Holy Joe Lieberman Was Resurrected After Three Days

I don't get it. Why is it so hard for the Democrats to kick Holy Joe Lieberman to the curb that he has so dearly earned? There are some reasons at the link (they're not afraid of him using his committee chairmanship to attack Obama, the president-elect wanetd them to forgive and forget), but are they the last people on earth who realize that Lieberman is one of the true scrubs of American politics, an unliked and unlikeable scold who can only elicit applause at John Hagee's church and the occasional PMRC reunion tours?

Let's turn the clock back a little. When Lieberman endorsed John McCain, it was supposed to help McCain court a few sought-after groups of voters. First, Jewish voters who might have a problem with a candidate who wanted to meet with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and, oh yeah, was named "Barack Hussein Obama." Second, independents. Third, voters in Lieberman's own state of Connecticut, a swing state as recently as 1992, and New Hampshire, a swing state every year since then.

How'd it go?

Jewish voters: John Kerry won them, 74-25 percent. Obama won them by more, 78-21.

Independents: Kerry won them, 49-48 percent. Obama won them by more, 52-44.

Connecticut and New Hampshire: Kerry won them, 55-44 and 50-49. Obama won them by more, 61-38 and 54-45. Obama's victories in both states were the biggest for any Democrat since LBJ, and I believe he's the first Democrat to every sweep every county in New Hampshire.

Senators protecting their own, nothing new. Senators protecting such an obvious loser... that's more unusual, isn't it?

UPDATE: There's some murmuring in the comments about why any reasonoid should care about this. Well, two years ago, when it looked like the video game-banner and drug warrior from Connecticut had lost his Senate seat, we fired off 21 guns. A Lieberman-free Senate would be a better Senate, insofar as such a thing might exist. It's been amusing/irritating to see Lieberman heralded, in his post-Democratic career, as a force for bipartisanship and independence. He's not: He's a full-scale nanny stater who gets squeamish when people behave in ways he doesn't like. Watching his McCain endorsement backfire or fall flat should have killed Lieberman's image once and for all, but apparently that image has George Romero and Lucio Fulci qualities.

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  • ellipsis||

    Much as I dislike vinegar Joe, those numbers reflect on Kerry mostly, if not completely. Joe Biden isn't much less of a scold.

    And BTW, they can't kick Lieberman out until January. If they did, the GOP would have Senate majority until then.

  • ||

    1. He is a reliable liberal on most things.

    2. The only thing he broke from the party on was the war. Now that the Dems are in charge they are going to have to fight so that isn't such a big deal anymore.

    3. No Senator wants to have to have a self criticism session because the nutroots demands it.

  • Not That Michael||

    Are you saying that The Dems should boot Lieberman because he bogged down the McCain campaign enough to allow an Obama victory?

    Huh?

  • ||

    Senators protecting their own, nothing new. Senators protecting such an obvious loser... that's more unusual, isn't it?

    In the Senate, I don't think there's really any difference between one of "their own" and "an obvious loser."

  • ||

    Senators protecting such an obvious loser... that's more unusual, isn't it?

    That's a rhetorical question, right Dave?

  • ||

    Are you saying that The Dems should boot Lieberman because he bogged down the McCain campaign enough to allow an Obama victory?

    There's no way to know, of course, but I wouldn't be surprised that McCain's obsession with pushing his bipartisan cred, embodied on-stage by Joe Lieberman, wasn't one of the bigger drags on his campaign. I think the current analysis is that McCain lost not because he was swamped by a tidal wave of new pro-Obama voters, but because the Republican base declined to turn out for him.

  • ||

    The Democrats can't kick Joe too hard, because he is one of their own. Take away his anti-Muslim foreign policy, and he agrees with them on nearly everything else. He's one of the most liberal Senators for a very very blue state. If you start criticizing him too hard, you end to criticizing liberalism itself, and the Democrats can't have that.

    If the Dems didn't capitulate to the moonbat KosKids and kick him out of the party, he would never have endorsed McCain. It's their fault for making it personal.

    p.s. Not that I'm defending Lieberman. I think that 98 of the senators need a good kicking to the curb, and I'm only excusing the remaining two because I can't remember their names.

  • Tingle||

    "I don't get it. Why is it so hard for the Democrats to kick Holy Joe Lieberman to the curb that he has so dearly earned?"

    Who made you judge and jury, asshole?

  • ||

    2. The only thing he broke from the party on was the war. Now that the Dems are in charge they are going to have to fight so that isn't such a big deal anymore.

    He endorsed the other party's presdential candidate and some of their Senate opponents. They wouldn't kick him out of the caucus, just strip him of his seniority. This also happened when some Dem Senators backed AuH2O. Once again, the Democrats show they're a bunch of pussies.

