My latest NewsRealBlog post:
With the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell finally coming to pass, the long-disgruntled gay Left finally has something to show for their support of Barack Obama. But right now the spotlight and accolades are going to a different Democrat with an estranged relationship to the Left. At the Daily Beast, Howard Kurtz sits down with Sen. Joe Lieberman to discuss his leadership on the issue, and whether or not it makes up for his heresy on the War on Terror:
Andrew Sullivan, the gay Atlantic blogger who has championed repeal of DADT, dubbed Lieberman a “civil rights hero.” But Alex Pareene, a liberal blogger for Salon, declared that “it’s still OK to hate Joe Lieberman”—the “single most annoying man in the United States Senate”—because he remains a “sanctimonious troll.”
Lieberman says he doesn’t know whether the battle will help him politically, and his relationship with home-state Democrats may have deteriorated beyond repair. A Quinnipiac poll last January gave him a 27 percent approval rating among Democrats, and several Dems are weighing a primary challenge for 2012.
I have no principled objection to political parties and movements establishing litmus tests—even single-issue litmus tests—for their candidates. That’s their prerogative. But it is telling that left-wing Lieberman haters have chosen national security of all issues with which to divide allies and enemies. Once upon a time, Americans on both sides of the aisle believed that politics stopped at the water’s edge; the Left has since fallen so far from that ideal that today, no cause, principle, or value is safe from partisan venom or opportunism.
Speaking of those principles, Lieberman’s critics also suffer from fatal tunnel vision. Sure, he agrees with conservatives on several foreign policy issues, but on just about everything else, he’s a true-blue leftist.