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Posted at 7:15 PM ET, 01/18/2011

Joe Lieberman: Democratic hero?

By Ezra Klein

liebermanretiring.JPG

If you look back over the past two years, perhaps the most consequential decision made by President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid was to give Joe Lieberman his chairmanship, even though Lieberman had endorsed John McCain in the 2008 campaign.

That kept Lieberman in the fold, and after Arlen Specter switched parties and Al Franken won his election, gave Democrats the 60 votes they needed to break a Republican filibuster against health-care reform. Lieberman's behavior during the debate was often erratic and seemingly unprincipled. Among other things, he skipped the meetings where Democrats were trying to work out a compromise on the public option, and then he killed the Medicare buy-in proposal they'd developed -- despite endorsing that exact proposal months before. In doing so, he doomed a great piece of policy, and by doing it at the last minute, endangered the rest of the bill, too. But the reality is that the legislation simply wouldn't have passed without his vote. And after extracting his pound of flesh, he voted "aye."

That wasn't Lieberman's only moment as a good soldier for the Democrats: He was one of the key senators behind the effort to repeal “Don't Ask, Don't Tell.” He was also one of the three lawmakers involved in the most credible of the efforts to pass a cap-and-trade bill. The legislation failed, but if it had succeeded, it would've been in no small part due to his hard work. And Lieberman was loyal to his party in other ways, too. He was Harry Reid's single largest donor in the Senate, for instance.

Today, Lieberman announced that he'll retire in 2012. I imagine there are plenty in his caucus breathing a sigh of relief, and more than a few who will miss him. For the Democrats, Lieberman was the best of friends, and also the worst.

Photo credit: By Alex Brandon/Associated Press

By Ezra Klein  | January 18, 2011; 7:15 PM ET
 
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Comments

He is the embodiment of "I've got mine, **** you"

I wish him a nice, painful death.

Posted by: lambcannon | January 18, 2011 7:32 PM | Report abuse

A Democratic hero?? You should write for the Daily Show.

Posted by: clampson | January 18, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance! The senator who represents the state of Lieberman is going. Now the voters here in CT will be able to get a senator to represent us.

Posted by: coach777b | January 18, 2011 7:38 PM | Report abuse

lambcannon wrote:
He is the embodiment of "I've got mine, **** you"

I wish him a nice, painful death.

----------------------------------------

You're one of the people calling for a return to civility in political discourse, I presume?

Posted by: yrral | January 18, 2011 7:50 PM | Report abuse

Ezra makes good points, and though I've been infuriated by Leiberman more times than I care to remember, he was never as bad as many Dems thought (including me, in my darker moments). This isn't to whitewash his career. There have been far too many times when he's actively had a negative impact on either a specific piece of legislation or on politics in general for me to be sorry to see him go.

There's every possibility that CT will replace him with someone more solidly liberal and less preening than Leiberman, and if that happens I'll be happy.

Posted by: MosBen | January 18, 2011 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Ezra - If ask a question as a title, you should add a poll we can vote on.

Regarding Lieberman, he was a turncoat. The Republicans loved him.

Posted by: eeepc | January 18, 2011 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, Ezra, Ezra...

I get/hope this is a tongue-in-check post, but if you want comments, there a recent former Governor of Alaska to write about since we all know how divisive that Tony Knowles is.

You've said before you don't get into the horseracing of politics and you should have followed that advice.

Isn't there a hipster Belgian café and tap bar in Adams Morgan to blog because this post glosses OVER so much in Lieberman recent history. It's painful.

Wow, he voted for Healthcare Reform, something he's campaigned since the 1960s including 2006. Not exactly brave to vote for a popular issue in your state.

Also ask Jeff Merkeley of Oregon, Tim Allen of Maine and Al Franken of Minnesota. Lieberman, your good Democrat, campaigned for there Republican opponents (Senators don't campaign outside their state traditionly so Lieberman was pretty shocking). Barack Obama can forgive him, but what about the "good Democrats" of Oregon, Maine and Minnesota.

And his 2006 run, he didn't just attack Ned Lamont. He attacked the entire Connecticut Democratic Party so shock-o-shocks, they don't like him.