    Hopefully, Joe will be gone in 2010.

  • ||

    What if a Senator had broken ranks with the Republicans and endorsed Barr and the Republicans were kicking him to the curb? Reason would be having a fit. Well, Lieberman as pointed out above, agrees with the Dems on damn near everything but the war in Iraq. The war in Iraq is over for intents and purposes. Why should the Dems kick out a guy who agrees with them on so much? Party loyalty? Since when did Reason become such a big proponent of major party solidarity?

  • the innominate one||

    If the Dems didn't capitulate to the moonbat KosKids and kick him out of the party, he would never have endorsed McCain.

    Yeah, darn those voters, choosing the wrong person.

  • ||

    Lieberman is a complete tool, but the lack of Dem action on him is, I think, more of a symptom of the growing chasm between the political class and the rest of us proles. No matter how much of a dickwad he is, he's one of them, has been for years, and has shown he can get re-elected and continue to be one of them.

  • ||

    "Hopefully, Joe will be gone in 2010."

    Unless he commits a felony or dies, he will be in office until 2012 since he was re-elected in 2006. The people of Connecticut like the guy. I doubt he is going anywhere even in 2012 when he actually has to stand for re-election.

  • ||

    "I think, more of a symptom of the growing chasm between the political class and the rest of us proles."

    All of the proles in Connecticut re-elected the guy. How is not punishing him showing a chasm between the political class and the rest of us. The only people who seem to have a problem with Lieberman are nuts on the web and journalists. The voters in his state don't seem to.

  • ||

    I had to google PMRC.
    I am soooo embarrassed.

  • ||

    Lieberman does suck. But so do most other Senators. Lieberman's presence does, however, have the advantage of annoying that douchbag Kos. It is not like the guy who would have replaced Lieberman would have been any better. At least with Lieberman you know the nutroots are pissed off.

  • ||

    John -
    he's wasn't elected as a Democrat, recall? Ned Lamont beat him in the democratic primary. If anything, isn't that an indication that Connecticut voters don't consider him much of a democrat? So if you're going on whether or not the Democrats should kick him out of their caucus based on whether or not the voters who elected him think he's a democrat, wouldn't the answer to that be that they should kick him out of their caucus?

  • The Senate||

    We accept him! We accept him! One of us! One of us! Gooble gobble, gooble gobble! One of us! One of us!

  • Tingle||

    "Since when did Reason become such a big proponent of major party solidarity?"

    Weigle isn't Reason.

  • the innominate one||

    If anything, isn't that an indication that Connecticut voters don't consider him much of a democrat?

    No, it's just an indication that they preferred Ned Lamont over him.

  • ||

    "If anything, isn't that an indication that Connecticut voters don't consider him much of a democrat?"

    No I think it is an indication that the people of Connecticut for whatever reason like their Senator and weren't going to let a bunch of dickheads from out of state tell them who to elect. Should he be kicked out of the caucus? I don't know. I think that is up to the Dems. I don't see how the fact that he wasn't says anything one way or another other than that the other Dem Senators seem to like him. Why Reason should care whether he is kicked out is beyond me. Like I said above, it is not like Tom Colburn or someone. The next guy is going to be just as bad or worse than Lieberman.

  • Gus||

    "Ned Lamont beat him in the democratic primary. If anything, isn't that an indication that Connecticut voters don't consider him much of a democrat?"

    No, it means the voters don't consider Lamont Senator material.

  • Abdul||

    Lieberman is one of many Democrats who supported the war in Iraq, never wavered when the going was stiff, and still supports it today. Most other Democrats supported the war, wavered, and are now relieved because the Surge took Iraq off the front page.

    Lieberman might, therefore, lend a little national security credibility to the party that seems to support wars based on what the front page looks like.

    (Disclaimer: I know Obama never supported the war to begin with)

  • Fluffy||

    Joe Lieberman is actually no longer popular in Connecticut. His approval ratings there are in the toilet. His approval ratings among Democrats in Connecticut are even worse.

    It's difficult for me to see how anyone can assert that the only Democrats who hate Lieberman are the "nutroots". It seems like it's the opposite to me - the overwhelming majority of Democrats hate his fucking guts, and the only people who like him are Democrat Senators. Maybe we could call his supporters the "nutofficeholders" because his detractors go wel beyond the "roots" and beyond the internet, at least among Democrats.

    Personally, I find few politicians today more contemptible than Lieberman. If you sat down and deliberately decided to be wrong on every last issue, you would turn into Lieberman.

  • Fluffy||

    Lieberman might, therefore, lend a little national security credibility to the party that seems to support wars based on what the front page looks like.

