Sen. Joe Lieberman lashed out at what he called the Democrats’ “politically paranoid, hyper-partisan” liberal base, which he charges is more interested in opposing Republicans that promoting a strong foreign policy.
“For many Democrats, the guiding conviction in foreign policy isn’t pacifism or isolationism, it is distrust and disdain of Republicans in general,” Lieberman said Thursday at a forum co-hosted by the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and the Financial Times.
“In this regard, the Democratic foreign policy worldview has become defined by the same reflexive, blind opposition to the president that defined Republicans in the 1990s, even when it means repudiating the very principles and policies that Democrats as a party have stood for, at our best and strongest…
“The Democratic Party I grew up in was unafraid to make moral judgments about the world beyond our borders.”
Lieberman — who lost the Democratic primary last year but won re-election as an independent — castigated Democrats for adopting a partisan stance against the President’s war on terror and Iraq policy.
“I felt strongly that Democrats should embrace the basic framework that the president articulated for the war on terror as our own — because it was our own … But that was not the choice most Democrats made. Instead, they flip-flopped.
“Even as evidence has mounted that General Petraeus’ new counterinsurgency strategy is succeeding, Democrats have remained emotionally invested in a narrative of defeat and retreat in Iraq, reluctant to acknowledge the progress we are now achieving, or even that that progress has enabled us to begin drawing down our troops there.”
Lieberman co-sponsored a resolution calling on the Bush administration to designate Iran’s Republican Guards Corps as a terrorist organization. Hillary Clinton voted in favor of the resolution, while her chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, Barack Obama, did not vote and has charged that the resolution authorizes the use of force against Iran.
“There is something profoundly wrong — something that should trouble all of us — when we have elected Democratic officials who seem more worried about how the Bush administration might respond to Iran’s murder of our troops, than about the fact that Iran is murdering our troops,” Lieberman said in remarks reported by Fox News.
In a thinly veiled swipe at Obama and other Democrats who opposed the resolution, Lieberman added: “There is likewise something profoundly wrong when we see candidates who are willing to pander to this politically paranoid, hyper-partisan sentiment in the Democratic base, even if it sends a message of weakness and division to the Iranian regime.”
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