell, 1945

Resist We Much on July 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM

John McCain would have made Lieberman his VP if he could have in 2008. Face it they both were weak on illegal immigration and border security. They don’t call McCain -McAmnesty for nothing LOL! Not until John McCain was running for reelection for his Senate seat was he concerned about getting that darned fence built on his on own state’s southern border.

Dr Evil on July 18, 2012 at 11:56 AM

It would, indeed, be Orwellian to call the sex that Barney Frank has with his new husband “government,” but imagine the shrieks and swoons if government decided to regulate or tax it!

Resist We Much on July 18, 2012 at 11:53 AM

Well it could be referred to as Sexual Congress so there’s that :)

Dr Evil on July 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Pelosi: Democrats Should Skip Democrat Convention
http://www.jammiewf.com/2012/pelosi-democrats-should-skip-democrat-convention/

House minority leader Nancy Pelosi says that Democratic members should stay home and campaign in their districts rather than go to the party’s national convention in North Carolina.

Can’t wait until that’s Ex- House minority leader.

Chip on July 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

Senator Lieberman is somewhat in the mold of President John F. Kennedy but with less charisma: Social liberal, defense hawk, and somewhat middle-of-the-road on fiscal issues (President Kennedy did cut taxes, and launched the space program; while Obama has raised taxes and gutted the space program).

A lot of Democrats became very dovish during the late 1960′s after protests against the Vietnam war led to Democrats dumping LBJ. The Democrats still have the reputation for “helping the poor”, but they now kowtow everything that’s weak in America–welfare recipients, peaceniks, government unions, drug addicts, women who want abortions.

It’s a shame to see Lieberman retire–he’s about the best Senator we could get from Connecticut. Although CT has lots of affluent areas, many voters there still vote Democrat to “feel sorry for the poor”, and we’ll probably end up with a knee-jerk liberal like Susan Bysiewicz next to knee-jerk Dick Blumenarsethal elected in 2010. Linda McMahon has lots of money to win the GOP nomination, but many CT voters hate the way she made her money through wrestling, and she’ll go down in flames again. We would probably have a better chance if former Rep. Chris Shays won the nomination.

Steve Z on July 18, 2012 at 12:02 PM

Nowadays, anybody with a “D” by his/her name, actually has a “C.”

Their Party, and they, are revolting, and both stand for everything that our Forefathers abhored, and went to war to prevent.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 18, 2012 at 12:03 PM

I still think he looks like Senator Palpatine aka the Emperor aka Darth Sidious.

dentarthurdent on July 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM

In the end, says Lieberman, “I feel the Democratic Party left me.

Same thing happened to me. I was a lifelong Democrat until the early 1990s; my disillusionment began in the late 1980s when I visited New Orleans for the first time and was aghast at the results of 40 years of Democrat Party Social Engineering.

And I had to shake my head in utter amazement when the very same Democrats who all said in 1998 that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and should be taken out 5 years later suddenly forgot they said those thing, solely for political gain. A bigger bunch of hypocrites you’ll not find anywhere.

In 2000, the Democrats also tried to Steal a Presidential election. They even had the 8 Democrats on the Florida Supreme Court try to steal it for them, but this Judicial Activism was swatted down by SCOTUS 7-2.

In that election, the Democrats decided that Joe Lieberman was qualified to be President, so they nominated him as their VP.

But just a few years later, those same Democrats decided that Joe Lieberman was not even qualified to be their Democrat Senator from Connecticut.

They’re Scum. All of them except for Joe.

Del Dolemonte on July 18, 2012 at 12:06 PM

Lieberman was much better than his alternative Ned Lamont a lefty progressive. But that’s not really a difficult accomplishment being to the right of Ned Lamont. Americans still got Obamacare shoved down our throats.

Dr Evil on July 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

After the 2004 election, the leadership of MoveOn famously wrote: “Now it’s our party. We bought it, we own it, and we’re going to take it back.”

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=104×2808601

They were right — it is their party now, and there’s no room in it for a John Kennedy Democrat or a Scoop Jackson Democrat or a Zell Miller Democrat or a Joe Lieberman Democrat.

