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  Say It Ain't So, Joe
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Last EditedRP  May 30, 2008 06:50pm
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News DateFriday, May 30, 2008 12:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionWhat is perhaps strangest about Lieberman's antiliberal jihad is that the very changes he professes to detest in Democrats were once embodied in one Joe Lieberman. While Tailgunner Joe identifies the 1970s as the period his party went off the rails, he does not mention that he himself was a founding member of the leftist Caucus of Connecticut Democrats, as well as a diehard supporter of the Rev. Joe Duffey's 1970 primary challenge to hawkish Democratic Senator Thomas Dodd. A Vietnam draft-evader, Lieberman won his State Senate seat in 1970 on an antiwar platform. Perhaps more shocking, as Joe Conason noted in Salon, is the fact that the same year he published a book of cold war history titled The Scorpion and the Tarantula that neocon Ira Stoll derided as a "masterpiece of moral equivalency."

Wait--it gets better. At a time when many Lieberman supporters worry incessantly about the rise of anti-Semitism they perceive in American political life, Lieberman--acting undoubtedly out of cravenness rather than ideological sympathy--has lent aid and comfort to some egregious anti-Semites. Not only has he proved an energetic apologist for the Rev. John Hagee--a man who thinks Hitler was a "hunter" sent by God "to get [the Jews] to come back to the land of Israel"--he is scheduled to give the keynote address at Christians United for Israel's "Washington-Israel Summit" in July. And during the 2000 election, he even championed the cause of Louis Farrakahn, who believes Hitler to have been a "great man" and Judaism a "gutter religion." True, Lieberman averred, "Minister Farrakhan said a few things earlier...that were just not informed." But even so, he continued to "have respect for him," and wished to meet with him.

Lieberman's skills as a military analyst are of a piece with his talent as a historian. For instance, during the 2006 campaign, he pronounced himself "confident" that the United States would be able to reduce its military presence by more than 50 percent by the end of 2007. Instead, of course, the troop numbers increased with the "surge"--an escalation he has championed--and remains higher than at the moment he made his confident prediction.
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