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Posted at 11:10 AM ET, 01/19/2011

Lieberman to invoke JFK Democrats and decry "partisan boxes" in farewell presser

By Greg Sargent

A source close to Joe Lieberman sends over an advance excerpt of what he will say at his presser today announcing his retirement. He plans to place himself in the tradition of Kennedy Democrats, and argue that today's partisan categories no longer allow any space for Dems in that tradition:

My interest in public service was inspired by President John F. Kennedy, who -- coincidentally 50 years ago tomorrow in his Inaugural Address -- asked us to ask ourselves what we could do for our country and challenged us to bear any burden to assure the survival and success of liberty.

The politics of President Kennedy -- service to country, support of civil rights and social justice, pro-growth economic and tax policies, and a strong national defense -- are still my politics, and they don't fit neatly into today's partisan political boxes any more either.

One of the things that most angered the left about Lieberman is that in justifying his support for Bush foreign policies -- from the invasion of Iraq on down -- he insisted Dems who opposed them had departed from a tradition of Democrats who favored foreign policy "strength." The left always rejected this as a false frame, pointing out that they disagreed with Lieberman over what constitutes "strength," and that one of their objections to Bush's policies was that they weakened America.

Lieberman's refusal to countenance that argument, and his willingness to reinforce a frame that Republicans were using to paint the Democratic Party as weak and unable to protect America, was one of the primary reasons liberals tried so hard to oust him in 2006. By claiming that the Kennedyesque combination of liberal social policies and "strong national defense" no longer has a comfortable home in today's "partisan political boxes" -- which is to say, in today's Democratic Party -- Lieberman will be unapologetically sounding the note that so angered liberals one last time as he heads into retirement.

UPDATE, 12:29 p.m.: It should be noted that for all his criticism of Dems for opposing Bush foreign policies, Lieberman has been pretty much uniformly supportive of Obama's foreign policy approach. It's notable that Lieberman is now in sync with the country's top Democrat on these issues, though this also reflects the fact that there isn't as much daylight as many expected there would be between Obama's and Bush's positions.

By Greg Sargent  | January 19, 2011; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  2012, Foreign policy and national security, Senate Dems, Senate Republicans  
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Next: The mixed record of Joe Lieberman

Comments


Can Washington remain "civil" while GOP tries to roll back Obama's entire agenda?


Answer: Anything that comes about as a result of Bait and Switch is not legitimate.

So, the "civil" thing to do is for all parties to agree that the "switch" part has zero legitimacy and has to go.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 11:14 AM | Report abuse

The problem for Joe is that John Kennedy died almost 50 years ago. Clearly, just from looking at his brothers, Ted in particular, JFK would have moved beyond the positions he took in the early sixties, had he lived. There are even some indications he had turned against the war in Vietnam before his death.

So Kennedy would probably have evolved considerably had he lived, but Joe is still stuck in the Cold War mindset in many ways. He was always a reliable pro-choice and generally civil rights vote, but on so many other issues he really didn't evolve much over his career. The world passed him by, in other words.

Posted by: Mimikatz | January 19, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Don't let the door hit ya, Joe...

"I knew Jack Kennedy, and you're no Jack Kennedy"- LLoyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 19, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The democrats - and the Church Commission is just one example - have been trying to WEAKEN our foreign policy for decades.

Clinton pulled the great majority of our intelligence assets out of the Middle East in the 90s - leading directly to our nation essentially being "blind" in the Middle East from an intelligence point of view.

We all know what happened on 9/11 after 8 years of weak policies from Bill Clinton and his democratic idealogy.


AND now we have Greg - who is being deceptive about what the democrats have done - the democrats want a SOFT foreign policy and a SOFT approach to terrorism.


There is no way around that - obviously the democrats do not want people to SAY how weak the democratic policies are - and OF COURSE THE DEMOCRATS WANT THE COVER STORY THAT THEY WANT A STRONG AMERICA.


However, the democrats do not WANT THE POLICIES WHICH MAKE AMERICA STRONG.


Im sure the next thing is some NUANCE FROM GREG, or some reframing of the question so somehow Greg can tell himself he is right.

For some reason, someone in Greg's life must have just payed him lipservice - everytime Greg reframed the question to try to say he was right - that person must have agreed. Now Greg thinks that is the way he can win every discussion. Sorry, Greg, that doesn't cut it.


The democrats are SOFT on foreign policy - Obama is SOFT on terrorism.


NO other way around it.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 11:22 AM | Report abuse

Reality Check for Joe Lieberman.