It is worth noting that the Communist Party USA no longer nominates a candidate of its own; the CPUSA now simply endorses the nominee of the Democratic Party.

J Baustian on July 18, 2012 at 12:07 PM

The rest of the party, whose leaders had made public statements warning about the danger of letting Saddam loose when a Democrat was responsible for national security, flip-flopped on the issue when a Republican took over in the White House and suddenly had to make decisions on a global war on terror.

Ed Morrissey

Actually Ed, former Dem presidential candidates Hillary, Kerry, and Clinton’s National security chief among other politically opportunistic dem liberals were constantly flapping their war hawk beaks and pounding the podium DURING Bush’s term about Saddam having WND’s and hiding Al qaeda in Iraq, and the grave need to disarm Saddam.

It was only after the war fell out of favor with the American public that those dems forgot we could google search their hypocrisy.

Cavalry on July 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM

Can’t wait until that’s Ex- House minority leader.

Chip on July 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

One of these days Princess Nana is going to get up in the House to speak, and she’s going to say “who am I and who are all you people?”, and it will all be over. Someone will quietly lead her out, and back to the winery where she will spend the rest of her days being cared for by expensive help. Our national nightmare will have ended.

slickwillie2001 on July 18, 2012 at 12:11 PM

Lieberman: This is not your father’s Democratic Party

…since Ronald Reagan…it’s not my father’s Republican party either!

KOOLAID2 on July 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

…since Ronald Reagan…it’s not my father’s Republican party either!

KOOLAID2 on July 18, 2012 at 12:17 PM

I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve been a Conservative without a Party, after Reagan.

OhEssYouCowboys on July 18, 2012 at 12:21 PM

I respect ole Liebs too, except for that brief time when he was allied with Manbearpig. Obviously we’d all be better off if the Dem party looked more like Liebs and less like Lenin.

petefrt on July 18, 2012 at 12:22 PM

The real entity that has become extreme and radicalized is our media. The US media now makes the guys that ran Pravda tear up in envy.

jukin3 on July 18, 2012 at 12:24 PM

I challenge anyone to show me how the agenda of today’s Democratic Party is different in any significant way from the following:

Program of the Communist Party USA
The Road to Socialism USA:
Unity for Peace, Democracy, Jobs and Equality

ITguy on July 18, 2012 at 12:36 PM

More and more life-long Democrats are coming to the same realization that life-long Democrat Zell Miller came to years ago:

A National Party No More:
The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat

by Zell Miller

ITguy on July 18, 2012 at 12:38 PM

The dhimocrapt party stopped being the party of our fathers when Scoop Jackson left. That was prophetically written at the time. For those who say “Who’s Scoop Jackson?”, you don’t count and you don’t know enough to get in this discussion.

Old Country Boy on July 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Thank You Sarah Palin for supporting the enemy of our enemies.

DannoJyd on July 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

The Democratic Party has become the American Democratic Socialist Party.

farsighted on July 18, 2012 at 12:40 PM

Thank You Sarah Palin for supporting the enemy of our enemies.

DannoJyd on July 18, 2012 at 12:39 PM

Thanks so much for sharing that.

F-

Del Dolemonte on July 18, 2012 at 12:45 PM

You need to be a little long in the tooth to remember your father’s Democrat party. But believe me Democrats have moved so far left you can’t see ‘em. Far Right Republicans are about where our father’s Democrat party was back in ’35 or so. My Dad was a Republican and couldn’t stand FDR. He always said Eleanor was the smartest of the two.

Herb on July 18, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Lieberman is a staunch Jew and thus understands that his party has turned against Israel and is transparently pro-Islam in its actions. Other than that, “Old Joe” is a classic unprincipled liberal politician who chose the fence-sitter route to gaining attention on key issues, by making his vote the attention getting vote, only to come down liberal, (i.e.abortion) hence his notoriety as a moderate.

Then he sold his occasionally moderate principles in a nano-second when he was asked to be Gore’s VP.

He’s a classic Mr. Etch-a-sketch Oromney type–except for Israel. The GOP ought to have been trying to spin him off by playing the Israel card better.

Don L on July 18, 2012 at 1:02 PM

Didn’t Kurtz even bother to apply a little critical thinking to that argument before making it as a counterpoint to Lieberman’s critique?

