Sen. Joseph Lieberman delivered a stemwinder Thursday that excoriated the Democrats for being “emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq” and for having abandoned the foreign policy legacy of Harry Truman, Scoop Jackson and John F. Kennedy. As if to underscore his point, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tossed up yet another attempt to use funding to force the president to pull troops out of Iraq in spite of the recent signs of success that even the mainstream media is starting to acknowledge.
On last night’s Special Report, the Fox all-star panel compared and contrasted Pelosi and Lieberman. When the subject turned to Hillary Clinton, resident liberal Mara Liason admitted that Clinton’s stands on the war and the surge reflect nothing more than Democrat politics. Fred Barnes exposes that kind of shifting and game-playing on the war for what it is.
The Corner has a partial transcript of the exchange.
MARA LIASSON: I think there are risks [to this narrative], and that’s why you’re not going to hear Hillary Clinton saying something like that if and when she gets the nomination. . . . She has actually said that she has seen progress in Anbar Province, She has acknowledged that there has been military progress.
BARNES: Then why is she still against the surge?
LIASSON: Because she’s running in a Democratic primary.
BARNES: Okay, then she’s just intellectually dishonest, you’re saying.
KRAUTHAMMER: And that’s news?
LIASSON: She’s performing the balancing act that every potential frontrunner or nominee tries to do.
BARNES: You know what it’s not? It’s not leadership and it’s not presidential.
Here’s part of Lieberman’s speech.
I understand that President Bush is a divisive figure. I recognize the distrust that many Americans feel toward his administration. I recognize the anger and outrage that exists out there about the war in Iraq.
But there is something profoundly wrong—something that should trouble all of us—when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops.
There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base—even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.
For me, this episode reinforces how far the Democratic Party of 2007 has strayed from the Democratic Party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, John F. Kennedy, and the Clinton-Gore administration.
That is why I call myself an Independent Democrat today. It is because my foreign policy convictions are the convictions that have traditionally animated the Democratic Party—but they exist in me today independent of the current Democratic Party, which has largely repudiated them.
I hope that Democrats will one day again rediscover and re-embrace these principles, which were at the heart of our party as recently as 2000. But regardless of when or if that happens, those convictions will continue to be mine. And I will continue to fight to advance them along with like-minded Democrats and like-minded Republicans.
The whole thing is worth a read.