    If you don't read the front page, how would you know if the war enhanced our national security, and how would you know if the amount of the national security enhancement was proportional to its costs?

    Personally, if you don't read the front page I don't think you're credible on any issue whatsoever.

  • ||

    2. The only thing he broke from the party on was the war. Now that the Dems are in charge they are going to have to fight so that isn't such a big deal anymore.

    Not quite. He supports torture, opposed Gitmo detainees from having access to the US courts, and has refused to hold any hearings or investigate any actions by the Bush admin as chairmain of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee he so desperately wanted to maintain.

    He has basically neutered that committee (the House equivalent, which is run by Waxman, has been holding tons of hearings since the Dems took over)

    All of the proles in Connecticut re-elected the guy. How is not punishing him showing a chasm between the political class and the rest of us. The only people who seem to have a problem with Lieberman are nuts on the web and journalists. The voters in his state don't seem to.

    Republicans in the state are who got him re-elected, not Democrats -- he lost the Democratic primary and formed his own sore loser party remember -- and recent polling is showing a bit of buyers remorse (most polls show Lieberman losing to Lamont if the rematch were to be held again today).

    The problem with Lieberman is that he is not a fucking democrat and why the democrats are giving him a committee slot boggles the mind.

  • shecky||

    It seems to me the biggest reason to kick Joe to the curb would be for revenge, and mostly just make the Dems look petty and mean. They could probably afford it, but why waste such capital on a weasel like Joe? That Joe comes crawling back like a dog with his tail between his legs seems like enough revenge.

  • Tingle||

    "Why Reason should care whether he is kicked out is beyond me."

    Because Weigel = Lonesome Rhodes. He's not really a Libertarian; it's just an act for Reason's audience (or in Weigelese, rubes)

  • ||

    ABdul,

    You make good points. But remember you can't mention Iraq on Reason. In Reason world time stopped in about January of 2007 and we lost the war and all those who supported it are to be purged. That is why Weigel cares so much about an inside baseball story regarding the Democratic Senate committee chairmanship. Liebermann supported the war, he must die.

  • ||

    Funny guys, but no. Ned Lamont got 40% of the final vote and Lieberman 50%, while the republican got 10%. Wouldn't this imply that Lieberman was elected by a large chunk of conservatives? Why would the Democratic party want him based on the people who voted him in, again?

  • Tingle||

    "Liebermann supported the war, he must die."

    Kill the Warriors! For the sake of world peace and harmony, kill the Warriors!!!

  • Fluffy||

    But remember you can't mention Iraq on Reason. In Reason world time stopped in about January of 2007 and we lost the war and all those who supported it are to be purged.

    What are you talking about? We talk about Iraq all the time.

    Mostly it's to point out that surge or no surge anyone who thinks that what we achieved in Iraq was worth the costs to the United States is a fucking idiot.

    How did that whole "McCain will campaign based on the success of the surge" thing work out for you, John?

  • duderman||

    All independent voices must be crushed by the great liberal majority.

  • ||

    Lieberman must have some old pals up there on the Hill to let him get away like that. He is a toxic combination of everything I pretty much hate. Lieberman was one of the significant factors in evaluating McCain's judgment that soured my impressions of him, low as they were to begin with.

    Liberman is a religious totalitarian zealot on social issues, a pinko-commie on economic issues, and a chicken-hawk for every chance to empower the US Government to drop a JDAM on someone, somewhere. He is the antithesis of everything I think and believe just about, kind of a twisted re-animated corpse of Woodrow Wilson.

  • ||

    "Mostly it's to point out that surge or no surge anyone who thinks that what we achieved in Iraq was worth the costs to the United States is a fucking idiot."

    No anyone who thinks the costs and legacy of the war can be adaquitely judged when it ends is an idiot. Also, you agrued for years that we would lose and the cause was hopeless. Well we won. So fuck you. No really. Fuck you. Be sure to watch when your boy Obama goes over to Baghdad to bring down the flag and take credit for winning in 2011. He can have the credit for all I care. All that matters is that we won. Thank God.

  • BDB||

    Yeah John, the war was like a big video game, or a basketball tournament. All that matters is WE WON GODDAMNIT!

  • BDB||

    BTW, when was the surrender ceremony?

  • ||

    BDB,

    Actually I was surprised that I missed all the troops coming home. You'd think the dastardly mainstream media would at least have mentioned it in passing.

  • robc||

    A Lieberman-free Senate would be a better Senate

    Even if replaced by Lamont? I know very little about Lamont and I still find that questionable.

  • ||

    Liberman is a religious totalitarian zealot on social issues, a pinko-commie on economic issues, and a chicken-hawk for every chance to empower the US Government to drop a JDAM on someone, somewhere

    100% correct. I wish, as a CT resident, I could tell you why Lieberman is (was?) popular, but I don't think I can, because I don't think about politicians like most people.

