Saturday, August 12, 2006

Okay. I have two blogs I use to talk about political issues, and they can intersect. ForTheDream is my place for idealism and ideas. This is the one where I want to be a human being, with quirks and foibles and the ability to rant, get sarcastic, etc..

In that vein, let's use this journal for it's intended purpose.

Time for a little lesson in US politics. As many of you know, the Democrats executed Joe Lieberman. No, wait... they "purged" Joe Lieberman. No, wait, they declared that they revile Joe Lieberman, because they want terrorists to murder us all in our sleep, but Joe Lieberman, with his superhuman Senatorial powers, was protecting us.

Um, no, wait.

First, the Democrats, as a whole, did nothing whatsoever to Joe Lieberman.

However, Connecticut's Democratic voters decided that, given a choice between Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont, they'd rather have Ned Lamont running as their party's candidate for the US Senate in this year's election.

It has nothing to do with execution, purging, or declaration of hatred. It has to do with making a choice.

Now, for those who are claiming the Democrats did something terrible by this, let me explain, in small words, a bit of US philosophy, 'kay?

The power of government is derived from - sorry, I promised small words, "comes from" - the people. That's ordinary people, every day people, those working stiffs who make this entire country what it is.

We hold the power. It's ours, to do with as we please. There are certain things we can't do; we can't decide to restrict voting rights to people without a damn good reason. We can't decide that one religion occupies a special place of privilege in the public life, though we can certainly revere any religion on our own. We can't demand that the government shut someone up just because we don't like that person's opinions... but we don't have to listen.

The reason we can't do these things is that every single person on this planet is important, and we have to respect that each person has certain rights because of that. But when it comes to governing within the limits that demand freedom for us all, we are the ones ultimately responsible for the decisions that are made.

So: the power is ours. It's not owned by anyone else, not even a three-term Senator from Connecticut who was a vice presidential candidate six years back.

So, you see, no one took anything from Joe Lieberman. No one did anything harmful or hurtful. He asked the Democrats in Connecticut to allow him to represent them as the Democratic candidate for Senate, and they said "no, we'd prefer Ned Lamont."

Why did they do this? Well, I'm sure part of the reason was demonstrated when Lieberman lost. He insisted that the Democrats had made a really stupid mistake in endorsing Ned Lamont. What kind of an arrogant cuss tells the people that they were wrong to vote for his opponent? What kind of an entitlement complex do you have to have to say such a thing? He asked them for a chance to serve them, they said no, and he tells them that they're all wrong to make that choice? Geez!

But there's more. Keep in mind, I haven't been polling Connecticut's Democrats, so I can't really speak for them... but these are my reasons, and why I think Lieberman lost.

Joe Lieberman is proud to be "bipartisan", and to be respected by the Republicans. He scolds Democrats for not being more "bipartisan", and for being called weak on national security.

Are Democrats weak on national security? Well, the Republicans call them weak on national security, because they aren't in favor of a long, horribly costly war that has killed tens of thousands of innocent people... but is that a fair criticism?

The war in Iraq has cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Can you imagine a way to spend a hundred billion dollars to make our contry safer?

Remember, Saddam Hussein had junked his weapons programs. He couldn't support them during the sactions. We were fed a pack of lies about how he could launch a chemical weapons attack in 30 minutes. We were told that we not only knew what he had, but where he had it. We were told that he was one of the greatest dangers to world peace at the time.

And we now know that there were no weapons except some degraded weapons that were over 12 years old. Nothing that had been produced recently; nothing that could be used as intended; nothing that was any meaningful threat to anyone. (Okay, if some damn fool started playing with the old weapons without proper protection, yeah, that'd be dangerous; they are very toxic chemicals. It's also dangerous to play with drain cleaner, but it's "Liquid Plumbr", not "Liquid WMD", you know?)

And we also know that the CIA had estimated that he was no threat to the United States (he knew if he hurt us, we'd hurt him back, ten time worse), and wasn't going to do anything that could get him in trouble with us.

So we spent hundreds of billions of dollars on a war that didn't get rid of dangerous biological and chemical weapons. It got rid of a terrible dictator... but not a meaningful threat to world peace.

Oh, but we're doing it to spread democracy. Yeah, and Iraq is teetering on the brink of civil war. If Iraq turns into a thriving democracy at this point, I'm sorry, but it's got nothing to do with the US invasion. It will be because the Iraqis managed to pull off a minor miracle in spite of the troubles we brought by invading them.

Lieberman has not only supported this war, but he has scolded Democrats who dared criticize the President during this war.

It must be nice, to be able to be President, order a war - a war costing hundreds of billions of dollars and the lives of thousands of our soldiers, and making a whole bunch of people angry about the tens of thousands of innocent people who've died - and not have to face any criticism from the opposition party... but that's not how a democracy works.

It's not that Joe Lieberman has supported George W. Bush... not to me, at least. it's that he's scolded those who opposed George W. Bush.

Maybe the Democrats in Connecticut could have forgiven the support for Bush... but I know I can't forgive his contempt of those who opposed Bush.

Even the best of Presidents deserves to have honorable opposition. Opposing the war (which was, at its kindest, fought based upon misinformation), opposing torture policies, and demanding that the President obey the law, all counts as honorable opposition. Joe Lieberman didn't seem to think so.

And that, in my opinion, is why he lost the Democratic primary.

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