Joe Lieberman – Democrat in Name Only

The Education of Joe Lieberman

“ Once in Washington, Lieberman continued running right, harder than ever. For the next constituencies he had to conquer inhabited the Beltway, and the nation, constituencies more conservative than the voters back home. The anti-war Lieberman of the early '70s had evolved into G.I. Joe, a Democrat who supported the Persian Gulf War and every new weapon and military-budget hike as fervently as any Republican. The civil rights volunteer became a death-penalty convert and critic of "special interest" agendas (except big business's special interests). He even toyed with voting to confirm civil-rights nemesis Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court; Lieberman waited until the last minute, when Thomas' confirmation was assured, to cast a "no" vote that would protect him with angry constituents back home. He supported Republican tax cuts. He accumulated the most pro-corporate record of any Senate Democrat -- and the millions of campaign dollars that came with them.”

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Holy Joe, Corporate Joe, G.I. Joe
Will the Real Senator Lieberman Please Stand Up?

“ There’s so much corporate water carrying in the senator’s record it’s hard to do it justice. A little-noticed Jim VandeHei story in the September 11, 2000, Wall Street Journal detailed how Lieberman was the insurance industry’s “go-to guy on the Democratic side of the aisle.” He teamed up with Dick Armey to successfully limit lawsuits stemming from auto accidents by permitting lower rates for drivers who forfeit their right to sue for pain and suffering; and sponsored bills that limited legal damages against tobacco producers, HMOs and drug companies as well as against asbestos manufacturers and any business that manufactured a defective product — and, by extension, protecting their insurance companies. The chief lobbyist for the American Tort Reform Association — a lobby funded by manufacturers — told the National Law Journal, “If it were not for Lieberman, there would never have been a Biomaterials Access Act,” which immunized corporate giants such as Dow and Dupont against lawsuits for defective components used in the manufacture of medical implants.

Some of the worst corporate abuses and fraud were traceable to Lieberman’s 1993 success in squelching an attempt to make companies report executives’ stock options as part of their expenses. The Advocate’s Bass reported that Lieberman “went to bat for West Coast Silicon Valley high-tech execs to lead a fight against President Clinton’s promised curbs on runaway executive pay; the execs responded with a fund-raiser for Joe’s re-election.”
And the list goes on . . .

The Lieberman who opposed the Vietnam War also became, over the years, G.I. Joe. He’s never met a weapons system he didn’t like — consistently voting during the Clinton years for more money for the Pentagon than the administration requested.

G.I. Joe is a firm supporter of Ronald Reagan’s favorite movie-inspired fantasy, Star Wars. It’s now disappeared from his Web site, but when he was running for veep, his site’s “legislative accomplishments” section boasted: “Breaking with many in his party, Senator Lieberman was an original co-sponsor of legislation to spur the deployment of a missile defense system capable of protecting the U.S. against a limited attack.” Star Wars, of course, is a military-industrial boondoggle riddled with outright fraud and stratospheric cost overruns — and it still doesn’t work. G.I. Joe has willingly inclined toward every imperative of Bush’s national-security state — for example, he was a strong supporter of John Ashcroft’s notorious TIPS program, which would have turned America into a nation in which neighbor spied upon neighbor. When Vermont liberal Pat Leahy tried to include an amendment to the Homeland Security bill forbidding TIPS, Lieberman blocked the amendment. When the conventional wisdom turned against TIPS, as he was planning his national candidacy, Lieberman — in a typical finger-in-the-wind performance — withdrew his support for the program. (This was reminiscent of his pirouette on Clarence Thomas’ confirmation to the Supreme Court: Having promised his “yes” vote to the White House if they needed it, he waited until the end of the roll call, when Thomas had enough votes to be confirmed, and then voted “no” to keep the liberals and women’s groups at home off his back.)
But the quintessential Lieberman act of opportunism was his mad dash to the Rose Garden to stand shoulder to shoulder with Dubya and co-sponsor the resolution that gave away Congress’ constitutional power to declare war on Iraq — a war launched on a sea of Bush-Powell mendacities that Lieberman has yet to criticize.

All in all, as a Democrat, Lieberman makes a great Republican.”
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