    The best I can say is that New Englanders in general tend to be pretty stubborn, and the way outside Dems came in after Lieberman and for Lamont raised Nutmegger hackles. If Lieberman is gonna get ousted, it's gonna be their call, and not Kos and crew's.

  • Fluffy||

    Also, you agrued for years that we would lose and the cause was hopeless.

    Link.

    I argued that war supporters were engaging in the sunk cost fallacy for YEARS.

    I demanded evaluation of the war's merits on a cost/benefit basis for YEARS.

    And the benefits haven't gotten any better, John. We haven't achieved any more now than we had already achieved in 2003. We've just spent more and lost more men.

    I can admit that I expected the war to end with helicopters taking off from the roof of the Baghdad embassy, and that didn't happen and doesn't look likely to happen. But that doesn't change anything. In fact, the entire reason you're a fucking idiot is because your definition of success is "We didn't have to flee Baghdad like Saigon". Avoiding complete disaster /= success, John. A success is when an adventure achieves more than it costs.

    "As long as we didn't have to push helicopters over the side of aircraft carriers into the waters of the Persian Gulf, that means we won and the pro-war side was right!" = Something A Fucking Idiot Would Say.

  • BDB||

    Yeah it is surely an MSM Conspiracy, SugarFree.

  • BDB||

    I'm sorry, but I don't get real excited about phyrric victories. If saying "Sure, we WERE headed off the cliff at 90 miles an hour with no breaks, but I managed to steer the car into a ditch instead" is "success", well, you can have it.

  • ||

    "Yeah John, the war was like a big video game, or a basketball tournament. All that matters is WE WON GODDAMNIT!"

    No it wasn't BDB. It involved real people's lives and real issues. I served in that war and so did a lot of my friends. I tend to get a little emotional about it. Especially when people who, for the sake of making a point, wanted it to go badly, predicted it would go badly, talk trash about it. The fact is a lot of people on here would have been damned happy if the surge had failed and the US had left Iraq in disgrace and seem almost disapointed that it didnt' happan that way.

  • BDB||

    Who would have been happy? That is a fucking strawman saying there would have been people dancing in the streets if the war ended in the worst way. Who else besides Michael Moore and handful of loons think that way?

  • ||

    No fluffy of sucess is a stable Iraq and a defeated insurgency. What is yours? Making Iraq into the 51st State?

  • BDB||

    It is hard to tell what "success" is since war supporters have moved the goal posts five million times since April 2003.

  • ||

    "Who would have been happy? That is a fucking strawman saying there would have been people dancing in the streets if the war ended in the worst way. Who else besides Michael Moore and handful of loons think that way?"

    True people like Weigel would not have been dancing in the streets. Just saying i told you so like smug teenagers. Why do I know that? Because that is exactly what they did when things were going badly. If the tone back then had been, "holy shit we might lose and that would suck", I would agree with you. But that wasn't the tone.

  • ||

    No anyone who thinks the costs and legacy of the war can be adaquitely judged when it ends is an idiot. Also, you agrued for years that we would lose and the cause was hopeless. Well we won. So fuck you. No really. Fuck you. Be sure to watch when your boy Obama goes over to Baghdad to bring down the flag and take credit for winning in 2011. All that matters is that we won. Thank God.

    Would you care to type that up and mail it to every dead Iraqi's family. And use resume paper, for God's sake. This shit is important.

  • BDB||

    When we didn't find WMDs, the war was a failure. Because that was the reason for going in--to find WMDs Saddam Hussein was stock piling. Not achieving the goal of the original mission=fail, even if the end isn't fleeing Baghdad like Siagon.

  • ||

    "It is hard to tell what "success" is since war supporters have moved the goal posts five million times since April 2003."

    My goal posts have been the same. Anyone who has ever been anywhere near the place knows it is not going to be some great American democracy. But, that doesn't mean it has to be some shia theocracy, a failed state, or some murderous dictatorship. A stable country that doesn't murder its citizens or invade its neighbors is a really good thing especially when compared to its neighbors or what it was under Saddam. Further, the 1000s of dead jihadists and the ill will Al Quada created in the Muslim world by killing so many other Muslims is not a bad thing either.

  • robc||

    The War was a success when the Baathists were overthrown and Saddam was captured. We should* have left the next day. Everything since then has been a complete waste of lives and dollars.


    *Insert standard libertarian disclaimer that we shouldnt have been there to begin with

  • BDB||

    I don't know about you, John, but a lot on the right (go back and read the NRO archives) were trumpeting how Iraq would turn into Belgium, how the Arab Spring would blossom throughout the region, etc, and when that failed to happen they kept lower the goals lower, and lower, and lower, until it was "a state that doesn't have a civil war and isn't insane".

