Monday, November 12, 2007

Joe Lieberman for Vice President?

For the Republicans? William Kristol seems to think this is a winning idea:

As for Rudy and John and Fred and Mitt and Mike: Take a break from kissing babies to pick up the phone and congratulate Joe. Seek his endorsement after you win the nomination. What the heck--offer him the vice presidency. (Rudy, you might try State or Defense, since you'll need a pro-life running mate.) But McCain-Lieberman, Thompson-Lieberman, Romney-Lieberman, Huckabee-Lieberman--those sound like winning tickets to us. It's true, given the behavior of the congressional Democrats, the GOP nominee might well win with a more conventional running mate. But why settle for a victory if you can have a realignment?

The "congratulating Joe" bit has to do with the speech that is cited on the first page of that article, where Lieberman laments the current direction of the Democratic Party, although his complaints about the Democrats retaking Congress should not be news to anyone. The Democrats were not elected to pursue Lieberman's vision. If voters wanted that, the GOP would still be in control of Congress.

Anyway, Daniel Larison has some thoughts:

This seems unhinged to me. Realignment? Because of Joe Lieberman? In the context of a presidential election, realignment implies a landslide with 40+ states lining up behind a ticket, a dramatic, sudden shift in the balance of power from one party to another. 1932, 1968, 1980 are often given as the elections where major realignments occurred, which involved the building of broad electoral coalitions. What Kristol proposes is that nominating Lieberman would create the conditions for such a massive victory for the Republicans, when the woes of the latter are closely tied to the foreign policy decisions that constitute the chief reason why Kristol admires Lieberman and thinks he should be a VP nominee.

Unless people are focusing exclusively on national security that people pay attention to nothing else, I can not see liberal hawks throwing themselves behind a socially conservative President. Furthermore, if I were a betting man, I'd guess that the number of people gained would be far less than the number of people heading for the exits. It would not just be because of Iraq. As David Boaz of The Cato Institute points out:

Only if you believe that continuing to support the war in Iraq outweighs all other issues combined–for the next five years–could a conservative reasonably support Joe Lieberman. And apparently some Republicans and conservatives are willing to toss aside his commitment to high taxes, higher spending, more regulation, and entitlement expansion in order to get a vice president firmly committed to long-term entanglement in Iraq.

Well, it's not like The Republican Party has shown anything close to a committment toward that silly and outdated notions like limited government and fiscal responsibility. let alone liberty

In any event, if Giuliani is the frontrunner, this is all moot, although I'd be amused to see two liberals running under the banner of "conservatism" (although others probably won't find it funny at all - nor should they).


Donald Douglas said...

Not all Republicans believe in complete limited government!

East Coast Libertarian said...

I can't disagree with that, although it is the source of a great deal of consternation, as we both know.

Thanks for stopping by.