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JUST SAY NO TO JOE During the election campaign of 2000, when Vice Presidential candidate Joe Lieberman appeared at a local fundraiser, the crowd found him to be cordial and funny. Most had decided it was time to forgive his sanctimonious prime time backstabbing of President Clinton from the Senate floor on the night of the Impeachment. Despite his repulsive demonstration of disloyalty to his Party and President through his moralizing, self-righteous sermon, his selection on the ticket with Al Gore inspired a sense of confidence in Lieberman’s integrity, honor, and trustworthiness. Obviously, Gore chose poorly and the faithful were misled. Lieberman’s inability to gain votes on his own merit, leave him with only cheap shots designed to undermine Dean and other front runners. With his recognition of that fact and all his fundraising frustrations, Lieberman can only offer undecided voters cheap shots aimed at his rivals without regard to the long-term cost to the Democratic Party. When it comes to money, the Republicans, and their corporate donors will spend almost a quarter of a billion dollars to gain victory this fall. What Democrats resent is Lieberman’s willingness to cut Bush slack, his inability to define what our country would look like today had Al Gore been properly recognized as President of the United States and providing Karl Rove sound bites ad nauseam about Howard Dean’s Republican media fabricated deficiencies. Senator Lieberman’s willful attempts to defeat the other candidates, specifically Howard Dean, by name calling and character assassination are desperate attempts that could potentially destroy the Democratic party’s chances of beating George W. Bush. In fact, they serve as a demonstration of his continual promotion of Bush. His barb that Howard Dean is so divisive that he is unfit to lead the nation is both below the belt and over the top. While claiming Dean had crawled into a spider hole of denial regarding the capture of Sadaam Hussein, it appears Senator Lieberman has crawled into his own hole of denial regarding his party affiliation. His pronouncement that Governor Dean is not electable because he makes all Democrats look like untrustworthy weaklings is beyond the pale. That outrageous comment makes Lieberman look desperate and weak. No respectable candidate would assail another with such reckless abandon in the distinct hopes of taking down the entire party. Most are finding this contentious lashing out to be inexcusable and it is likely the reason the senator’s polling numbers have fallen into single digits. Apparently, Lieberman has decided to prove he is the Democrat mostly likely to assist in helping the re-election of George W. Bush by slicing and dicing members of his own party. The old saw, “with friends like this...”is definitely applicable. Howard Dean has become the front runner because, unlike Lieberman, he’s not afraid to act like a Democrat. He talks about the things that matter to Democratic voters: healthcare, education, jobs, and the security of their retirements. He is candid with the working middle-class about losing their status and how with another four years of Bush, they could wind up becoming part of the exploding population of unemployed bankruptcy filers with little chance of recouping their lost wages. Dean recognizes the Democrats’ anger and frustration with their party’s leadership who have spent the last three years rolling over and playing dead while the present White House occupant has looted the Treasury, turned over the government to corporate special interest groups, and exploited 9/11 with attacks on civil liberties and the unilateral invasion of Iraq. Most Democrats want a strong voice of opposition to Bush and his wrong headed policies and Dean is delivering the truth, unvarnished, about the crookedness of the path and the darkness of the road. While Americans appreciate Senator Lieberman’s years of contributions to civil rights, women’s rights, and affirmative action, most Democrats find alarming his close alliances with high profile advocates for the Republican party such as Bill Bennett, Gary Bauer, Ralph Reed, and Jerry Falwell. These relationships are wholly inconsistent with most Democrats’ view of the nation. He is clearly out of touch with his support of the war in Iraq, the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, school vouchers and calls for the partial privatization of Social Security. In other words, when it comes to most of the issues, he offers little change and virtually no opposition to the Bush way of running America. The Democrats have had enough of the back room guffaws from the party in power. The only belly laughing and back slapping Democrats want to hear in November are celebrations and congratulations on a job well done in taking back this country.

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