Lieberman and the GOP: The Last Straw?

When the GOP gets clobbered in November with the angry and apathetic conservative base sitting on their hands, the Republican establishment will need to look for the stupid and self—defeating moves responsible no further than Connecticut to find Exhibit A. For with the gushing praise, Machiavellian maneuverings, and finally, open embrace of an avowed liberal at the expense of their own candidate, the GOP elite quite plainly has shown their disdain and contempt for both conservative principles and for the wishes of their rank and file supporters. They are asking for it.

Cynical political operatives will say that the Republican candidate didn't have a chance. We are at war and Lieberman was the only practical choice. To insure our survival as a nation, we must make sacrifices, and electing a pro—Israel Democrat is one such sacrifice. This reasoning ignores two critical points; Republicans have Congressional majorities now, which are at risk, and Lieberman, though powerful through seniority, is, after all, only a Senator. He is not the final word on national security.

So it has come to this.

With more than two months before Election Day, Republicans have announced the abandonment of their own candidate in support of the independent bid of Joe Lieberman. Better a friend of Israel and a defender of Bush's foreign policy, they declare, than the quixotic dream of a Republican Senator wannabe. Quitters at crunch time; the Republican National Committee has all but called their own man a loser and now has done their utmost to insure it.

Of course, by pointing to their candidate's dismal poll numbers and the impossible odds of winning in November, Republican operatives only reveal their own incompetence and guilt. Whose fault is it that a Republican candidate garners only 8% in the polls if not the party behind him? It is, after all, the duty of the Republican Party to select and support a credible candidate. The Connecticut situation perfectly illustrates the pathetic state of the GOP and the lack of political will to do what is necessary for conservatives to win.

The argument that an outsider has no chance to win in a state like Connecticut is patently bogus, disproved by the success of Lamont. Sadly but obviously, liberal zealots have more stomach for battle than their opponents and are not cowed by accepted political realities. Now, having fought with fire in their bellies and a will to win, ultra—liberal Democrats are rewarded with a candidate on the ballot and a solid chance for victory. Republicans? They have not only disgracefully abandoned their own, but now must fervently hope that half of the Gore/Lieberman presidential ticket will triumph in November. There is even talk of the GOP financing his run! Pretty demoralizing stuff for the faithful to take, no?

The abandonment of principle for expediency is bad enough, but it gets worse when one looks at the whole of Lieberman's record and recognizes the overwhelming reality that Lieberman is not even close to a moderate, despite much wishful thinking, but is a devout and effective liberal.

Lieberman likes to pose as a moral progressive; it strokes his vanity but plays poorly with the party faithful. Hollywood took a few glancing blows from Joe before his run for Vice President, you may remember. But perhaps the most memorable and telling California episode of the 2000 election (after Gore's hilarious Buddhist Temple shakedown) was Joe's prostration before the golden calf of Entertainment's elite opinion—makers, hardly the profile in courage that Rove and company would have us believe. Also, for all his big talk about Clinton's 'indiscretions' with zipper and intern in the Oval Office, when it came to vote for impeachment, Joe weaseled out. And was rewarded with a Vice Presidential slot for his non—efforts.

In 2005, Lieberman received a rating of 80 from the Americans for Democratic Action. NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) gave Joe a pure 100 percent favorable, which is understandable given his zero rating from National Right to Life. The Republican choice for Senate in Connecticut is also a proud supporter of gay rights, reparations for slavery, gun control, higher taxes for the rich, affirmative action, federal programs of all stripes and, naturally, partial—birth abortion on demand. Joe says yes to driver's licenses for illegal aliens and no to Alaskan oil drilling, yes to condoms in school, no to school prayer. His American Conservative Union rating is zero.

The fawning and eulogizing of Senator Joe Lieberman of Connecticut is nauseating. Unless Republicans have become a one—issue party there is no excuse for it. It is a refutation of personal principal, party loyalty and intellectual integrity.

What is next? New York has a loser running for Senate against Hillary. She says she supports the war. She voted for it. Perhaps Republicans will be asked to endorse her.

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