JFK would have campaigned for Barack Obama. You campaigned for McCain/Palin, and were ready to run with McCain, until the rabid right wingers raised hell with him, about selecting you.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Political Pundits Surprisingly Good At Getting Inside Mentally Unbalanced Shooter's Head.

http://www.theonion.com/articles/political-pundits-surprisingly-good-at-getting-ins,18817/


"NEW YORK—According to media analysts, the nation's TV commentators and political pundits have proved uncannily accurate when describing the deeply disturbed inner thoughts of accused Arizona gunman Jared Loughner. "It's strange, but when it comes to getting inside the mind of this human being who seems to possess no empathy, sense of morality, or hold on reality, and who is motivated only by personal animus and self-glorification, the nation's major political pundits have been amazingly adept," said Horizon Media analyst Bob Cullen, who has studied extensive tape of commentators on all major TV news programs and found their remarks on "what the killer is thinking" to be consistently thorough and detailed across the board. "It's almost as though they have some way of knowing, firsthand, exactly what this demented and highly dangerous individual with the eyes of millions upon him is going through." Researchers at Horizon Media also reported that a number of prominent TV pundits appeared to be mimicking the exact same chilling gleam in Loughner's eye for what they could only speculate was "dramatic effect.""

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"Maybe because I am at ground zero here in the heart of cracker land I am hyper sensitive. "

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 18, 2011 10:48 PM
___________________________


So, from your comment - all I can conclude is that ALL of you in that town are RACIST. YOU just don't agree with everyone else on who to hate.

Is that just about right?


Greg

Why hasn't rukidding been banned? This is clearly RACIST HATE SPEECH.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Liam

That quote is satire - you do realize that.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Joe, you did not fit anywhere. Your entire political agenda was driven only by your own ambitions. John Kennedy would not have campaigned for McCain/Palin. That is your legacy and good riddance.

Posted by: LEFTYLADIG | January 19, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Morbid Curiosity Leading Many Voters To Support Palin


http://www.theonion.com/articles/morbid-curiosity-leading-many-voters-to-support-pa,18865/

"A recent polls shows 62% of Americans say they don't want to vote for Palin, but kinda have to just have to see what would happen. Onion News Network premieres on IFC on Friday at 10pm."

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Lieberman was almost solely responsible for not allowing Medicare to cover people down to their mid 50s. He's been bought and paid for by that industry for years. I suspect that if he doesn't become a lobbyist for them, then he will play a leading role with AIPAC, since Joe's foreign policy credo has been "whatever is good for Israel is all that's important". He showed himself to be a betrayer to his party in 2008. It's one thing to quietly support McCain, but he decided to make an appearance at the GOP convention. For Joe, it's always been "all Joe all the time". Take a hike and good riddance. CT will now have a real Democrat in the Senate.

Posted by: filmnoia | January 19, 2011 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, right, Joe, JFK would have appeared at the Republican National Convention to badmouth the Democratic nominee for president. Blow it out you azz, Joe.

Posted by: Bob22003 | January 19, 2011 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Joe, you misunderstood. JFK was asking what you could do for America, not Israel.

Posted by: jckdoors | January 19, 2011 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Don't say a word about this to anyone, and above all do not post any comment on what I am about to mention.

The New WP Sidetracking software is doing a fabulous job.

It is sheer genius. All of Sybil's posts, for all of yesterday and today, have stopped showing up on any one's computers except her's.

Just brilliant. She is the only one that keeps seeing her ravings as if they were actually posted, and therefore will keep banging away at her keyboard for ever, without ever realizing that only she is actually able to see all her demented puking.

Here is the best thing of all, about the new Sidetracking software; if Sybil changes names, as she is wont to do, then all Greg has to do, is add that new name to the Sidetracking feature, which can be done real time.

I love it; and remember; do not reply, or make any comment about what I have just told all of you.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Seriously folks,

I just don't see why Obama has not acted to put this issue behind him - otherwise any reasonable person MUST conclude that Obama has something to hide:


From today's reports:


Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie suggested in an interview published today that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health.


Abercrombie told the Honolulu Star Advertiser he was searching within the Hawaii Department of Health to find definitive vital records that would prove Obama was born in Hawaii


Conceivably, the yet undisclosed birth record in the state archives that Abercrombie has discovered may have come from the grandparents registering Obama`s birth, an event that would have triggered both the newspaper birth announcements and availability of a Certification of Live Birth, even if no long-form birth certificate existed.

WND has also reported that Tim Adams, a former senior elections clerk for the city and county of Honolulu in 2008, has maintained that there is no long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate on file with the Hawaii Department of Health and that neither Honolulu hospital - Queens Medical Center or Kapiolani Medical Center - has any record that Obama was born there.

__________________________

The democrats are going to have A GREAT DEAL OF EXPLAINING TO DO if this paperwork doesn't turn out their way.


The democrats have NO PROOF - and yet they insist they are right.

Let's see the documentation - no name-calling.


ALL the democrats have done is resort to name-calling, INSTEAD OF PRODUCING THE DOCUMENTS.

Let's see the documents - and at this point the democrats should just shut up until the country gets the documents.

