View Full Version : The Left falls back in love with Joe Lieberman as he throws them some scraps

12-20-2010, 04:01 PM

Picture of Collins and Lieberman walking out after DADT repeal.


The left may still hate his hawkish politics, but the independent’s lead role in repealing ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ earned him respect. Howard Kurtz talks to Lieberman about what drove his vote.
For the senator most reviled by much of the left, it was the chance to deliver an elusive victory on a cause long embraced by liberals.
Joe Lieberman, the exiled Democrat, worked tirelessly in rounding up enough votes for the Senate to repeal the don’t ask don’t tell policy in a rare Saturday session.
You could practically hear some lefties swallowing hard in giving grudging credit to a man who lost his Democratic primary in Connecticut four years ago, only to win as an independent, speak at the 2008 GOP convention and nearly wind up as John McCain’s running mate.

"I know a lot of people on the left were angry with me on the Iraq war, on the public option,” Lieberman told me. “There’s nothing inconsistent in my saying I’m going to break my butt—excuse me, my back—in trying to pass climate change legislation and repeal don’t ask don’t tell.
“In our time, people want to put you in a box. The liberal box, the conservative box, the Democratic box, the Republican box. Most people in the country don’t fit into a box, so why should I?”
Partisans, however, have long memories—although with eight Republicans joining the Democrats to overturn the military’s ban on gays serving openly, the issue ultimately transcended party lines.
Andrew Sullivan, the gay Atlantic blogger who has championed repeal of DADT, dubbed Lieberman a “civil rights hero.” But Alex Pareene, a liberal blogger for Salon, declared that “it’s still OK to hate Joe Lieberman”—the “single most annoying man in the United States Senate”—because he remains a “sanctimonious troll.”
• Linda Hirshman: The Soldiers Who Ended Don't Ask Don't TellLieberman says he doesn’t know whether the battle will help him politically, and his relationship with home-state Democrats may have deteriorated beyond repair. A Quinnipiac poll last January gave him a 27 percent approval rating among Democrats, and several Dems are weighing a primary challenge for 2012. Lieberman’s long-winded preachy style can sound grating to those who disagree with him. But for those who believe that keeping gay soldiers in the closet was a national disgrace, his appeals for equality sounded eloquent.
“Most people in the country don’t fit into a box,” Lieberman says, “so why should I?”

hen I asked Lieberman why he felt so strongly about the issue—he co-sponsored a gay rights bill as a Connecticut legislator in the 1970s—he went on for a bit quoting the self-evident truths of the Declaration of Independence. But then he turned more personal:
“I’m a Jewish-American,” he said, “a member of a minority group raised from the earliest part of my life to be deeply grateful for all the rights and opportunities and freedom afforded Americans.”
Growing up in Stamford, he said, “I had no real awareness of anyone who was gay.” He met some gays at Yale, “but they were still really covert.” He recalls learning that a “wonderful teacher” of one of his children was gay, and over the years, “as I was meeting with gay rights groups, all of their stories were in my mind.”
Lieberman has always had a strong moralistic streak. In the 1980s, he teamed up with former Reagan aide William Bennett to denounce the entertainment industry for cultural pollution. In 1998 he expressed his “deep disappointment and personal anger” in chastising Bill Clinton on the Senate floor for the infamous affair with Monica Lewinsky. That helped land him a spot on Al Gore’s ticket. Joe and Hadassah seemed a refreshingly human presence in the 2000 campaign—and would have wound up in the vice president’s mansion if not for the Florida recount.

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12-20-2010, 06:08 PM
they can have him

12-20-2010, 06:14 PM
they can have him
^^ this

12-20-2010, 06:29 PM
Sweet. Now we don't have to deal with 'im.