April 26, 2007

Go, Joe!

Hatched by Dafydd

I've been reading the speech that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT, 75%D) gave on the Senate floor, passionately arguing against the surrender bill that the fatuous Democratic majority in Senate and House have just passed (Power Line has the complete transcript). And I came across this passage that quite literally made my mouth fall open.

It's so obvious once Lieberman points it out... but I must confess, I never realized it until I read Lieberman saying it. You will be as stunned as I, I predict (all emphasis added):

In his speech Monday, the Majority Leader described the several steps that this new strategy for Iraq would entail. Its first step, he said, is to "transition the U.S. mission away from policing a civil war -- to training and equipping Iraqi security forces, protecting U.S. forces, and conducting targeted counter-terror operations...."

There is another irony here as well. For most of the past four years, under Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, the United States did not try to establish basic security in Iraq. Rather than deploying enough troops necessary to protect the Iraqi people, the focus of our military has been on training and equipping Iraqi forces, protecting our own forces, and conducting targeted sweeps and raids -- in other words, the very same missions proposed by the proponents of the legislation before us.

That strategy failed -- and we know why it failed. It failed because we didn't have enough troops to ensure security, which in turn created an opening for Al Qaeda and its allies to exploit. They stepped into this security vacuum and, through horrific violence, created a climate of fear and insecurity in which political and economic progress became impossible.

For years, many members of Congress recognized this. We talked about this. We called for more troops, and a new strategy, and -- for that matter -- a new secretary of defense. And yet, now, just as President Bush has come around -- just as he has recognized the mistakes his administration has made, and the need to focus on basic security in Iraq, and to install a new secretary of defense and a new commander in Iraq -- now his critics in Congress have changed their minds and decided that the old, failed strategy wasn't so bad after all.

What is going on here? What has changed so that the strategy that we criticized and rejected in 2006 suddenly makes sense in 2007?

Uh... yeah. What?

What has changed, of course, is that President George W. Bush has changed! He was finally persuaded that we could not win a "war of attrition" (to use a term that might resonate with older readers); it failed under Gen. William Westmoreland, and it was failing under Gens. George Casey and John Abizaid. Rather, Bush was finally convinced by Fred Kagan, Gen. Jack Keane, and Gen. David Petraeus that we needed a true counterinsurgency strategy, one that focused on restoring basic security to Iraq area by area... that is, turning red to pink and pink to white.

And -- like a weathercock with its arrow reversed -- the Democrats in Congress instantly and automatically point the opposite direction from the prevailing winds from the White House.

When Bush supported the war of attrition, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Caesar's Palace, 95%) and Squeaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Haight-Ashbury, 95%) were totally opposed to it, pointing out that such wars had never worked. But when Bush comes around and finally admits the point, rejecting a war of atttition... then Reid and Pelosi embrace it with both arms and one leg!

I'm not entirely comfortable with the United States Congress turning into Monty Python's "argument clinic." (Perhaps the president should publicly denounce NAMBLA, just to see what happens.)

How long can Joe Lieberman continue the farce of caucusing with the Democrats, while they shamefully reject their duty to fight the war against a vicious, expansionist, theocratic ideology -- which Lieberman himself considers the greatest issue facing America today? At some point, doesn't something break?

Bear in mind, there is nothing that Lieberman can do to make Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY, 84%) the majority leader of the Senate. As Scott Keyes notes at Political Insider, by the nature of the organizational vote that began the 110th Congress last January, the Democrats will control both the committee assignments and the Senate agenda until the 111th Congress convenes on January, 2009. (Hat tip to lefty blogger Hilzoy.)

So how did it flip when Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-VT, 90%D) jumped? Let Keyes explains:

What's the difference between now and 2001? A small but important distinction. When the 107th Congress was convened on January 3, 2001, Al Gore was still the Vice President and would be for another two-and-a-half weeks. Therefore, because of the Senate's 50-50 tie, Democrats had nominal control of the chamber when the organizing resolution came to a vote. With Dick Cheney soon to come in, however, Democrats allowed Republicans to control the Senate in return for a provision on the organizing resolution that allowed for a reorganization of the chamber if any member should switch parties, which Jeffords did five months later. There was no such clause in the current Senate's organizing resolution.

