Remember, we told you so.
Standing under the grand dome of the Library of Congress on Friday, the three top Senate Democrats bitterly condemned sending more U.S. troops to Iraq, as President Bush is now considering.As for him supporting the Democratic Party...
"A bad idea," said Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.).
"A huge mistake," warned Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin (Ill.).
"Makes no sense whatsoever," fumed Sen. Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.).
Across town an hour earlier, at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman shared his own thoughts on Bush's plan. "We need an increase in troops there now," he asserted before an audience of military experts and academics. "It must be substantial, and it must be sustained."
The November election swept Republicans out of power in Congress and signaled that voters are deeply unhappy about the course of the Iraq war. The asterisk is Lieberman, who won a fourth term in an antiwar state with strong support from Republican and unaffiliated voters.Look people, Joe Lieberman would be doing the same thing whether he won the primary or not. Joe Lieberman is a neo-con and only cares about one thing...Joe Lieberman. Backing Bush's idiotic idea of increasing troop levels in Iraq only verifies what everyone should know by now.
That has given Lieberman a mandate to be the man in the middle, an essential player to both parties while beholden to neither. Lately he has dropped the "Democrat" half of his affiliation, describing himself at the Friday event merely as an independent. He even holds out the possibility that he would back a supporter of the Iraq war, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), in the 2008 presidential race -- although his Connecticut colleague, Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D), also may be running.
"I've had a very political two years, so I'm staying out of it for now," Lieberman demurred after his AEI address. "But you know, I'm independent, and I'm just going to watch it develop for a while. I'm going to support who's best for the country. But I wouldn't exclude the possibility" of endorsing McCain.
"There is no military solution in Iraq, only a political solution," Reid said. "Adding more combat troops to this civil war undermines our efforts to get the Iraqis to take responsibility for the future."You should have thrown Lieberman under the bus after he lost the primary.
Lieberman got a hearty laugh at the AEI event when asked to comment on the Reid-Pelosi letter. "Speaking as an independent," he said with a smile, "needless to say, I respectfully disagree."
For Lieberman and McCain, the big worry is that Bush will order too small a troop increase to make a difference. "Unless you believe all is lost, we've got to do everything we can to win," Lieberman said.
Upon hearing of his colleague's comments, Durbin sighed and shook his head. "Joe Lieberman said that?" he asked.
Democrats grumble off the record that Lieberman is muddying an increasingly unified Democratic message on Iraq, but their public comments are cautious and generally complimentary. They pretended not to notice his brief appearance at the Library of Congress retreat, which overlapped with the AEI forum.
Can we now look into his 387,000 in COLD HARD petty cash?