The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Thursdays with Joe

I'm listening to an interview with Joe Lieberman on the Ed Shultz show. I've got a mixed response.

Good: He's given a flat-out NO to private accounts on Social Security(UPDATE: I should have added that his reasoning was opposition to the added national debt required to put those accounts into place). He will vote against cloture on the Bolton debate, stating that the Senate has the right to see the pertinent documents that the admin won't release.

Bad: He's considering voting yes on Bolton (no rationale given). He totally dodged a question on Iraq-- but said that "there has been progress," the Iraqi forces are getting better, we held elections, etc. But at least he had the nuts to admit that we'd be there a long time. Oh, and he didn't rule out some sort of compromise on Social Security. The bad news is that compromise rumors haven't even mentioned private accounts. The GOP knows they can't win, so they're trying to combine increasing the cap with benefit cuts-- which would amount to another overall tax cut for the rich at the expense of the middle class at a time when our national finances are in damn sorry shape.

So he still gets a fairly bad response from me. Why does he insist on waffling when the heat is on? Why in the world is he still willing to cut deals with a party that's so relentlessly dishonest? And worst of all, why is he still making nicey-nice on GOP issues that the American public is so obviously against?

Historically, he's been a pretty decent Dem (aside from his ties to big finance-- perhaps unavoidable in New Hampshire), but he's really been letting us down in the clinch over the last couple of years. It's one thing to go against your party on issues of conscience. But it's quite another to go against popular opinion AND the party in the name of gentility and centrism. That's just another manifestation of ideology over values.