I don't know, do I even really NEED to show and the ways Lieberman has damaged Democrats. It's like when John McCain said he never considered himself a Maverick.

Posted by: Corey_NY | January 18, 2011 8:02 PM | Report abuse

A master of self promotion. Very glad to see him go. It will be interesting to see who buys him next.

Posted by: scrane1 | January 18, 2011 8:06 PM | Report abuse

ezra -- you are my hero, and i recognize the valid points you have made, but i must say that on balance lieberman did much more damage than good. we needed a real democrat to represent connecticut, not a self-absorbed wannabe.

Posted by: joeblow111 | January 18, 2011 8:09 PM | Report abuse

I do not respect him at all. He's the prime example of smarmy politician. This is a great time for him to go. A better time would have been 2 elections ago when he lost the Democratic primary.

Posted by: bgormley1 | January 18, 2011 8:12 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lieberman was a terrific Attorney General here in Connecticut, fighting for the public. That launched him into the Senate. And he started out well only to succumb to the pomposity of office. Then he got out of line with his Clinton preaching. His orthodoxy during the Iraq decisions were the last straw for me. And the mealy mouth speaking style that should not matter … gag. But he deserves some respect, if for nothing else his decision to give it up. Many more of his colleagues should follow suit. There are lots of talented younger people to continue the Beltway mess. Now for two years Joe can vote his conscience and let Reid choke.

Posted by: LHO39 | January 18, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman's shameless enthusiasm for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan based largely upon self promotion and political expediency was despicable. He no more cared about our "troops" than the man in the moon. One political colleague referred to him as "reptilian" in manner which pretty much says it all. He should contribute the rest of his life to charitable works in Kabul or Baghdad. War gusher and perpetual windbag John McCain should work next to him.

Posted by: DCsandiego | January 18, 2011 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Uh ... no.

Posted by: tshanebarrett | January 18, 2011 8:17 PM | Report abuse

This is very good news indeed. Has there ever been a more spiteful and ridiculous little man in the US Senate then Joe Lieberman? Leiberman has been an enthusiastic fly in the ointment for years, and a man with twisted and devious loyalties. He's a guy who did not care about the merits of legislation he opposed. He just liked to oppose, period. Good riddance!

Posted by: heuristic77 | January 18, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Ezra sometimes says some really stupid things. Not often. But this pol is as bad as the worst there is I think. He never had a problem fkn the people over. I'll bet he has done everything he can to keep us in the middle east. We're there because some of his friends in the old country got to make their money from selling the good ole USA down the financial river. He's another one I'd like to live long enough to see his obituary.

Posted by: marvinthemartain | January 18, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

No.

Posted by: mycomment | January 18, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

he is uncharismatic, unprincipled, and unattractive. He lost the election for Gore, sending the nation into the Bush Nightmare. He promoted needless, illegal, and very expensive wars, killing around a hundred thousand people and destroying the lives of a million more. He promoted torture. He killed the, Public Option for health-care. He campaigned as a Democrat then he did the GOP's bidding. He campaigned as an American, and he did Israel's bidding. He was a traitor and a turncoat. He was pious and narcissistic and greedy for power, attention, and money. He was a cancer on our nation. I'm glad he is gone from the Senate, and fearful of where he will reappear.

Posted by: kurthunt | January 18, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

I think his support for repealing DADT was pivotal..he was more eloquent and forceful on this issue than any other member of congress and as a foreign policy hawk and bridge to Republicans, it may well be that the repeal would not have occurred w/o him. As far has his conduct during the health care discussions, I too was a bit disgusted and resentful that he refused to toe the liberal line and get behind the public option which was better policy. But, at the end of the day, he supported the bill and I don't believe the Medicare buy-in had any chance of passing even if Lieberman had not opposed it -- the buy-in proposal was brought up at the last minute after the prior public option proposal had died and I cannot imagine that Nelson, Lincoln, among others, would have supported it. As frustrating as the guy could be, I think he will be missed.