  • ||

    "Would you care to type that up and mail it to every dead Iraqi's family. And use resume paper, for God's sake. This shit is important."

    sure and you write the 100s of thousands of families of the people Saddam murdered because we didn't do anything in 1991 and also the families of the 100s of thousands that died because of the UN sanctions that would still be in place today had there never been an invastion.

  • BDB||

    Not to mention, the original reason was WMDs. We'd sure like to forget that and pretend the war started in 2006, right John?

  • ||

    BDB is correct. The justification for the war was not establishing an Iraqi democracy - it was considered a preemptive war. The fear was that Saddam would use WMDs against us and that he was providing aid to Al Quaida, both of which were false. I come from a military family and I can't tell you the number of people in my extended family who actually go around still thinking that there was some conspiracy that we know that we found the WMDs in question and links to Al Quaida, but the liberal media just doesn't want to publish it, or that we are privvy to confidential information that other Americans are not.

  • ||

    "No fluffy of sucess is a stable Iraq and a defeated insurgency. What is yours? Making Iraq into the 51st State?"

    Really? I don't remember hearing anything about that when the "Mission Accomplished" banner was unfurled, nor at any point before then. In fact, I seem to remember Iraq being a stable country with no insurgency before we invaded. Like BDB said, it was about WMDs that, oops, never existed.

  • ||

    A stable country that doesn't murder its citizens or invade its neighbors is a really good thing especially when compared to its neighbors or what it was under Saddam. Further, the 1000s of dead jihadists and the ill will Al Quada created in the Muslim world by killing so many other Muslims is not a bad thing either.

    Doesn't that mean we succeeded at this war's goals under the Clinton administration with Operation Desert Fox? And weren't those jihadists created and recruited because of the war? Isn't that like complaining that you're not properly appreciated for mopping the floor when you were the one that tracked in the mud?

  • ||

    "I don't know about you, John, but a lot on the right (go back and read the NRO archives) were trumpeting how Iraq would turn into Belgium, how the Arab Spring would blossom throughout the region, etc, and when that failed to happen they kept lower the goals lower, and lower, and lower, until it was "a state that doesn't have a civil war and isn't insane"."

    That is because they had never seen the place and didn't know much about the people who live there. They are not us. We shouldn't want them to be like us. That said, it is a good thing to have an Arab government that actually elects its leaders. It does make the leaders of other Arab countries look bad. Is it a perfect democracy? Hell no. It is corrupt as hell. But so is Mexico and I don't see anyone saying they are that bad.

    How about this, rather than re-fighting the arguments of 2004, everyone admit that the place isn't so bad now and start thinking about what the hell that means for the future? Certainly, anyone right or left who claims that wars are easy, can and should now be told bullshit. Wars are hard, unpredictable and difficult.

  • BDB||

    "And weren't those jihadists created and recruited because of the war? Isn't that like complaining that you're not properly appreciated for mopping the floor when you were the one that tracked in the mud?"

    It is like saying "Sure, I was wrong about thinking the dog wouldn't piss on the rug if we left it alone for 12 hours, but at least I got the right product to get the piss stains out of the rug!"

  • Fluffy||

    No fluffy of sucess is a stable Iraq and a defeated insurgency. What is yours? Making Iraq into the 51st State?

    Wrong.

    Success is achieving an enhancement of the security of the United States that is worth:

    1. 4200 dead servicemen
    2. Tens of thousands of wounded servicemen
    3. More than a trillion dollars
    4. The decade of effort it will take to rebuild the junior officer and NCO corps of the armed services
    5. The diplomatic damage of Bush and Powell's embarrassment
    6. The diplomatic damage of all the chips we spent to get "the coalition of the willing" to show up
    7. The diplomatic damage of the images from Abu Ghraib

    I'm sure I can think of more costs if I set my mind to it.

    To make the war a success, you have to describe how the national security of the United States has been enhanced in ways that add up to those costs.

    A stable Iraq and a defeated insurgency are nice, but they don't add up to those costs.

    Iraq's stability is marginal, and it is entirely likely that if the Iraqi state survives our ultimate withdrawal, it will move into Iran's orbit. And since it's unlikely that we will have a rapprochement with Iran at any time in the near future [even though it's the right strategic move] that means that for all of our costs, we will have achieved nothing more than creating a client state for one of our enemies.

    And that's if we don't even consider the opportunity cost. Are there other ways we could have spent a trillion bucks and 4200 men that would have enhanced our security more? If so, by the opportunity cost measure the war was not a success either.

