REPORT: Joe Lieberman — The Progressive Who Lost His Way


Despite his strong endorsement of Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) right-wing policy platform in the 2008 presidential election, a number of prominent Democratic senators are now defending Sen. Joe Lieberman’s (I-CT) position of leadership in the Democratic caucus, arguing that he is a key ally in furthering the progressive agenda.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), for instance, argued this past weekend that “Joe Lieberman is one of the most progressive people ever to come from the state of Connecticut.” Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN) added, “I think we had to just let bygones be bygones. We’re going to need him on healthcare and energy independence and education and a whole lot of other things.”

While Lieberman has supported progressive policies in the past, including advocating on behalf of the environment and civil rights, his recent record demonstrates that he’s a progressive no more.

In a new report, ThinkProgress documents Lieberman’s significant shift to the right in both foreign and domestic policy. Some examples from the report:

— Said Investigating Response To Katrina Would Be Playing ‘Gotcha’: Lieberman said he was not interested in “looking back, and assigning blame would be a waste of Congress’ time.” Lieberman said he was reluctant to mount an investigation of the failures of the initial response, saying “We don’t want to play ‘gotcha’ anymore.” [Chicago Tribune, 1/20/07]

— Claimed That A Progressive Economic Stimulus Would Lead To A Depression: Speaking at Dartmouth University, “Lieberman compared Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama’s economic plan to former president Herbert Hoover’s approach, which he said ‘turned a recession into a depression.'” [The Dartmouth, 10/24/08]

— Supported Attorney General Alberto Gonzales To The Bitter End: Reacting to Gonzales’s resignation, Lieberman commented, “The Attorney General’s resignation removes a distraction from the important work of the Department of Justice,” but added, “As he leaves public service, the Attorney General deserves our appreciation for his work for our nation.” [Senate Website, 8/27/07]

— Suggested That Obama Could Be A Marxist: When asked if Obama is “a Marxist as Bill Kristol says might be the case,” Lieberman replied, “Well, you know, I must say that’s a good question.” [Fox News, 5/14/08]

Read the full report HERE. Download a PDF version of this report HERE.


Jane Hamsher has more on “The Case Against Lieberman.”

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