Thursday, May 17, 2007

Has Joe Gone Too Far?

ABC News' Jake Trapper has a post over at Political Punch that makes me question my fondness for Senator Joe Lieberman. Apparently...

Last month Sen. Joe Lieberman -- the Independent Democrat from Connecticut who just seven years ago was the Democratic Party's nominee for vice president -- endorsed for re-election Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. His leadership PAC even gave her campaign committee $5,000. Next month, as first reported by the Washington Post, Lieberman will co-host with Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., a Capitol Hill fundraiser for Collins.

When Joe got elected, he made it clear that he would still consider himself a Democrat even though he was elected as an Independent. We've seen him side with Republicans on a few issues (most notably the War in Iraq), and I was fine with that. I think a "rank and file" Senate is a terrible thing for American politics. But, this has gone too far. This is not the action of a "moderate Democrat," which I sincerely thought Joe was. This is the action of a Republican. Even if you switch sides on certain issues, you still support your team during election season. Perhaps this is because many Democrats supported Ned Lamont in Joe's Senate race, while some Republicans (most notably in the context of this post: Susan Collins) supported Joe. Perhaps he feels like he has been wronged by the Democrats. And perhaps he has. But, Susan Collins didn't do anything that deserves to be paid back. The only real options in that Senate race were Joe and Liberal Lamont. Of course she supported him. The options in this upcoming Senate race are a Republican and a Democrat. Collins is one of the more vulnerable incumbents. The Democrats could strengthen their majority, but Joe is supporting her anyway. I suppose this could also come back to the war issue. Collins, like Lieberman is pro-war. Presumably, her opponent will campaign on an anti-Iraq war platform. So, it makes sense that Joe would support other war supporters. But, as long as he claims to be a Democrat, I think he should support his party, even if they didn't support him.

Oddly enough, I would be praising him if he just embraced the term "independent." I'm always going on about how we need a legitimate Independent party, and I think Joe would be the ideal person for such a party. But, he still claims to be a Democrat. And, as this point, I just don't see why.

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