Amazing op-ed on "What Lieberman believes"
This is why every student majoring in English should take at least one journalism class before graduating college.
If you do anything today, it would be within you best interest to read this excellent op-ed from Frank Harris III in today's Hartford Courant regarding Joe Lieberman.
Personally, I can't find the words to truly express how much I admire Harris' piece so I'm not going to waste my time trying to do so. All I ask is for everyone to please go read it in full and thank Harris for writing such an insightful piece of work.
Oh, I love journalism professors!
Six days after Ned Lamont toppled Sen. Joseph Lieberman in the Democratic primary, I keep reflecting on the interesting twist of party loyalty that brought former President Bill Clinton campaigning on Sen. Lieberman's behalf.
Party loyalty made Clinton do it, although the loyalty does not seem to be reciprocated, as evident in Lieberman's parachute jump back into the field as an "independent Democrat."
One of the statements that Lieberman made during his concession/non-concession speech last week was that he would continue to take a stand for his beliefs, regardless of the political costs.
He was referring to his support for President Bush's policies regarding the war in Iraq. Although Lieberman made what could be called a noble, principled statement, there is a difference between bipartisanship and compromise vs. a total carte blanche for a Bush policy that got America to go to war with Iraq and keeps America's troops in Iraq.
Lieberman's noble statement of principle might also garner more respect if he were more consistent in his application of it.
For instance, at the height of the revelations about Clinton's indiscretions with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Lieberman took to the Senate floor in September 1998 to lambaste Clinton, his fellow Democrat, for what he called Clinton's immoral behavior, including, by association, Clinton's lying to the American people.
Eight years ago, the senator righteously called out Clinton for his moral indiscretion and his lies regarding Monica Lewinsky - the sex lies; yet since the Iraq war, the senator has remained silent regarding the lies of George W. -the war lies.
For those who may have forgotten, amid the troops coming home in body bags and bandages, not to mention the thousands of civilian casualties and the further destabilization of the Middle East - George W. and his administration have, in effect, looked into the eyes of the American people and lied about the reasons for going to war in Iraq.
Remember the weapons of mass destruction and the assertion that Iraq was complicit in the terrorism of Sept. 11, 2001, and that there was indisputable proof?
If Lieberman were consistent in applying moral outrage to immoral, disgraceful behavior that damages the country - as he did with Bill about Monica - he would find gaping holes in the Bush administration's war in Iraq.
Lies wound the soul, the heart, the mind. Lies weaken trust, kill credibility. Yes, there are lies of degree. Yes, all lies are not equal. But even this recognition makes Lieberman's position regarding Clinton's sex lies vs. Bush's war lies troubling.
Bill Clinton lied about Monica. It killed many Americans' trust in him and his credibility.
George W. Bush lied about Iraq. It has killed trust, his credibility and, most significantly, people.
Last month, Clinton delivered an impassioned speech urging Connecticut Democrats to support Lieberman because he has served us well.
Connecticut's voters disagreed, which takes me back to some rather prescient words Lieberman spoke from the Senate floor eight years ago, when he was condemning Clinton's behavior. Among Lieberman's words was a quote he attributed to President Teddy Roosevelt: "My power vanishes into thin air the instant that my fellow citizens, who are straight and honest, cease to believe that I represent them and fight for what is straight and honest."
Senator, I believe you are honest and straightforward in what you believe.
I just think you no longer represent what most Connecticut citizens believe.