Posted by: wswest | January 18, 2011 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman: Democratic hero?
~~~~

Is this a joke?

How many Americans need quality Health care compared to the number of gays in the military.

Come to think of it, even gay's in the military people need quality Health care.

And, you just said Cap and Trade failed.

So, Ezra Klein, please explain to all of us again how Joe Lieberman is a hero for the Democrats?

Posted by: lcarter0311 | January 18, 2011 8:59 PM | Report abuse

Is Lieberman a Democratic hero?
No! He isn't a Democrat. He's a self-important sellout. Great to see Joe go.

Posted by: jimsteinberg1 | January 18, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I'd like to buy him a retirement home in Falluja.

Posted by: JenDray | January 18, 2011 9:26 PM | Report abuse

He should resign now or drop dead. Why should we have to endure him until 2012. Sellout bas-turd.

Posted by: PepperDr | January 18, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is typical of a generation of Washington politicians of both parties who never failed to extract an extra pound of flesh on behalf of the constituencies he represented, usually at the expense of the broader national interest. His performance during the run-up to the invasion of Iraq, and during the health care reform debate, was disgraceful. 4,000 Americans died in Iraq so that Israel could be spared the indignity of being forced by adverse circumstances largely of their own making to negotiate with Hamas in order to stop the suicide bombings. Lieberman and Bush have the blood of 4,000 Americans and 100,000 Iraqis on their hands, and neither man should ever be forgiven for failing to put the screws to Israel to give up their settlements in exchange for our invading Iraq to bail them out. Lieberman - an apologist for a nation of ungrateful SOBs.

Posted by: armyofone | January 18, 2011 9:47 PM | Report abuse

Joe Lieberman is a Benedict Arnold. What will the AIPAC do now without their turncoat in the Senate?

Posted by: pjs1965 | January 18, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

lcarter0311: How many Americans need quality Health care compared to the number of gays in the military.
_________________________

So no one should never address any gay rights issue until the last issue affecting the heterosexual majority is resolved?

Posted by: uh_huhh | January 18, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Ezra,

One realizes that you are Jewish but such creative support, "a democratic hero" for a co-religious fellow with so little by way of realistic appraisal does your own journalistic excellence injury. While well understood after the holocaust more rigor and less sentimentalism suits you and your causes better.

Posted by: StJuste | January 18, 2011 9:59 PM | Report abuse

EZ question Ez,

He's been every bit the Democratic hero that his predecessor Lowell Weicker was a Republican hero! Danged nutmeg must be an hallucinogen!

Posted by: fr3dmars | January 18, 2011 10:07 PM | Report abuse

He was awful! He backed Bush's disastrous war... That's his legacy! Obama showed weakness in allowing Lieberman to remain a chairman. The beginning of a weak two years by Obama.

Posted by: insideJ | January 18, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Ezra, I agree that health reform (and probably DADT repeal) would have been doomed without kissing up to Lieberman after the 2008 election. So it was almost certainly the right thing for Obama and Reid to do.

But what does it say about Lieberman that if he wasn't coddled enough and totally forgiven for his words and actions against Obama just weeks earlier, that he would have filibustered and killed health reform for all Americans in a fit of revenge? Shouldn't you just vote for the policy you believe in, regardless of your assigned committee rank?

Lieberman has done some good things in his career (and the 111th Congress) and has exemplary legislative ability. But he is the worst sort of unprincipled egotist, and should go down in history as such.

Posted by: vvf2 | January 18, 2011 10:08 PM | Report abuse

He was awful! He backed Bush's disastrous war... That's his legacy! Obama showed weakness in allowing Lieberman to remain a chairman. The beginning of a weak two years by Obama.

Posted by: insideJ | January 18, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

So Lieberman is a hero, a good soldier, because "after extracting his pound of flesh, he voted 'aye'?"

Wow. I think you're confusing "mercenary" with "good soldier."

Let's see, 59 other (actual) Democrats were more sure votes against the Republican filibuster, but Lieberman is the "Democratic hero."

In other news, the bully who only took half your lunch money is a hero compared with all the kids who didn't bother you.

