Monday, August 07, 2006

Why Connecticut Must Tell Republican Joe "NO."

This is it, my last column on Joe Lieberman before tomorrow's primary in Connecticut. Before Democrats in that state cast their ballots, it is important to know why they must vote against Republican Joe Lieberman. These are but some of the many reasons:

  1. Lieberman voted for George W. Bush's Energy Policy Act of 2005, which gives huge tax cuts to oil companies--the very same companies driving up gasoline and oil prices and reaping the profits while average Americans pay through the nose at the pumps.
  2. He supports the far right-wing notion that hospitals should be allowed to refuse to provide rape victims the "morning after pill," which prevents pregnancy within the first seventy-two hours after intercourse.
  3. In 2000 Lieberman stood in support of a policy very similar to Bush's desire to gut Social Security and turn it over to private investors. So far, there is little to indicate he has changed that position very much.
  4. Lieberman voted against a bipartisan measure to bring down the cost of medicines for people unable to afford high prescription drug prices.
  5. Lieberman has consistently stood in support for "free" trade policies that hurt American laborers.
  6. Lieberman voted to confirm John Roberts, Bush's hand-picked nominee for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Roberts has a very pro-corporate record. Similarly, Lieberman voted to kill the filibuster of Samuel Alito--thus ensuring his confirmation largely along party lines. Alito, as you probably know, thinks George W. Bush ought to be a king and thinks there is nothing wrong with police illegally strip-searching children. Alito is also very pro-corporate. So why didn't Lieberman vote for cloture to make sure the filibuster failed? Because he knew Alito would be confirmed along party lines. So now, with Lieberman's help, we have two fascists on the Supreme Court who will do everything in their power to protect Bush & Co. and their agenda.
  7. And of course we all know Lieberman's record of apologizing for and defending the Bush policy in Iraq, his attacks on critics of the war, and his desire to keep American soldiers in harm's way indefinitely.
  8. Then there is Lieberman's selfish position that even if he loses in tomorrow's primary, and against the will of Democrats, he will continue to run. Elected officials are supposed to listen to their constituents and do what their constituents tell them to, not go against them time and time again on the issues that really matter.
These are just some of the reasons Lieberman needs to be voted out of the running in tomorrow's Connecticut primary. Joe Lieberman has undermined Americans and the Democratic Party on critical issues so often, parroting the Bush doctrine so often, it is now impossible to distinguish between his beliefs and those of his idol: Shrubya.

Friday, on the American Prospect's website, I read a very compelling column giving very good reasons why Lieberman needs to take the hint and drop out if he loses the primary tomorrow by the percentage polls are predicting (54-41 according to Quinnipiac). All the signs are there for an unprecedented defeat of an incumbent in a primary election. If Republican Joe stays in, hoping to keep alive a quixotic bid to keep his job in November, not only will he lose again but his career in politics will undoubtedly come to humiliating end.

And if Connecticut voters need any more reasons to vote for Ned Lamont tomorrow, especially those opposed to the continuation of occupying Iraq, it is this: a pummeling for Lieberman in tomorrow's primary will force any and all potential contenders for the Democratic nomination for president in 2008 to come out strong against staying in Iraq. More and more Americans are turning against that mess in the Middle East, and they are outraged at the lies, failures, unaccountability and continuation of bad policy. No Democrat with ambitions for the presidency can win the nomination in 2008 unless he comes out against the occupation and in favor of a sensible change in strategy in the war on terrorists. But we won't get such a candidate unless voters in Connecticut and the rest of the U.S. come out strongly against any candidate who supports Bush's policies and agenda.

Democratic voters in Connecticut need to consider the importance of voting for a candidate who will represent their values, instead of his own ambitions and ego. They need an opponent in the U.S. Senate to the Bush regime's endless litany of crimes and abuses of power. How well Democrats fare in the 2008 presidential election also depends on what message the party sends to those who consistently betray both country and party.

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