    You may think this isn't a fair way to look at the question, because it means that once the costs in Iraq had escalated past a certain point, there was no way to recoup them and no matter what we did the war would be a failure. But that's the entire fucking point.

  • BDB||

    "Certainly, anyone right or left who claims that wars are easy, can and should now be told bullshit. Wars are hard, unpredictable and difficult."

    On that we can agree. Hopefully no one will be under the illusion that it is a big Nintendo game anymore. I got that vibe from a lot of people in 2003.

  • ||

    "In fact, I seem to remember Iraq being a stable country with no insurgency before we invaded."

    No it wasn't stable at all. It didn't control its northern third. It was run by a lunatic. It was subject to UN sanctions that made life nearly impossible for the civil population. Its leaders were a menace to both the population and the country's neighbors. There was nothing "stable" about pre-war Iraq.

  • BDB||

    ":Its leaders were a menace to both the population and the country's neighbors. "

    The latter claim is bullshit. Its army was a joke in 2003. How is that a "threat to its neighbors"?

  • BDB||

    See, Iraq was so weak it couldn't control the northern third of its country. But it was a HUGE threat to its neighbors. Right.

  • ||

    John, are you going to address the WMD issue or not?

  • WMD Issue||

    Oops, big bird makes mistakes, lol!

  • Fluffy||

    How about this, rather than re-fighting the arguments of 2004, everyone admit that the place isn't so bad now and start thinking about what the hell that means for the future?

    Because we need a general admission than the Iraq war's benefits weren't worth its costs in order to avoid making similar mistakes with other foreign policy initiatives in the future.

    One of the reasons John McCain was a dangerous fool was because he could not bring himself to make this admission. And that made it possible that he would, for example, invade Iran without stopping to consider the likely benefits and costs. If it's worth 4200 men and a trillion bucks to achieve the handful of sand we've got in Iraq, McCain might have decided to spend another 4200 men and another trillion bucks to achieve even less in Iran.

  • ||

    Fluffy,

    In World War II we lost 250,000 people and spent a lot more money and ended up with a divided Germany and a cold war with the Russians. By your logic, that war may not have been worth it.

    Further, you can't judge what the opportunity costs are because you don't know what would have happened had we not gone to war. We were spending billions containing Saddam. What happened when the sanctions finally broke down which they were in the process of doing?

    Lastly, you think Iraq will fall into orbit around Iraq, but that is your guess. I think you are dead wrong. The Iraqis hate the Iranians. The Iranians tried every way in the world to get the Iraqis to not agree to let US forces remain in the country past the first of the year and they failed. Just because they are Shia doesn't mean they love the Iranians. That is a myth and wishful thinking by people who didn't agree with the war. You can't judge the full success of the war until years down the line. Maybe everything will end in diaster and the Iranians will make Iraq a client state and use it to make war on us. I don't know. But until that happens or we know what happens you can't judge the legacy of the war one way or another.

  • BDB||

    "In World War II we lost 250,000 people and spent a lot more money and ended up with a divided Germany and a cold war with the Russians. By your logic, that war may not have been worth it."

    Germany and Japan declared war on us, so it doesn't really matter. They attacked and we responded by totally defeating them.

  • ||

    How about this, rather than re-fighting the arguments of 2004, everyone admit that the place isn't so bad now and start thinking about what the hell that means for the future? Certainly, anyone right or left who claims that wars are easy, can and should now be told bullshit. Wars are hard, unpredictable and difficult.

    Shorter John: instead of looking at the actual cost of the war and relevant facts that, let's look at the stuff that makes me look good.

    Also, in football games we should ignore all scores in the first three quarters and only look at points scored in the 4th quarter.

  • ||

    On the question of the war, I have to admit once as a nation we pick a fight, we win it. Its like poker, and war is all-in with your chips.
    You don't decide before the river card drops that you want your chips back - you can't.

    Since you fight a war as a nation, we are stuck with it whether we wanted it or not in the beginning. The lesson that should be learned here I think is we need to constrain the war-making power of the President, which at this point means constraining the power of Congress to give the president military cart-blanche without actually declaring war.

    I don't believe for instance that the President should be able to mobilize the National Guard or Reserve units for combat unless a Declaration of War is in effect. The War Powers Act is a joke, this Authorization Bill of 2003 was Tonkin Gulf 2.0. And the wimps in the Senate voted for "Yea" for the same reason: They didn't want to look "soft" on the boogeyman of the day because that could impact their presidential aspirations that every Senator has and isn't honest about.