I have a question: If Lieberman had not gotten his chairmanship, would he have voted against health care reform "after extracting his pound of flesh?" Uh, no. It would have worked out exactly the same way. He traded his vote for the concessions he wanted. In what way is that heroic? Merely because he was next in line in the concessions-for-votes queue?

Posted by: dpurp | January 18, 2011 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Anyone that doesn't think a Republican can be elected senator in CT doesn't remember Prescott Bush. Among others.

++

Posted by: Hawaiian_Gecko | January 18, 2011 10:38 PM | Report abuse

hero???
not a word i would use for joe lieberman.
a very self-righteous man, who made poor decisions in his later years...and earned himself a less than distinguished place in the hearts of many of his constituents.


sorry he didnt retire sooner.

Posted by: jkaren | January 18, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

You must be kidding. I am an independent and I think Liberman has been a self-serving egotistical politician. I know there are many of them on either side but to champion him as a loyal Democrat is just totaly wrong. You lost me. To make him into a loyal Democrat or a loyal politician of any party is an insult to our intelligence. He always swung in the direction that was in his personal interest. To say otherwise is spin. You certainly lost my interest in anything you will say in the future. I thought you were a journalist; I now know you are a spinner and biased. Joe Lieberman is not a statesman, he is an opportunist and party makes no difference; what matters is his personal interests.
,

Posted by: erika180 | January 18, 2011 10:51 PM | Report abuse

for the measure of a hero,
look at the contributions of sargent shriver, not joe lieberman.

reserve the measure of greatness, and heroic stature, for inspirational human beings, like sargent shriver.

Posted by: jkaren | January 18, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Lieberman was too greedy for power. In order to preserve his seat, he threw his fellow democrats under the bus and switched parties. At one point, he was rooting for Neocons.

It wouldn't surprise me if journalists try to rewrite history and become apologists for Mr. Lieberman.

The fact is that every time Mr. Lieberman opens his mouth, he is painful to watch. He is everything that would make people despise politics and the Congress. The man had no principles.

Another point, his loyalty was more with Tel Aviv than with the U.S. Now, he can become a full time lobbyist for AIPAC.

Good Riddance!

How long before Obama will switch his party? He is using the facade of 'pragmatism' and 'bipartisanship' (fully backed by media) to reward neocons.

Posted by: joiger456 | January 18, 2011 10:55 PM | Report abuse

"Another point, his loyalty was more with Tel Aviv than with the U.S. Now, he can become a full time lobbyist for AIPAC."

i agree with that.

Posted by: jkaren | January 18, 2011 10:59 PM | Report abuse

Yes, some serious short term gains by Dems.

But it's party discipline that helps a party over the long term, I think. I mean, we also saw the effect of party discipline w/ Pelosi in the House over the past two years -- and we'd learn the opposite lesson than you outline.

That doesn't mean the party should focus on ideological *purity* like the GOP is obsessed with; it means being as partisan as possible when it's feasible. That's how things get done nowadays w/ our 60-vote Senate, either with the GOP or the Dems. Lieberman is a terrible Democrat, and he very-predictably got away with it.

Posted by: Chris_ | January 18, 2011 11:05 PM | Report abuse

With friends like Joe Lieberman, why do Democrats need enemies?

Posted by: kjames196 | January 18, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

The only positive of having him run again would have been the pleasure of seeing him defeated.
He was disloyal over and over and over again to his party. He should have just switched to being a Rebug but he didn't want to lose his Chairmanship and give up his power. Good riddance.

Posted by: mimi424 | January 18, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Democratic hero???
Jo was neither a democrat nor a hero. His true colors came thru when he aligned with Bush, Cheney and supported Mc Cain.
He stood in the way of anyone who stood for honesty and decency.

Posted by: RGP75015 | January 18, 2011 11:51 PM | Report abuse

i wish we could edit comments ... i constantly have typos and forget words and whatnot ...

Posted by: Chris_ | January 19, 2011 12:52 AM | Report abuse

Hero ? In the eye of the beholder, perhaps, but democratic hero ? You've got to be joking.

Posted by: rbe1 | January 19, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman:

Droopy Dog

Zionist

Tool of Likud

Sanctimonious

Butt-Kisser of Insurance Companies

D-o-u-c-h-e-b-a-g

