Lieberman sets good example for lawmakers
In 2006, then-Democratic Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman was defeated by Ned Lamont in his party’s primary. At the time, this was viewed as a referendum on Lieberman’s support for the Iraq War, as Lamont was a more anti-war candidate.
Undeterred, Lieberman’s name was placed on the 2006 ballot as an independent, and the extremely popular incumbent handily defeated Lamont in the general election, becoming only the second independent to sit in the U.S. Senate.
Lieberman estranged himself further from his former party by endorsing Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), his longtime friend, in the 2008 presidential election over President Barack Obama.
Despite what some have viewed as disloyal qualities, Lieberman’s true loyalty cannot be questioned. When asked why he would run as an independent against his former party Lieberman responded that he had ‘loyalties greater than those to my party, and that’s to my state and country.’
It is this sense of duty and loyalty that has led Lieberman to state that he will reserve his right to filibuster the pending health care legislation. Lieberman has claimed that he will not support a plan with a government option, mainly due to costs.
Lieberman, the 2000 Democratic vice presidential nominee, is a solid leftist, but must be praised for standing up against what he has rightfully said is a far-too-expensive bill.
One can’t help but wonder what might have occurred if more so-called fiscal conservatives would have refused to go along with President George W. Bush’s runaway spending.
Secondly, had more Republicans emulated Lieberman’s fiscal conservatism, would Obama and the current Democratic majority in Congress be able to rationalize quadrupling our already-deplorable deficit by constantly pointing out that the Republicans had spending problems of their own?
The simple fact of the matter is that the Senate needs more individuals like Lieberman who put the sustainability and interests of the country before simple partisanship. A public option is a mechanism designed to phase out private health insurance companies and is a Trojan horse to single-payer government-run health care, which once achieved will incur skyrocketing costs, further bankrupting our already-struggling country.
Timothy Mathis is a history senior and may be reached at [email protected]