Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Lieberman is a hero

I was very glad to read that Joe Lieberman is willing to bring his clout to bear to keep the Democrats in line on Iraq (via Instapundit):
Senator Joe Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, says his disagreement with the Democrats over the Iraq war won't prevent him from working with his former party. For now.
"I hope the moment doesn't come that I feel so separated from the caucus" that he decides to shift allegiance to the Republicans, he said in an interview. Asked what Democratic actions might cause such a break, he invoked Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's famous 1964 definition of pornography: "I'll know it when I see it."
The 65-year-old lawmaker is the margin of difference in the Democrats' 51-49 control of the Senate. A switch to the Republicans, which he won't rule out, would create a 50-50 tie that would allow Vice President Dick Cheney to cast a deciding vote for Republican control. Lieberman has "gone from being dispensable to essential for the Democrats," said Ross Baker, a political scientist at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
The senator, the Democrats' 2000 vice presidential nominee, was defeated in last year's primary after three terms by anti- war candidate Ned Lamont. Lieberman created a new line on the ballot, "Connecticut for Lieberman," and won a five-way general election with 50 percent of the vote.
Lieberman, meanwhile, said it may take a lot more to change his mind on the war, which he says is vital to U.S. national security. "I believe very strongly that we can still succeed in Iraq," he said. "Unless Petraeus comes back and says it's hopeless, I'm going to stick with the program."
I couldn't agree more. And I can't help but thinking that it is this kind of "gentle prodding" that has at least contributed to this positive, albeit belated, result:
Democrats gave up their demand for troop-withdrawal deadlines in an Iraq war spending package yesterday, abandoning their top goal of bringing U.S. troops home and handing President Bush a victory in a debate that has roiled Congress for months.
Keep them on their toes, Joe!

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