    But as we saw in Vietnam, having the political will to start a war yet lacking the will to win one is an incredible weakness of this nation, and encourages the worst from the worst actors on the world stage. The Cambodian slaughter of 3 million citizens in the Killing Fields is somewhat traceable to our folding the tent in Vietnam. The horrible settling of scores that took place in the former South Vietnam after the war is also traceable to us essentially throwing those people under the bus.

    In Iraq, if we had pulled out in let's say, 2004 or 2005, I imagine we would be looking at perhaps several hundred thousand more corpses littering that god-for-saken sandbox than are there now, and Iran would be bigger. Everyone in the region would now have a slow-smoldering nuclear program in the cards as a hedge against Iranian ambitions, and God knows what those jerks would be up to in Lebanon at this point.

    Now, as a libertarian I am of the opinion to let those bass-ackward chumps murder away and settle their scores, just means more for me. But as an American it is hard to countenance my nation being a creator of that chaos and then a quitter because we didn't have the stomach for it. There is some truth to Colin Powell's "Pottery Barn Dictum," i.e. "You break it, you own it." Collectively as a nation, we broke it, and we own it until we fix it whether we put it back on the shelf and walk away or not.

    Then we clean up our own house in so much as the destroying the dark return of the Imperial Presidency this stupid war and the wider war on terror has created yet again.

  • DannyK||

    Well, any illusions I had about the Democrats growing a spine have been shattered. I don't like the guy, but I believe he's sincere about the Iraq War -- he's for it, and he wants to stay there a long long time. I fully expect the Senate Dems to regret this in six months, when Joe uses his chairmanship to embarass the administration and spread Republican talking points, just like he did before the election.

  • ||

    The Iraqis hate the Iranians.

    Which is why Bush has to fly in under a cover of night and Ahmadinejad flew in in broad daylight and was received positively? Iraq will likely never be a client state of Iran, but it was the Sunni and Sunni leadership of Iraq that had the major beef with Iran. That leadership is gone and the Sunni are now a relatively weak minority.

    In WWII, we got attacked on our own territory. Iraq never attacked us again.

  • Adam Bohm||

    "On that we can agree. Hopefully no one will be under the illusion that it is a big Nintendo game anymore"

    I could be. If we had the balls.

  • BDB||

    Only a jackass would think I was omitting the people on the other end when I said "war isn't a video game".

  • Tingle||

    "Because we need a general admission than the Iraq war's benefits weren't worth its costs in order to avoid making similar mistakes with other foreign policy initiatives in the future."

    Uday and Qusay are dead. And they represented dacades of problems for the West.

    BTW, I still smile when I think how they looked stretched out on the coroner's slab.

    Priceless.

    Think Kim Jong Il.

  • Warmongering Lunatic||

    Apparently, Mr. Weigel, the Senate Democrats can count.

    In order to defeat a filibuster, the Democrats will have to have sixty votes. Punish Lieberman, and he has every incentive to punish the Democrats right back. Liberal Republicans like Arlen Specter and Olympia Snowe, having a personal incentive to discourage parties from punishing dissenters, would at least threaten to back Lieberman's play.

    If the Democrats had 65 votes, punishing Lieberman would be fine; the character of bills passed wouldn't have to be changed. If the Democrats had 55 votes, which would mean any bill would need a bunch of Republicans anyway, punishing Lieberman would be fine; the character of bills passed wouldn't have to be changed.

    On the edge of 60, where Lieberman-Specter-Snowe hold the balance of power for enacting solidly liberal bills and nominees through? Leaving Lieberman alone means having to make fewer ideological compromises.

  • Lefiti||

    C'mon, the way things are going is so fucked up from a libertarian perspective that whether Joe lieberman stays in the Democratic caucus or not just doesn't matter. Banks are being nationalized for fuck's sake!

  • Lefiti||

    Next we can nationalize trolling, you shit-eating fucks!

  • ||

    Lieberman is a complete tool, but the lack of Dem action on him is, I think, more of a symptom of the growing chasm between the political class and the rest of us proles.

    I think it's more like, with him the Dems have 57 seats and a shot at the 3 more they need for a flibuster-proof majority. And even if they fall short, he's one more vote closer to getting to 60 once they bribe a few wavering Rs with pork.

    If they were at 55 or so Dem plus "independent" senators, Lieberman would be more nearly irrelevant -- not needed to get to 51% to pass stuff, too far away from 60 to shut down filibusters.

  • ||

    John says In World War II we lost 250,000 people and spent a lot more money and ended up with a divided Germany and a cold war with the Russians. By your logic, that war may not have been worth it.

    Dragging out WWII again, the last refuge of the Iraq dead-enders. WWI is a better comparison. I think the American neocon right would be well served to acquaint itself a little better with WWI or other farces like the Spanish-American war and the American occupation of the Phillipines. The law of unintended consequences used to be conservative dogma - a lesson not to get too excited about pushing radical change - but today's Republicans seem to have lost sight of that.

