Tuesday, February 06, 2007
Where's Joe Lieberman when the Democrats need him?
Actually, he's right where he ought to be -- on the floor of the United States Senate, holding fast to his principles.
The Senator from Connecticut has demonstrated that he doesn't need the Democratic Party to get elected, or to get work done. They, on the other hand, need him, more than they know.
Yesterday, a vote for cloture on Sen. Warner's non-binding lack-of-confidence resolution was defeated. I'll avoid saying much more than that, because if I do, I'll make it abundantly clear just how little I understand how the Senate works. I will say, however, that it was defeated because the Republicans seemed to finally understand what is at stake here, and the importance of getting their act together.
But they're not the only ones who understand what is at stake. That's the other reason I don't want to say much about this, because Joe Lieberman, the Independent Democrat from Connecticut, said it so very much better than I could:
It is altogether proper that we debate our policy in Iraq. It should be a debate that is as serious as the situation in Iraq and that reflects the powers the Constitution gives to Congress in matters of war.Believe it or not, it gets better. Please do go read the whole thing.
But that, sadly, is not the debate that the Warner-Levin resolution invites us to have. I am going to speak strongly against this resolution because I feel strongly about it. I do so with respect for my colleagues who have offered it, but I believe its passage would so compromise America’s security, present and future, that I will say so in the clearest terms I can.
The resolution before us, its sponsors concede, will not stop the new strategy from going forward. As we speak, thousands of troops are already in Baghdad, with thousands more moving into position to carry out their Commander’s orders. This resolution does nothing to alter these facts.
Instead, its sponsors say it will send a message of rebuke from the Senate to the president, from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the other. But there is a world beyond Pennsylvania Avenue that is watching and listening.
What we say here is being heard in Baghdad by Iraqi moderates, trying to decide whether the Americans will stand with them. We are being heard by our men and women in uniform, who will be interested to know whether we support the plan they have begun to carry out. We are being heard by the leaders of the thuggish regimes in Iran and Syria, and by Al Qaeda terrorists, eager for evidence that America’s will is breaking. And we are being heard across America by our constituents, who are wondering if their Congress is capable of serious action, not just hollow posturing.
[. . . ]
For the Senate to take up a symbolic vote of no confidence on the eve of a decisive battle is unprecedented, but it is not inconsequential. It is an act which, I fear, will discourage our troops, hearten our enemies, and showcase our disunity. And that is why I will vote against cloture.
Thank you, Sen. Lieberman. The Democratic Party sorely needs more people like you -- and that need is to their discredit.