Ha ha ha ha ha. Kurtz, critical thinking? Very funny, Ed. You could put Kurtz’ brain in a thimble and still have room for your fingertip.

novaculus on July 18, 2012 at 1:08 PM

It was only after the war fell out of favor with the American public that those dems forgot we could google search their hypocrisy.

Cavalry on July 18, 2012 at 12:09 PM

A lot of Dems were for the war before they were against the war. I for one will not forget their contemptible politicking while we had people fighting and dying and the issue remained in doubt. I have a white hot hatred for Pelosi and Reid and the other Democrats saying the war was lost from the halls of Congress, undercutting the war effort for purely partisan political purposes. How I loathe and despise those people.

novaculus on July 18, 2012 at 1:19 PM

“I have over 50 employees and have been in business for about sixteen years now and I am happy to say that we have been blessed because of sacrifice. When the president made his comments last Friday about, “If you got a business you didn’t build that,” I don’t where the heck he got that from. And to me, it was a reprehensible statement and he doesn’t know what the heck is going on in this country. President Obama’s comments reflect just how unqualified he is to lead this economic recovery. He really doesn’t understand what it’s about. … As an African-American woman people think I need to vote for Obama because he’s black. Well, I’ve been black a long time and he won’t get my vote.”

- Renee Amoore from Pennsylvania, owner of The Amoore Group

Resist We Much on July 18, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Lieberman: This is not your father’s Democratic Party

No, but it is Barry and Nancy’s “Socialist Party”.

I’d include Reid, but he’s too stupid to even notice.

GarandFan on July 18, 2012 at 1:30 PM

“….It was no longer the party it was when I joined it in the image of President Kennedy.”

President Kennedy? Try when it was in the image of Franklin D. Roosevelt! Frankly I think that if either Kennedy or Roosevelt were around time, they would be cleaning house and throwing assclowns like Reid, Pelosi, Jackson-Lee, Wasserman-Schultz, Biden, Schumer, Frank, Durbin, Hoyer, Boxer, and every other off the way liberal in or out of office out of the party without the collective right to an appeal!

pilamaye on July 18, 2012 at 1:37 PM

I am waiting for the obligatory “Romney should pick Lieberman for his VP”.

DWoDiego on July 18, 2012 at 1:50 PM

Can’t wait until that’s Ex- House minority leader.

Chip on July 18, 2012 at 11:59 AM

I have to respectfully disagree with you on this one, Chip. In her current position in the Democratic party, she serves a very useful function – demonstrating to any thinking Americans the fact that the Democrats are batsh!t crazy.

“You have to pass it to find out what’s in it” – she is one of those gifts that keeps on giving.

A smarter Democrat (Steny Hoyer, for example) could have the same legislative objectives, but would go about it in a much less obvious way.

SubmarineDoc on July 18, 2012 at 1:56 PM

It’s always been the same Dimocrat lies, Joe.

The difference is the internet and the New Media which had those been around during the days when presstitutes like Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Sam Donaldson, Tom Brokaw, Andrea Mitchell before her well publicized divorce from Karl Marx etc. and an entire slew of washed-up Communist water-carriers given make-work jobs at NPR and PBS… would have been called out on their BS agit-prop for the DNC and sent packing to those make-work jobs at NPR and PBS a couple decades earlier.

viking01 on July 18, 2012 at 1:59 PM

he voted for obamacare. BZZZZZZZZZT. Next…..

maineconservative on July 18, 2012 at 4:07 PM

We know. And that is why my 88 year old dad voted for a Republican in the last presidential election for the first time in his life. He is a retired union executive who was active in the local democrat party for years and now sends his contributions to the RNC.

pgrossjr on July 18, 2012 at 7:37 PM

Worked in a Democratic Congressional office – Check
Ran campaigns for Democratic candidates at the local level – Check
Worked for campaigns for Democratic candidates at the federal, state and local level – Check
Ran as a Democratic candidate in a very Republican district – Check

Still, the Democratic Party left me about 20 years ago. Haven’t had anything to do with them since.

EdmundBurke247 on July 19, 2012 at 10:59 AM