Joe, I would advise you not to let the door hit you on the way out, but that would deprive the door of the opportunity to slam your sorry butt.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | January 19, 2011 2:12 AM | Report abuse

A hero, yes!

A Democratic hero? Probably not. The lockstep liberals will never forgive him.

Posted by: mrfr1 | January 19, 2011 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Are you insane Ezra?

Posted by: WmLaney | January 19, 2011 2:42 AM | Report abuse

I'm a life-long Democrat and that spineless little sellout is no hero of mine.

Posted by: NICKYNUNYA | January 19, 2011 5:45 AM | Report abuse

During the latter part of his career Senator Lieberman represented the interests of the pharmaceutical industry and of Israel...the people of Connecticut and the interests of the United States rarely figured.
No doubt he will be handsomely rewarded by those he served.
The only upside of Al Gore's loss was that this schlemiel didn't end up a heartbeat from the presidency.

Posted by: kstack | January 19, 2011 6:34 AM | Report abuse

If Lieberman was a HERO (?) I'd rather have a TRAITOR in my party.

Posted by: harmiclir | January 19, 2011 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Now that he and Conrad killed the "pulic option" for generations of Americans ... I guess they feels their job is done.

Posted by: cautious | January 19, 2011 7:00 AM | Report abuse

A lot of people seem to believe that this dreadful little gnome was an agent of Israel. But step back a moment and look at the big picture--who ultimately benefited from the war in Iraq? Iran did. Well, Iran and several hundred crooked American contractors. But politically, Iran was the huge winner here. They are much stronger in the region than they were before the ouster of Hussein, and they have strong ties with the current powers in Iraq--all this without spending a penny.

Is it possible that Joe Lieberman was actually working for the Iranians rather than the Israelis? And possibly Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al also?

Posted by: nicekid | January 19, 2011 8:15 AM | Report abuse

A lot of people seem to believe that this dreadful little gnome was an agent of Israel. But step back a moment and look at the big picture--who ultimately benefited from the war in Iraq? Iran did. Well, Iran and several hundred crooked American contractors. But politically, Iran was the huge winner here. They are much stronger in the region than they were before the ouster of Hussein, and they have strong ties with the current powers in Iraq--all this without spending a penny.

Is it possible that Joe Lieberman was actually working for the Iranians rather than the Israelis? And possibly Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al also?

Posted by: nicekid | January 19, 2011 8:16 AM | Report abuse

A lot of people seem to believe that this dreadful little gnome was an agent of Israel. But step back a moment and look at the big picture--who ultimately benefited from the war in Iraq? Iran did. Well, Iran and several hundred crooked American contractors. But politically, Iran was the huge winner here. They are much stronger in the region than they were before the ouster of Hussein, and they have strong ties with the current powers in Iraq--all this without spending a penny.

Is it possible that Joe Lieberman was actually working for the Iranians rather than the Israelis? And possibly Cheney, Rumsfeld, et al also?

Posted by: nicekid | January 19, 2011 8:20 AM | Report abuse

Liberman is a joke. Glad he's retiring. John McCain should do the same....voters are tired of posers and pretenders.

Posted by: brt30 | January 19, 2011 8:26 AM | Report abuse

No. Sen. Leibermnan is not a Democratic hero.

Politics can sometimes be ugly, but when you switch allegiance simply to remain in office (How are you these days, Mr. Spector?), voters see you for what you are: no longer a servant of the people. Just another elderly man desperately clinging to his government job, its generous benefits and perks.

Posted by: dastubbs | January 19, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman and Arlen Spector were two peas in a pod. Their driving political ambition was to do what they thought was best for their country. What they thought was best for their country was for them to serve in the Senate. To achieve this for their nation, they were willing to be inconsistent and unprincipled all in the name of promoting themselves as men of principle who could cross the aisle and work with the opposing party. They also were prepared to take flack for appearing holier than thou in their efforts to position themselves as the consciences of the Senate and the nation. We owe them both a debt of thanks and wishes for happy retirements far away from cameras and microphones.

