The Evil of Two Lessers?

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Mon Aug 7 08:49:55 PDT 2000

On Mon, 7 Aug 2000, Carl Remick wrote:

> >So what's the dirt on this Lieberman bloke?
> >
> >C'mon you lot, tell us Australians something about the man who would be our
> >next vice-president!
> Lieberman sprang fully formed from the brow of the Democratic So-called
> Leadership Council, which makes him every inch the centrist hack President
> Billy Bob Blow-job and Prince Albert are.

Actually, I don't think he is as much of an opportunist as Gore and Clinton, since they have some more liberal beliefs (attested to by friends) that they subordinate to electoral expediency. Lieberman is I think just a centrist politically in his beliefs and actions. I'm not sure if that is better or worse, but his reputation for integrity is based on the fact that most people believe he means it when he deplores rap music.

That said, he is no raving moralist in his political voting. He opposed the ban on partial birth abortions and for all his rhetoric has supported only voluntary rating systems in general on the media stuff he dislikes. He is a strong environmentalist with a 100% rating from the League of Conservation Voters - a tip that Gore may be gearing up for a tough environmental challenge against Bush-Cheney. He is decent but not great on other economic issues - bad on welfare reform but strong on suing HMOs. He's pretty hawkish on defense but supported the Test Ban and Chemical Weapons Treaty.

The worst thing about his appointment is that if Gore wins, it means that he will be in a better position to win the Dem nomination the next time. So the anti-Gore folks do gets points in an argument that Gore's defeat at least makes it less likely that a Lieberman gets the nomination four years from now. Although it also means it is more likely that Dick Cheny will some day be President. So it depends on whether fear of a rightwing nut like Cheney outweighs fear of Lieberman.

Overall, a pretty uninspiring choice but the Beltway pundits will like it.

-- Nathan Newman

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