The Problem At #47

The British newspaper, The Telegraph, has a new series out this week on the 100 most influential conservatives and liberals in the United States. As with most lists, the inclusions and rankings make for intriguing debate. Our friends Erick Erickson at Redstate made the list in the 68th position, and Michelle Malkin placed in the 90s. Some may quibble about their placement and their inclusion, but at least they both are recognizably conservative.
That cannot be said for the forty-seventh “conservative” on the list:

Senator for Connecticut
The only person to make both of our lists. It is easy to forget that Lieberman could very easily have been a Democrat vice-president today if he had not lost so narrowly with Al Gore in 2000. Instead he is a pariah for many Democrats because of his full-throated support for the Iraq war and a bellicose stance against Iran.
He was re-elected for a fourth term in the senate as an ‘Independent Democrat’ in 2006 and holds considerable power in the chamber given the slimness of the Democrats’ majority. He makes the conservative list because he would be a natural Pentagon chief in any Republican administration or a key Capitol Hill ally of a President Giuiliani or a President McCain.

I like Joe Lieberman, but Lieberman is no conservative. His voting record in the last several Congresses puts him squarely in the middle of the Democratic caucus. In the 109th, his record skewed more leftward than Harry Reid and Robert Byrd. In the 108th, Tom Daschle and Evan Bayh joined Reid as more moderate than Lieberman. Thus far in the 110th, when the Left has more control over the agenda, Lieberman has the 12th most liberal voting record in the Senate — more so than Dianne Feinstein, Dick Durbin, Patty Murray, Chuck Schumer, and Hillary Clinton.
Lieberman supports a vigorous national-security policy, but that doesn’t make him a conservative — or at least it shouldn’t. Not too long ago in the past, Democrats believed in a strong military and forward strategies to keep threats from American shores. While the Telegraph selection of Lieberman for this list demonstrates how long ago those days are, it doesn’t make him a conservative any more than William F Buckley’s opposition to the Iraq War makes him a liberal. It just makes Lieberman a liberal who understands the threat of radical Islamist terrorism and its main source in Teheran.
The Telegraph still has two more days to roll out its most influential conservatives. Let’s hope Lieberman’s inclusion doesn’t mean that they’ve run out of likely candidates.

13 thoughts on “The Problem At #47”

  1. I look at Senator Lieberman as first Jewish (which is okay, I support them also) and then liberal Democrat (which is not okay with me but then so….) And last he bends to the popular position if it does not interfere with his first two loyalties. I think that explains his positions at least to me.

  2. Compared to most British politicians, I can see why The Telegraph would mistake him for a conservative.
    But he’s an east coast liberal, with everything that entails.
    The fact that he’s wandered of the reservation with regard to his stand against muslim terrorism puts him in no-man’s land and has really caused a lot of grief in the “reality based” community.
    Much to his credit.

  3. Lieberman supports a vigorous national-security policy, but that doesn’t make him a conservative — or at least it shouldn’t
    well gee Captain, couldn’t you use the same verbage or blogage to label St Rudi of 911 Gulliani?

  4. Calling Sen. Lieberman a “liberal” and harping on his tenuous Democratic label seems academic at best. All his current allies are conservatives and left-center people dislike his Holy Joe persona, esp. regarding foreign policy.
    Sure, it helps conservatives to point out their “liberal allies” — its an excellent debating point to be able to say phrases like “even the liberal Brookings Institution…” or “even the liberal Joe Lieberman…”
    But those examples aren’t really thought of as liberal by actual liberals. I think Morrissey would have issues if I talked about “even the conservative Arnold Schwarzenegger…” or “even the conservative Mel Martinez…”
    The fact that he shares the deeply unserious “serious” foreign policy of war-enthusiasts — the defining issue of our time — makes him persona non grata with actual liberals, as opposed to straw man liberals folks like Morrissey have in mind.