.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 12:06 PM | Report abuse

This statement from Joe, goes a long way toward explaining his recent fight to repeal DADT. Does anyone really believe if he had run on the ticket with McCain that he would have called for repeal of DADT, on the campaign trail? Of course not.

Joe knew that he was not going to run for reelection, so his efforts on behalf of repealing DADT were just a last minute self-serving attempt to try and burnish his legacy.

If he were running for re-election, he would not have pushed for the repeal act. You can be sure of that.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The COUNTRY is asking for the hospital-generated long-form


Abercrombie's statement was actually a "suggest[ion] ... that a long-form, hospital-generated birth certificate for Barack Obama may not exist within the vital records maintained by the Hawaii Department of Health."


__________________________

The Governor of Hawaii has made statements to CNN that he would come up with these documents - that was weeks ago.


Let's SEE IT.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 19, 2011 12:09 PM | Report abuse

It's nauseating to watch JoJo try to construct a positive LIE about himself... Can't be done. This man is an ego-centric jerk... Bye Bye JoJo... Don't let the door bang you in the ass... Just go away soon.

Posted by: rbaldwin2 | January 19, 2011 12:12 PM | Report abuse

All, good post by Adam Serwer assessing Lieberman's record:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/plum-line/2011/01/the_mixed_record_of_joe_lieber.html

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 19, 2011 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Every now and then our trolls are really great for comic relief...

This is a hoot...a birther starts a post "Seriously folks"

The only thing serious about birthers is their SERIOUS need for psychiatric evaluation. Somebody needs to treat their paranoia which has resulted in producing all this idiocy and hatred.

Barrack Hussein Obama..RTR & KDE'S PRESIDENT!!! Can't skirt the facts losers.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 19, 2011 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"One of the things that most angered the left about Lieberman is that in justifying his support for Bush foreign policies -- from the invasion of Iraq on down -- he insisted Dems who opposed them had departed from a tradition of Democrats who favored foreign policy "strength." The left always rejected this as a false frame, pointing out that they disagreed with Lieberman over what constitutes "strength," and that one of their objections to Bush's policies was that they weakened America.

Lieberman's refusal to countenance that argument, and his willingness to reinforce a frame that Republicans were using to paint the Democratic Party as weak and unable to protect America, was one of the primary reasons liberals tried so hard to oust him in 2006. By claiming that the Kennedyesque combination of liberal social policies and "strong national defense" no longer has a comfortable home in today's "partisan political boxes" -- which is to say, in today's Democratic Party -- Lieberman will be unapologetically sounding the note that so angered liberals one last time as he heads into retirement."

As Glenn Greenwald points out in Salon, President Obama has also implicitly rejected the left's arguments against Bush's War on Terror policies by continuing them pretty much as they were left at the end of Bush's second term. As he says, this amounts to a "vindication of Dick Cheney".

"Conservatives would love to bash Obama for being weak on Terrorism so that, in the event of another attack, they can blame him (and Cheney, in last night's interview, left open that possibility by suggesting Obama may suffer from unknown failures). If it were at all possible, they'd be out accusing him of abandoning critical programs that Keep us Safe; that's what they do best. But they cannot with a straight face claim that Obama has abandoned their core approach, so they do the only thing they can do: acknowledge that he has continued and strengthened it and point out that it proves they were right -- and he was wrong -- all along. If Obama has indeed changed his mind over the last two years as a result of all the Secret Scary Things he's seen as President, then I genuinely believe that he and the Democratic Party owe a heartfelt, public apology to Bush, Cheney and the GOP for all the harsh insults they spewed about them for years based on policies that they are now themselves aggressively continuing.

Obama has won the War on Terror debate -- for the American Right. And as Dick Cheney's interview last night demonstrates, they're every bit as appreciative as they should be."

http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/01/18/cheney/index.html

Posted by: jnc4p | January 19, 2011 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Nonsense. Bush's stupid invasion of Iraq is not something that Democrats are now emulating. They are just moping up Bush's mess, and trying to get the hell out of a place that America should never have invaded.

As for Afghanistan; Bush never really waged a real campaign against the place where 9/11 was really launched from. He diverted almost all of our efforts to catering to his Iraq fetish, and allowed the Taliban to run free and spread in Afghanistan.

Again; Democrats are trying to make up for the neglect that Bush/Cheney gave to the region where 9/11 was launched from.

Posted by: Liam-still | January 19, 2011 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"this also reflects the fact that there isn't as much daylight as many expected there would be between Obama's and Bush's positions."

Hehheh.

This is what I personally expected. Obama's a smart guy, he needs to be successful in foreign policy. Bush's foreign policy was NEVER a bad or as radical as his domestic political opponents claimed. It was always driven by practical real-world considerations.

So if Obama wants to have a successful foreign policy, he really DOES have to follow in GWB's footsteps.

I told you so, right here on these pages.

.

Posted by: ZZim | January 19, 2011 5:03 PM | Report abuse

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