Posted by: flotsam3 | January 19, 2011 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Klein, are you kidding me or is this a rhetorical question? Joe Lieberman absolutely delighted in making the Democrats miserable during the past three years. Whatever good he did as a democrat has been undermined by his most recent party treason. Lieberman absolutely hates the POTUS and many other Democratic members. His problem was that he could not seem to understand that warmongering is not a democratic thing, per se., and that his constituents had a problem with people who saw things differently. Lieberman should retire the same way he acted, as a Republican.

Posted by: ruthella10 | January 19, 2011 10:29 AM | Report abuse

The man is a fraud... he's been Senator for Israel (and the insurance companies) for years. They own him. They can have him.

Posted by: Iconoblaster | January 19, 2011 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is a twit, and he talks like a cartoon character. There is no doubt - and what a stupid headline for this column - that Lieberman is a boon to Republicans and a traitor to Democrats.

Lieberman SUCKED during the '04 campaign, sucked in his debate, sucked enough I think to drag the ticket to fake defeat. (No way Florida voted for Bush.)

Lieberman was bussed on the cheek by Dubya after one of the Meat Puppet's States of the Union.

He's a creep, a self-serving liar and man with no firm principles except to be a brainless war hawk to help all of his corporate buddies who support him.

Lieberman is a sop to insurers, one of the biggest criminal enterprises going on in this country.Screw Lieberman.

Posted by: 2229 | January 19, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is a twit, and he talks like a cartoon character. There is no doubt - and what a stupid headline for this column - that Lieberman is a boon to Republicans and a traitor to Democrats.

Lieberman SUCKED during the '04 campaign, sucked in his debate, sucked enough I think to drag the ticket to fake defeat. (No way Florida voted for Bush.)

Lieberman was bussed on the cheek by Dubya after one of the Meat Puppet's States of the Union.

He's a creep, a self-serving liar and man with no firm principles except to be a brainless war hawk to help all of his corporate buddies who support him.

Lieberman is a sop to insurers, one of the biggest criminal enterprises going on in this country.Screw Lieberman.

Posted by: 2229 | January 19, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is a twit, and he talks like a cartoon character. There is no doubt - and what a stupid headline for this column - that Lieberman is a boon to Republicans and a traitor to Democrats.

Lieberman SUCKED during the '04 campaign, sucked in his debate, sucked enough I think to drag the ticket to fake defeat. (No way Florida voted for Bush.)

Lieberman was bussed on the cheek by Dubya after one of the Meat Puppet's States of the Union.

He's a creep, a self-serving liar and man with no firm principles except to be a brainless war hawk to help all of his corporate buddies who support him.

Lieberman is a sop to insurers, one of the biggest criminal enterprises going on in this country.Screw Lieberman.

Posted by: 2229 | January 19, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman is a twit, and he talks like a cartoon character. There is no doubt - and what a stupid headline for this column - that Lieberman is a boon to Republicans and a traitor to Democrats.

Lieberman SUCKED during the '04 campaign, sucked in his debate, sucked enough I think to drag the ticket to fake defeat. (No way Florida voted for Bush.)

Lieberman was bussed on the cheek by Dubya after one of the Meat Puppet's States of the Union.

He's a creep, a self-serving liar and man with no firm principles except to be a brainless war hawk to help all of his corporate buddies who support him.

Lieberman is a sop to insurers, one of the biggest criminal enterprises going on in this country.Screw Lieberman.

Posted by: 2229 | January 19, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Reading the comments, I note with interest that both Jew hatred and 'the climate of hate' decried by the Left have a mainstream home with them.

heh! Glass houses anyone?

Senator Lieberman's real problem was that he was a patriot who was able to put principle above his own political benefit and especially above the Leftist Agenda. That made him poison to the type of Connecticut voter who thought Dick Blumenthal was a wise choice to put in the Senate.

Posted by: JoshuaPundit | January 19, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Hero? Are you kidding me. Only the Dems would let a guy caucus with them that campaigned against the President.
Hey Joe, don't let the door hit you on your butt on your way out. Look on the bright side. You'll always have your health insurance lobbiest job to go back to.

Posted by: glenn113 | January 19, 2011 4:05 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman's retirement marks the end of big "L" Liberalism, the final nail in the coffin of the JFK democrat.