  • ||

    He's a full-scale nanny stater

    Weigel promotes Obama for months, then criticizes Lieberman as a nanny stater? How is Obama less of a nanny stater than Lieberman?

  • NotThatDavid||

    Because the alternative to Lieberman as a member of the majority party, with the power and influence that allows, is Lieberman as a member of a minority (either as a republican or as a party of one), with diminished power. That is an unadulterated good. The alternative to Obama was John McCain, who is also a nanny-stater.

  • Abdul||

    Fluffy,

    Sorry for responding so late. I do stuff other than the internetz.

    But, the "front page" thing was figurative speech. Lieberman, whatever his faults, stood tall on an unpopular issue, even though that cost him. A generation ago, that would have been called a profile in courage. Obama had to project some of the same sort of courage to oppose the war when it was popular in the beginnng (albeit, not as much as Joe because he was only a state rep with no foreign policy powers) Now, Weigel calls Joe's courageous stand a "scrub."

    In the end, the surge kind of proved him right--if we were all as committed as Joe was in the beginning, we might not have had such a bloody middle.

  • MattXIV||

    Dave,

    The problem with your interpretation of the numbers is that Obama's overall popular vote was 4.4% higher than Kerry's, while the differences in their performance for the groups in question are 3%, 4%, 6%, and 4%, so McCain held his ground slightly better among these groups overall than the population as a whole. Endorsements are generally only signficant when they sharply deviate from expectations and it's not like Lieberman supporting McCain was a shock. Lieberman's not so wildly popular that his support would significantly sway these groups towards a candidate, but when has he ever been?

    Also, Lieberman certainly fits the bipartisan independent mold - he's never hesitated to work across the aisle in service of nanny statism and sending troops to the Middle East, even when it involves bucking his party's leadership. The issue here is the inexplicable hard-on the press has for politicians who have their own particular combination of the same old bad ideas rather than one of the two standard sets.

  • ||

    It's not about Lieberman. I suspect the Democrats in Washington know just how far past his expiration date Joe Lieberman is.

    It's about the number 60. The Senate leadership definitely has a path to 60 votes in the next Congress. They're not going to eff that up for anything.

    Too bad they're probably still going to end up with 59.

  • ||

    Remember that time we went to war so there would be an insurgency we could kinda sorta get to lie low for a while?

    Gentlemen, to victory!

  • BDB||

    Many comments, but not one single war supporter addresses the WMD issue. Amazing.

  • BDB||

    The "Arab Spring" stuff never happened, either. We may get something along the lines of Lebanon in Iraq. For a while. That's about as good as it will get.

  • economist||

    Actually, all the Democrats need to beat a filibuster is 50 votes plus Biden,because that's all they need to change the Senate rules. And I have about as much confidence that they will let an old Senate custom stand in the way of their legislative agenda as I do that I will suddenly grow wings and fly to the moon.
    "Too bad they're probably still going to end up with 59."
    I love partisan trollery.

  • economist||

    "Collectively as a nation, we broke it, and we own it until we fix it whether we put it back on the shelf and walk away or not."
    I beg your pardon? I never supported the war in Iraq. I always thought it was a really bad idea. I don't remember "collectively" supporting it. Indeed, the only people who *really* OKed it were Bush and the members of Congress who voted for it.

  • economist||

    Granted of course that it probably could have gotten majority support in a referendum, if such a thing were practiced by the federal government. But since it's not I place blame solely on the president and those members of Congress who supported the war.

    Crap, I almost forgot his administration cronies who helped sell the war. Yeah, they also get some of the blame.

  • ||

    All the vitriol about an Independent US Senator endorsing the Republican candidate for President makes me remember that I'm still waiting to see how the Republican caucus penalizes Ron Paul for endorsing the Constitution Party candidate.

    Still waiting...

  • ||

    BDB | November 18, 2008, 9:14pm | #

    The "Arab Spring" stuff never happened, either.


    You ought to read the old threads from late January 05 through about mid-summer.

    Talk about your crow-eating dumbasses.

  • ||

    The lesson that should be learned here I think is we need to constrain the war-making power of the President, which at this point means constraining the power of Congress to give the president military cart-blanche without actually declaring war.

    True that, although I don't know how you do that without a Constitutional amendment.

    In Iraq, if we had pulled out in let's say, 2004 or 2005, I imagine we would be looking at perhaps several hundred thousand more corpses littering that god-for-saken sandbox than are there now, and Iran would be bigger.

    Also likely. For that matter, if we had pulled out on Obama's schedule, it would have been way premature and we would likely be looking at something approaching a full-scale civil war right now.

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