  5. Lieberman gets mistaken for a conservative because he has principles – which are typically lacking in liberals today.

  6. The word “conservative” is a misnomer. When you’re mixing in people who get elected to office. And, people who scribble.
    Joe Lieberman, once the democraps, crapped on him, in Connecticut; won his seat the way politicians DO.
    Joe Lieberman left his “UFO” base, behind. Swam into the mainstream. And, discovered, STATE-WIDE, he could get elected.
    Maybe, everyone would be better off to take the British list, and divide it into two parts.
    Part ONE: People elected to office.
    Part TWO: The scribblers.
    Because hangind in the balance?
    Yes. WHile the future is UNKNOWN. Or as Rummy would say “unknowable.”
    You’ve got Hillary. Not part of her base, either.
    Not liked by her base, if all you’re counting are the lunatics. And, not liked all that much by conservative scribblers.
    Doesn’t mean she’s without a chance, here!
    I hope we don’t have to wait for January 20, 2009, to see the light.
    It’s very possible that the last bill of goods “sold to conservatives,” is the albratross in the Oval Office. Unless, of course, you think he’s still on his “winning streak.”
    In an environment where people can say anything they want; they usually do.
    But I don’t buy the Brooklyn Bridge, either, when it’s being offered. Even if you offer to discount it; and all it would cost me is 2-cents. Nah. Keeping my pennies in my pocket.
    There’s a political fight shaping up, though.
    Soon? This Bush will be but a memory.
    What sweeps out with him, however, I have no idea.
    Too bad nobody, here, wants to get ahold of Tom DeLay. His book about his service to this country, that came out in the spring or summer; was a delightful read. DeLay is an honest man.
    And, honest men are hard to find among politicians.
    He also tells ya why Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey failed. (Again, DeLay was an insider. He can tell the stories of the lousy generals, handed victory … who, instead, decided to grab defeat.)
    Is defeat tasteless? Colorless? And, of unknown effects? The side-effects sure show up, later, ya know?
    So, the Brits made a list.
    I don’t care.
    Unlike FULLER who tore apart the media lies against Ulysses S. Grant … where you could value how the British examine battlefields … WHen it comes to politics, they haven’t got a single clue.
    Must be their parliamentary system. Which doesn’t hold a candle to ours.
    At least, if no one shoots out the word “RINO” today … we’re ahead.
    Now, try to reason with politicians.
    Try to tell them that JOe Lieberman won on the strength of mainstream voters; where people swam from everywhere to avoid the republican nominee. And, that idiot, whom the Bonkeys’ selected. Ya know? I can’t even remember da’ names.

  7. How many bong hits does it take to write a “Carol Herman” comment?
    Anyway, Lieberman is in fact a dinosaur today, but would have been perfectly mainstream Democrat, or even a left-wing Democrat forty years ago. He would have fit right in with the Scoop Jacksons of the Democrat Party, a wing all but killed off by the Vietnam War and the disastrous (for the Dems.) campaign of 1972. If he were alive today, the Telegraph would paint Hubert Humphrey as a “conservative.” Back in the day, there was no contradiction (either seen or imagined) between a muscular foreign policy and a liberal domestic policy.

  8. Patrick, I’m 67 years old. Soon to be 68. I don’t smoke. And, I don’t “bong.”
    I write, however, from my heart.
    So, if you can’t comprehend this, sorry.
    Not everybody is graced with reading comprehension skills, anyway.
    And, lots of conservatives are like Bush. They don’t listen. And, they certainly don’t listen to people who have other views.
    For a “dinosaur,” what Lieberman had going for him in Connecticut, was a majority of voters who wanted him to win.
    Do you know what those voters did? They disregarded the label.
    Disregarded isn’t one of your words?
    Then, they discarded the label.
    Sometimes, you have to sell voters ideas, one voter at a time.
    Anyway, just using the Connecticut election, where Lieberman won his senate seat. He had to fight for it. Because both parties: Republicans. And, democraps. Put up their own favorites to run.
    Guess what happened?
    Look at the track.
    And, keep in mind that presidential politics is similar; except it involves ALL 50 states.
    And, up ahead?
    Bush might cause heavy losses on the party. As he exits. Gets his hat. And, gets to parade. Because? He won’t consider it “his” loss.
    Should make the republican nomination, “interesting” to say the least.
    Just like having Jimmy Carter on stage!
    Just like that moment on Kerry’s stage, where Jimmy kept running after Fat Teddy, looking for a handshake.
    Ya could’a fooled me. I thought Kerry’s stage was gonna lose its moorings; and was gonna sail off out of the building. And, into the sunset. To sink in Boston harbor.
    Hillary, by the way, doesn’t have to have Kerry on her stage.
    Other than that?
    Anything can happen. It’s the future.
    Patrick, bong hits won’t help you see a thing.

  9. How many bong hits does it take to write a “Carol Herman” comment?
    I don’t know … i know it takes a boatload to read through one of them.

  10. Lieberman is the only person fit to be President (to me). He, to my knowledge, has never welched on his support for the Iraq War, even when it almost cost him his job. He also votes the way I vote. Together, that equals political maturity and strength.

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