The Democratic wringing of hands over Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman’s seemingly traitorous behavior has got to stop. The party did this to itself the very second it decided to play nice and allow Jumpin’ Joe to keep his chairmanship on the influential Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. Like a kid, he knew then he could get away with anything and that his former party (he’s an independent now) was all bluster and no ‘bring it on.’
Perhaps the party’s decision to keep the Nutmeg Knave around was truly the beginning of the end of the Democrats’ triumphal return to power. Things haven’t seemed to get quite right since then, and surprise, their biggest looming folly on healthcare reform can be attributed in part, to Joe.
But Democrats got exactly what they asked for, if you ask me. Watching Lieberman’s Republican National Convention speech in Minnesota last year it was clear that he had broken for the other team. Just walking out on that stage which was wired for serious wattage of anti-Democratic vitriol, was declaration of war. Here are some passages from that speech. You decide what part of ‘bite me’ the Democrats didn’t understand in September ’08:
And that brings me directly to why I’m here tonight. What, after all, is a Democrat like me doing at a Republican convention like this? (Cheers, applause.)
(Chuckles.) Well, I’ll tell you what. I’m here to support John McCain because country matters more than party. (Cheers, applause.)
I am here tonight for a simple reason. John McCain is the best choice to bring our country together and lead America forward. (Cheers, applause.)
And dear friends, I am here tonight because John McCain’s whole life testifies to a great truth. Being a Democrat or a Republican is important, but it is nowhere near as important as being an American. (Cheers, applause.)
AUDIENCE MEMBERS: USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
SEN. LIEBERMAN: I think you know that both of the presidential candidates this year have talked about changing the culture of Washington, about breaking through partisan gridlock and the special interests that are poisoning our politics. But my friends, only one of them has actually done it. Only one of them has shown the courage and the capability to rise above the smallness of our politics to get big things done for our country and our people, and that one is John S. McCain. (Cheers, applause.)
Now, let me — let me share something with you that I’m in a unique position to do as a Democrat.
My Democratic friends know all about John’s record of independence and accomplishment. And you see, that’s why I think some of them are spending so much time and so much money trying to convince the American people that John McCain is someone else.
I am here to tell you what I think you know, but I want to speak to the people out there. Don’t be fooled by some of these political statements and advertisements. Trust me. God only made one John McCain and he is his own man. (Cheers, applause.)
Let me — let me, as John would say, give you some straight talk here. If John McCain was just another go-along partisan politician, he never would have taken on corrupt Republican lobbyists or big corporations that were cheating the American people or powerful colleagues in Congress who were wasting taxpayer money, but he did. If John McCain was another go-along partisan politician, he never would have led the fight to fix our broken immigration system or actually do something about global warming, but he did. (Applause.)
As a matter of fact, friends, if John McCain is just another partisan Republican, then I’m Michael Moore’s favorite Democrat. (Laughter, cheers, applause.) And I’m not. (Laughs.) And I think you know that I’m not. (Laughter.)
Senator Barack Obama is a gifted and eloquent young man who I think can do great things for our country in the years ahead.
But my friends, eloquence is no substitute for a record, not in these tough times for America. (Cheers, applause.)
In the — in the Senate, during the three-and-a-half years that Senator Obama’s been a member, he has not reached across party lines to accomplish anything significant, nor has he been willing to take on powerful interest groups in the Democratic Party to get something done. And I just ask you to contrast that with John McCain’s record of independence and bipartisanship.
But let me go one further — and this may make history here at this Republican Convention. Let me — (laughs) — let me contrast Barack Obama’s record to the record of the last Democratic president, Bill Clinton, who stood up to some of those same Democratic interest groups, worked with Republicans, and got some important things done like welfare reform, free trade agreements and a balanced budget. (Cheers, applause.)
Now I’m honored to say just a word about the great lady that John McCain has selected as his running mate. (Cheers, applause.) Governor Palin, like John McCain, is a reformer. She’s taken on the special interests and the political power brokers in Alaska, and reached across party lines to get things done. The truth is, she is a leader we can count on to help John shake up Washington. (Cheers, applause.)
That’s why — that’s why I sincerely believe that the real ticket for change this year is the McCain-Palin ticket. (Cheers, applause.)
Let me tell you, friends, that the Washington bureaucrats and the power brokers are not going to be able to build a pen that will hold in these two mavericks. It’s just not possible. (Cheers, applause.) Together, I think we can count on John and Sarah to fight for America and to fight for you, the American people. And that’s what our country needs most right now. (Cheers, applause.)
… we are a nation at war. We need a president we can count on to fight for what’s right for our country not only when it’s easy, but when it’s hard. And I was there, so I can tell you, when others were silent about the war in Iraq, John McCain had the guts and the judgment to sound the alarm about the mistakes we were making in Iraq. (Applause.) You know, when others wanted to retreat in defeat from the field of battle, which would have been a disaster for the USA; when colleagues like Barack Obama were voting to cut off funding for our American troops on the battlefield — (boos) — John McCain had the courage to stand against the tide of public opinion, advocate the sure, support the surge.
And because of that, today, America’s troops are coming home, thousands of them, and they’re coming home in honor. (Cheers, applause.)
AUDIENCE: (Chanting.) U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
My friends, before I conclude, I want to ask the indulgence of all of you here in this hall tonight, because I want to speak directly to my fellow Democrats and independents who are watching or listening tonight. I want to speak directly to you out there. I know many of you are angry and frustrated by our government and our politics today, and for good reason.
You may be thinking of voting for John McCain, but you’re not sure yet. Some of you may never have voted for a Republican before and, frankly, in an ordinary election, you probably never would. But I want you to believe with me that this is no ordinary election — (cheers, applause) — because — and it’s no ordinary election because these are not ordinary times. And, trust me, John McCain is no ordinary candidate. (Cheers, applause.)
So tonight, I want to ask you whether you are an independent, a Reagan Democrat, a Clinton Democrat or just a plain old Democrat, this year, when you vote for president, vote for the person you believe is best for the country, not for the party you happen to belong to. (Chanting.)
I ask those of you who are watching or listening: Vote for the leader who since the age of 17, when he first raised his hand and took an oath to defend and protect our Constitution, has always put America first. (Applause.)
My friends, I appeal to independents, Democrats and Republicans. Let’s come together this November to make a great American patriot, John McCain, our next great president. (Cheers, applause.)
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless America.