All that is left is the "progressive" party of Obama and Pelosi. A party fueled by the self-hating, America hating, freedom hating "academic" left.

A left poisoned by the alternative histories of Marxist "scholars" and race-baiting community organizers. A left that makes excuses for Islamist fascists like Hamas, Hezbollah and the Islamic Brotherhood. A left that jealously drools over the "command" economy totalitarianism of the Red Chinese - the direct recipients of power from mass murderers who killed 70 million civilians for the greater good.

Posted by: Parker1227 | January 19, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

He is better than the Democrat party deserved. And for those who argued he didn't represent you in his state, why did he win 5 statewide majority elections in Connecticut, then? For those who call him a "turncoat," why did he stay in the Democrats' caucus, and not change parties, which he could have done? Why did he stick with Obamacare, which he could (and from our standpoint, should) easily have killed?People who are wishing him violent death, or otherwise spouting hatred at him, ought to be ashamed. Lieberman is a good man.

Posted by: INTJ | January 19, 2011 5:20 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman, the senator from Tel Aviv, said in his 2006 campaign that it was unpatriotic for Americans not to support Israel.

That explains his support of the Neocon campaign to make the Middle East safe for Israel by (among other things) invading Iraq; according to Gen. Wes Clark, that was the first of five Muslim countries the Neocons planned to invade.

As for Iraq, the Neocons feared that Saddam was building nukes underground out of reach of (another) Israeli airstrike, and the only way to be sure was to invade.

The country is better off with Holy Joe out of office. I see that that erratic crotchety old McCain is already recommending Lieberman for SecDef. That would be a disaster of the first magnitude.

Posted by: tmaertens | January 19, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Liberman as defense secretary? That must be someone's idea of a bad joke. It is time for him to go and become a lobbyist and make an honest living for a change, not that I think lobbyist should be even allowed in our political elections or system. But that is another story.

Posted by: erika180 | January 19, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

Sen Lieberman was a man of true honor and principal. As a conservative I disagreed with him on almost everything, but as a member of an increasingly strident and extreme left wing party he was one of the few that really engaged in civil discourse and stood by his principals. In return he was vilified and betrayed by the extreme left wing majority of his party. Even after being betrayed by his party and forced to win reelection as an independent he repaid the hatred and betrayal by staying loyal and caucusing with the democrats. His reward was the vilest hatred from the left. Sen Lieberman is a good example of why men of honor and decency have no place in the democratic party. I hope he continues to stand for his principals and I wish him the best!

Posted by: valwayne | January 19, 2011 11:58 PM | Report abuse

Sen Lieberman was a man of true honor and principal. As a conservative I disagreed with him on almost everything, but as a member of an increasingly strident and extreme left wing party he was one of the few that really engaged in civil discourse and stood by his principals. In return he was vilified and betrayed by the extreme left wing majority of his party. Even after being betrayed by his party and forced to win reelection as an independent he repaid the hatred and betrayal by staying loyal and caucusing with the democrats. His reward was the vilest hatred from the left. Sen Lieberman is a good example of why men of honor and decency have no place in the democratic party. I hope he continues to stand for his principals and I wish him the best!

Posted by: valwayne | January 19, 2011 11:59 PM | Report abuse

Hero? If he had graciously accepted his loss in the Democratic primary, Connecticut would have had a far better Senator and the Health Care legislation would have been better too.

Posted by: bethechangeyouwant | January 20, 2011 10:02 AM | Report abuse

You and David Brooks have been in DC way too long, Ezra...way too long.

Posted by: fjschmi | January 21, 2011 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Ezra Please take down this post and apologize to humanity. before writing anybody is hero you should ask some of the families of the 100,000 Iraq murdered in this war or Muslims wrongly imprisoned simply for being Muslim. These are ALL policies LIEberman advocated. LIEberman is vile and a corporate shill. For you to sit up here and praise him is a disgrace.

Posted by: Civ4ever | January 21, 2011 4:03 PM | Report abuse

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