Thursday, August 10, 2006

In Defense of Joe -- taking the high road

The senator from Connecticut, Joseph Lieberman, has taken quite a beating today from members of his own party and some, including myself, have suggested his behavior is duplicitous, and opportunistic, even dangerously so. To tar, feather, and filet a man for being a sore loser, ultimately, amounts to little more than doing the Republicans work for them.

While pundits universally call for his blood, and excommunication from his party, some perspective is needed. While one may personally disagree with his stance on certain issues, such as the war in Iraq and "homeland security," Senator Lieberman has had a distinguished career of service. He was elected to the United States Senate nearly 20 years ago, is now a third term incumbent from his state, and has been the majority leader of the Connecticut state senate for six years. Joe Lieberman deserves respect for having served the people of his state, as well as his country. We do a grave disservice to anyone who has made a lifelong commitment to public service by diminishing, and insulting them, as well as send the wrong message to future generations who may consider this path.

During these tumultuous, and difficult, times, it is even more essential to harbor an atmosphere that promotes unity, not divisiveness, and not let the politics of spin win. It would be cruel and unusual punishment to embark on the kind of vindictive rhetoric that results in the destruction of a man, and his career, thus it is imperative for progressives, and all Democrats, to respect the senator from Connecticut. Likewise, it is equally imperative that a member of the United States Senate, or any elected official, acknowledge, and respect, the will of the people he represents. Or, to paraphrase the words of Johnny Cochran: "If the glove don't fit, it's time to quit." The best thing Senator Lieberman can do for his party, his state, and his country is to step aside, do so graciously, not gratuitously, and support Ned Lamont's candidacy.