That provision never existed in any previous Congress, and it does not exist in the current organizing resolution for the 110th. Alas, Lieberman can jump all he wants, but Reid will remain majority leader at least until noon, January 3rd, 2009. Still, Joe Lieberman is a man of principle; and I believe that if he jumped ship, it would send shock waves through the moderate Democratic community.

As Lieberman has already proven, he has a personal rapport with voters that extends far beyond his identification as a Democrat: When the Democrats ran nutroots nominee Ned Lamont against Lieberman in Connecticut, independent Lieberman crushed Democrat Lamont 50% to 40% -- or by 11%, if you consider only the two viable candidates and ignore distant Republican Alan Schlesinger.

I believe that most of Lieberman's personal constituency, not just in his state but in the country as a whole, would follow him to the Republican Party. Even without being on the ticket, just as a campaigner, he might very well be able to throw some close Senate races in 2008 to the Republicans... and possibly some close states in the presidential vote, as well. He cannot stop the Democrats from running amok for the next twenty months, but he might be able to threaten their majority so seriously, he forces them to serious-up about the war.

Go, Joe! Go across the aisle; you will find more kindred spirits than you may imagine.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, April 26, 2007, at the time of 4:42 PM

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» A Gentleman from Connecticut from Joe's Dartblog
I do not want to fall into a habit of posting full-length political speeches in this bedraggled column, but one you really ought to read is Joe Lieberman's, given today in the well of the Senate. The address was a... [Read More]

Tracked on April 26, 2007 7:39 PM

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Tracked on April 26, 2007 10:00 PM


The following hissed in response by: Bill M

As much as I'd like to see Joe jump to the right side of the aisle, the right side of the tracks, or away from the dark side, I feel he is just too much of a Democrat to do so. Like Zell Miller, he is a Democrat to the core and just can't "abandon" his party. Even though his party has abandoned him, or should I say, has abandoned it's core principles, Joe just can't bring himself to take the step he probably knows he should. I have to respect him for that.

I have often thought that had Joe been at the top of the Democrat ticket in 2000, the result of the election would have been very different. He is about all that brought any class to the 2000 ticket. And if he had been the candidate in 2004, the Democrat Party would have controlled the White House.

He is a man of honor. Wish the Democrats had more of them. They are apparently an endangered species on the dark side.

The above hissed in response by: Bill M [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2007 6:58 PM

The following hissed in response by: Fritz

Dafydd, you must have a cruel streak. Having Bush denounce NAMBLA would cause the Democrats to suffer a major meltdown. They are so wedded to their anti Bush rhetoric that no matter what he is for or against, they will take the other side even if it costs us the whole country. It is not so much that they are traitors, more that they are paranoid. Good post and dead on.

The above hissed in response by: Fritz [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2007 7:28 PM

The following hissed in response by: M. Simon

Have you heard this?

Haditha Bombshell - Intel Evidence

The above hissed in response by: M. Simon [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2007 7:53 PM

The following hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh


Hm. I think I need a source more credible than Newsmax.com before I start leaping about!


The above hissed in response by: Dafydd ab Hugh [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 26, 2007 9:35 PM

The following hissed in response by: Bill Faith

The above hissed in response by: Bill Faith [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 27, 2007 12:52 AM

The following hissed in response by: chsw

Lieberman's defection would cause shock waves among the Jackass wing of the Democratic Party. This is because one of the most loyal Democratic voting blocs has been Jewish Americans, particularly Jewish Americans over 65. If Lieberman, who is extremely popular among this older cohort, leaves the Democrats by switching parties or by other means, then a considerable percentage of Jewish Americans will leave with him.


The above hissed in response by: chsw [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 27, 2007 7:07 AM

The following hissed in response by: BigLeeH

Good post, Dafydd. It's amazing how quickly the Dems can do a 180 these days. It helps that the press seems afflicted with anterograde amnesia where the Democrats are concerned. Democrat quotes that appear in today's headline, no matter how big the font, will be forgotten by tomorrow.

The Dems' whatever-Bush-says-is-wrong act reminds me of a joke told to me years ago by our mutual friend Brad. The joke has to do with a Polish egg that falls off a wall. The joke and my comments on how it applies to Bush and the Dems can be found in my Blog at The Polish Egg.

The above hissed in response by: BigLeeH [TypeKey Profile Page] at April 27, 2007 9:31 AM

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