Friday, November 14, 2008

A View From The Other Side

A guest post by Ron Reagan

If you asked a Democrat what their biggest problem with the Republican party, a lot of their criticisms would come down to one word - intolerance. Democrats believe that due to the influence of the rich and the religious, the Republicans exclude anyone who doesn't buy into their world view. This criticism has many valid points, and this is coming from a Republican. But if a Democrat wants to make this argument, then the only way to have the moral authority to make it would be if the Democratic Party was a party of tolerance. A party of tolerance is one where many ideas and peoples are allowed to take part and coexist. And while the Republicans are failing at doing this, this is an opportunity for the Democrats to show national leadership and to prove that they are a party of inclusion.

What is the great sin that Senator Joe Lieberman has committed? What Senator Lieberman did was support a man that is universally respected for his service to this country, both in the military and as a legislator. He criticized Barrack Obama during the campaign. OK, I get it. But he said nothing which was not in line with the criticism levied at him by lots of Democrats, including VP-elect Joe Biden and Sen. Hillary Clinton. Sure, one could argue, that was during their own campaigns, but it was wrong to do it during the general election. The problem with that logic is that it says that it is OK to criticize someone when it is for your own benefit, when you can still win, but if you really believe your criticisms, you have to sit on them and support someone you do not believe in. Isn't conviction and principles and wanting the best for your country more important then either careerism or love of the Democratic Party?

What Senator Lieberman has done is something very brave, politically speaking. Unlike all the other Democrats who critized President Obama (just wanted to write those amazing words) when it was beneficial to them, he did it when it was actually going to HURT him. Senator Lieberman knew that the Democrats were going to be mad, and he also knew that he wasn't going to be the Republican VP-nominee because the Republicans didn't support him (he has been a loyal Democrat for a long time don't forget); yet he still endorsed a man he believed would make the better president. He even continued to do so during the end of the campaign when it was obvious that McCain was going to lose. He stood by the man because those are his principles.

I don't think you have to like what those principles are. And you don't have to applaud him for what he did. But I think when you put things into context and his sins, I think you can begrudgingly give the man some respect and not hurl such vitriol at him. He's not some sort of a beast who killed someone in a drunken rage while trying to avoid his lover to whom he owed a copious amount of child support. He just stood for what he believes in.

Barrack Obama is President for one central reason - change. All of us who voted for him desperately want to see the divisiveness of our governance to change. We want something new- a place where people can actually discuss and come together and do what they think is the best for the country. Obama was not elected due to his political ideology or for policy reasons - if you think that then his presidency will not work because it will be too far to the left for what Americans want. We didn't vote to exchange the Republican hit squad for a Demortic hit squad. What we want is something else- people to rise above the pettiness and to try and unite this country. Though you might not have liked his stance, this is what Joe Lieberman tried to do this election. He had his principles and party lines be damned he stuck to them. This is the sort of voice and mindset we need in Washington. To punish and to banish him to the sidelines after a lifetime of nothing but honorable and principled service would be nothing short of showing the intemperate, imperious vindictiveness that was shown by the previous administration. If we have another administration where freedom of thought and the ability to speak one's mind and beliesf is yet again branded as unacceptable, then hope once again is defeated by humanistic greed and vitriol. That's not what we voted for, so don't let it happen again!

10 comments:

CT Bob said...

Ron, "change" is exactly what we want! How is keeping a back-stabbing GOP lacky in the chair of Homeland Security going to accomplish that?

Lieberman made his choices and took his many stands against the Democrats over the last eight years, and if you think our complaints against him are solely based on his support of McCain, then you haven't been paying attention.

Or more likely, you're being willfully ignorant of Joe's record to make political points. That's even worse. Why don't you worry about the Republicans and let us worry about our own leadership?

Let Joe Stay said...

"Lieberman made his choices and took his many stands against the Democrats over the last eight years," -CA

Then why wasn't he punished before? Why was he re-elected 2 years ago if the Democrats are against him? Certainly there weren't enough Republican and Independent voters in Conn. to elect him if the state’s Democrats wholeheartedly opposed him.

And why would the Democrats appoint him to an important Chairmanship position if he had been against them the past eight years? That doesn't seem to make any sense. Nope, this is about revenge. Revenge for supporting a friend. Revenge for not toeing the party line. Now, revenge isn't change, it's more of the same. I hope the Democratic Party realizes that.

dave™© said...

Joe Must GO!!!

'Nuff said.

dave™© said...

...this is about revenge. Revenge for supporting a friend. Revenge for not toeing the party line.

I certainly hope so!

Modeh B'Miktsas said...

In other words dave, you don't give a hoot about anything but The Party.

CT Bob said...

"Why was he re-elected 2 years ago if the Democrats are against him? Certainly there weren't enough Republican and Independent voters in Conn. to elect him if the state’s Democrats wholeheartedly opposed him."

2/3 of the State's Democrats voted for Ned Lamont. The ONLY reason Lieberman won is because the GOP refused to support their legitimately nominated candidate (Alan Schlesinger) and got the national Republican Party to massively support Joe.

If Joe had truly run as an "independent" rather than a GOP surrogate, he would have lost. But Joe's win was orchestrated at the highest levels of the national Republican Party. Just see how much help he got from GOPers like Karl Rove and Mel Sembler.

I can't believe you don't know this stuff.

Let Joe Stay said...

“If Joe had truly run as an "independent" rather than a GOP surrogate, he would have lost.” –CT Bob.

Lieberman received 48% of the vote with 40% going to Ned Lemont. As you know, Connecticut has one of the largest number of registered independent voters in the country. While you’re right that Lieberman received a significantly large number of Republican votes, he also had the vast majority of Independents votes too (as well as a sizeable, albeit not majority, of Democrats). If anything, this shows that Lieberman was/is attractive to a cross-section of the electorate, consisting of all three political demographics (i.e. Democrats, Republicans and Independents).

“But Joe's win was orchestrated at the highest levels of the national Republican Party.” –CT Bob

“The Highest Levels?” Come on. Let’s not get all conspiracy theorist here. He knew that the majority of Connecticut voters supported him. He didn’t have to turn to the Republicans for campaign help (just for their votes). If they wanted to support him, good for them.

CT Bob said...

My examples of Karl Rove and Mel Sembler are accurate. It's well documented.

Why didn't Jodi Rell or George Bush endorse the GOP challenger to Democrat Ned Lamont? Because they wanted Joe Lieberman elected.

OKonheim said...

Let Joe Stay is exactly right, Joe Lieberman is allowed to support whoever he wants and people should accept that.

Let Joe Stay said...

Thanks OKonheim! You may actually be the first commentator on this blog to ever agree with me!