Lieberman always wants it both ways

I have never much cared for Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman. He's a Democrat and I'm a Republican, so I usually stand in opposition to his views on most domestic issues. And whereas I voice caution and disagreement with my fellow Republicans about their willingness in recent years to jump headlong into ill-advised wars, Lieberman always seems to be one of the leading hawks.

Although I should mention that Lieberman did have the courage to stand up and castigate former President Bill Clinton during the impeachment proceedings back in the late 90s.

This year, 2006, finds Lieberman facing the fight of his political life to hang on to his Senate seat, facing a Democrat Primary against businessman Ned Lamont, who has taken Lieberman to task for his unflinching support of the Iraq War. Lieberman finds himself trailing in the polls, and likely to get dumped by his party in the primary next month by a base fed up with war.

But the tactics that Lieberman has employed to deal with this crisis have eroded my respect for the man even further. As an insurance policy for his probable loss in the primary, Lieberman has also filed to run in the general election as an independent candidate, where he hopes that his many years of service to the people of Connecticut will win him another term, even if running without the Democrat Party's support.

To me, this shows a lack of principles and allegiance to his party. Lieberman always wants it both ways, reminding me of the 2000 Presidential contest, in which he was Al Gore's running mate. Though on the ballot for Vice President, he kept his name on the ballot for Senate, so that he'd still be part of the Washington power game if Gore failed to win the White House. His actions in both situations, though they display a certain amount of חוצפה, are a bit self-serving and insulting to voters, in my view.

In any case, this is one example where, politically speaking, New Jersey may actually serve as a role model for other states, believe it or not. Here in the Garden State, a candidate seeking a major-party nomination in the primary is forbidden from also filing as an independent candidate in the General Election. So this self-serving Liebermanesque manipulation of the nomination process is prohibited as a matter of statute.

"Wally Edge" at politicsnj points out that Lieberman's predecessor, Republican Lowell Weicker, won the seat from Thomas Dodd, father of Lieberman's current Senatorial colleague Christopher Dodd, who also filed as an independent candidate to hedge his Democrat Primary loss - mirroring Lieberman's current approach.

Finally, it is interesting to note that the frontrunner for the Republican nomination, Alan Schlesinger, has said with respect to Iraq that he wants "50% of the troops withdrawn within 12 months of Election Day."