The Lieberman Question

If I were a Democrat, I'd support Joe Lieberman next week. I don't believe the agenda of Ned Lamont will help either the U.S. or the Democrats. But, then, I'm not a Democrat. At this point, I'd best be described as a conservative independent. And compared to this conservative independent, Lieberman has been ridiculously obsequious to a Republican president who has made an appalling hash of a vital war. The notion, advanced by Lieberman, that criticism of the president's war leadership is somehow inappropriate when the country is in danger gets it exactly the wrong way round, I think. It is precisely because the danger is still so great that criticism is so necessary. That's democracy's strength. You could understand, if not forgive, this abdication of leadership if Lieberman were bound by partisan loyalty to Bush. But he isn't. And even those who are - like Chuck Hagel and Lindsey Graham and John McCain and John Warner - have had more astringent criticisms of the the conduct of the war than Lieberman. My guess is that he's still lobbying hard to replace Rumsfeld later this year and, by all accounts, probably will. Any replacement for Rumsfeld can only help us win this war, and Lieberman's ethical compass, unlike Rumsfeld's, would perhaps mitigate some of the depravity enabled by Captain Queeg. But I can understand those Democrats who do not think it is their role next week to give Bush their party's cover for his war-mismanagement. I'd still back him myself; but it's silly to believe it's nuts for Dems to choose the other guy.