A reader writes:
Few political figures have enraged me more over the past decade than Joe Lieberman. He has, and will have, much to answer for, beginning with his incessant undercutting of Al Gore during the 2000 recount, to his feverish (and continuing) support for the Iraq War, to his vanity-laden refusal to accept political defeat in 2006, to his endorsement of McCain in 2008, to, finally, his truly disgusting behavior during some of the most crucial hours of the struggle to enact health care reform.
And yet . . .
And yet, here he has been over these past few weeks, truly, genuinely, and tirelessly on the side of the angels, working like hell to overturn a grave injustice to patriotic Americans who want nothing more than to serve our country in dignity, and without having to live a vicious lie, and force their family, friends, and loved ones to do the same. Lieberman alone pulled this back from the abyss, when many, many others thought it was over, thought that DADT would live on, zombie-like, for years to come, and for no justifiable reason.
Whatever the reason, be it political calculation (he will probably face a tough reelection battle in 2012, should he choose to run once more), genuine moral conviction, or, most likely, an uneven and complicated combination of the two, he has pulled off a not-so-minor miracle, and earned a deserved place in our nation's history as a champion of human rights.
Democrats have not, and will not, forgive and forget Lieberman's many outrageous political transgressions and betrayals over the years--nor, in a very real sense, should they. But if Lieberman ultimately goes down to defeat in 2012, at least it will be a much more honorable one than anyone would have thought likely up until a few weeks ago.
But also recall who decided it was much better to keep him in the fold than expel him. Meep meep indeed.
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