He's going the head-in-the-sand route--sort of:
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, D-Conn., plans to vote against both Democratic amendments calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Votes are expected Thursday. One resolution would call on the White House to begin phased redeployment of troops from Iraq this year, and to submit a plan to Congress by the end of the year for "continued phased redeployment."
The other measure, which is expected to gain little support even among Democrats, would have President Bush pull all troops out of Iraq by July 1, 2007.
Lieberman is expected to say he believes the U. S. cannot stay indefinitely in Iraq, and cannot write a blank check for its support. But, he plans to say, withdrawal of troops must be based on conditions on the ground, not fixed dates. (Lightman)
Much as I hate to admit it, he's actually right. As plans go, these are lousy ones. We could endlessly debate the pros and cons of a fixed date for withdrawal, but that sort of timeline won't help Iraq or, in the long run, the United States. The best the Democrats could come up with, I suppose.
Lieberman is sticking to his guns, sort of, despite the obvious backpedaling away from the Bush Administration and his earlier stances. If he really wanted to be the independent-minded statesman he so desperately desires to be, he could take a leadership role on the whole Iraq debate, and come up with some bold new directions besides just "stay the course" or "get us out of here now!"
Like, for example, doubling the number of troops, investing heavily in rebuilding Iraq's infrastructure and economy (a Marshall Plan for Iraq), and re-assuming some of the functions of Iraq's obviously inept central government until they can get back on their feet.
These ideas may not work. But they're a better direction than the two major parties are offering us. Positive action--any positive action--is better than either changing nothing or pulling up stakes and leaving a broken country to its fate.
Senator, they're yours for free. Take them and build on them. Lead, if you're capable of it. Put all that bipartisan capital you've supposedly been building up to work, for once! Get the moderate Gang of 14 who can still control the Senate behind you, and accomplish something history will remember you for. Show us why you ran for President.
Unless you can't. Maybe you're too wrapped up in saving your own butt here at home to risk the shreds of power you have left on helping to resolve a nasty overseas mess that you helped to create. Maybe you've been in Washington too long to act in anything but your own self-interest. Or maybe you really do think that things are going fine in Iraq. I don't know.
All just a fantasy, of course. No one is going to propose a better plan for Iraq. We won't pull out, the Democrats will get smeared as cut-and-run wussies, and in the end nothing will actually change. Maybe someday we'll have real leaders again. I can dream.
Lightman, David. "Lieberman To Vote Vs. Troop Withdrawal." Hartford Courant 21 June, 2006.