Senator Joseph Lieberman

Senator Joseph Lieberman Passing Reminds Us Of His Significant Role In American History

Former Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman passed away yesterday at the age of 82, tragically as the result of complications from a fall.

This sad news reminds us of his significant role in American history and politics.

A comparatively conservative Senator for a Democrat, specifically on foreign policy, while quite liberal on most matters of domestic policy, Lieberman became the first Jewish candidate on a national Presidential ticket as the Vice Presidential nominee for Al Gore in the Presidential Election of 2000.

Coming to the Senate after defeating liberal Republican Senator Lowell Weicker in 1988, and backed by conservative advocate William F. Buckley, Jr, who called Lieberman his “favorite Democrat”, he lost the Democratic nomination for his seat in 2006, but ran as an Independent and defeated his Democratic and Republican opponents, serving his fourth and last term until 2012, when he retired.

Lieberman was closely associated with Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham as “hawks” on the Iraq War, and McCain considered him for the Vice Presidency in 2008, before choosing the disastrous Alaska Governor Sarah Palin.

Lieberman was always highly controversial, but also remembered as very principled and a major factor in American politics for more than a generation.

For a person such as this author who sees himself as “progressive”, Lieberman often irritated with his overly hawkish views on foreign policy, and he did not show adequate support for either Barack Obama or Joe Biden, including engaging in the NO LABELS movement, which seems, fortunately, to be going nowhere in the upcoming presidential election.

Time To Vote Joe Lieberman Out Of The Democratic Senate Caucus

Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut has really changed since he ran for Vice President with Al Gore in the Presidential election of 2000.

As a major backer of George W. Bush’s intervention in Iraq in 2003, and unwilling to back off in his support as his party turned against the war, Lieberman was challenged for reelection in the Democratic Senate primary in his home state in 2006, lost the nomination, formed an independent candidacy, and ended up winning reelection over his Democratic and Republican opponents.

He then proceeded to be very negative toward his party’s Presidential nominee, Barack Obama, and to cross party lines and support wholeheartedly the candidacy of Republican Senator John McCain, a close personal friend, who flirted with the idea of choosing Lieberman as his Vice Presidential running mate before selecting Sarah Palin.

By backing McCain, Lieberman was in danger of being read out of the Democratic party caucus and of losing chairmanship of a Senate committee. But the party decided to allow him to remain in the Democratic Senate caucus despite his official independent status, and let him be the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

Lieberman went so far as to speak positively of President Obama in the early months of the administration, therefore making many Democrats feel satisfied.

But lately, Lieberman has been his old ornery independent self, critical of Obama on foreign policy and now unwilling to support a public option on health care. So the idea that the Democrats would have 60 votes, enough to prevent a filibuster, has now dissipated.

Therefore, there is some discussion of repudiating Lieberman, and reading him out of the Democratic Senate caucus, as simply a politician unwilling to show loyalty on such an important issue as health care.

It is my view that Lieberman has been treated too well by Democrats, and does not deserve to have their support and respect,including committee leadership. I hope that he will be voted out of the Democratic caucus for lack of loyalty by the end of this year. The way he has been acting makes it seem that he may very well be better as a true independent or even maybe as a Republican.