McCain-Lieberman 2008

Thermometer Adds Support for McCain-Lieberman Ticket,” by Matt Stoller, MyDD, 29 November 2006,

The blogosphere is abuzz with speculation on the 2008 election. Barnett is supporting a flake while Safranski is going for the brain. However, it’s hard not to get excited by this:

While Lieberman’s high rating went largely unremarked in our discussions, you can be sure it did not go unremarked among the Unity08 crowd, who are stepping up their operations. And you can be sure that it did not go unremarked among the think tank The Third Way, and Lieberman’s staffers and supporters. They look at their guy and they say ‘We beat the best the left could throw at us, and Joe now has a battle-hardened national constituency he did not have in 2004’.

It gets even more interesting, as Michael Bloomberg takes the number seven spot, wtih 51.1%. The aggregated power of Bloomberg/Lieberman/McCain is formidable when paired with a wounded reactionary base. If Republicans make the calculation in 2008 that they must run away from Bush, a calculation that seems obvious, then a McCain/Lieberman ticket looks quite appealing. Both characters have stood against their party, and their financial base will be unparalleled. Lieberman could just print money in Connecticut, and he’ll be able to do that again in 2008. DC culture will pump massive amounts of cash into their coffers, the GOP base will get behind McCain and Lieberman, and it’s not clear to me if the Democratic Party can stay unified in the face of an assault like that, especially because McCain and Lieberman are both setting themselves up as reformers (Lieberman and Schumer may be fighting over ethics right now).

Certainly McCain-Lieberman would be a better choice than Tom Daschle. Or, gack, John Kerry.

23 thoughts on “McCain-Lieberman 2008”

  1. Daniel-san, you are over-simplifying (as you well know). Tom is not necessarily *for* Obama and Mark is not exactly *for* Gingrich.

    who are you *for*? have you already posted and i have forgotten?

  2. Sean-tzin,

    I was for the correct use of “for” before I was against it :-p

    My dream government would be

    President: Newt Gingrich (R-GA)
    Senate Majority Leader: John McCain (R-AZ)
    Speaker of the House: Harry Ford (D-TN)
    Secretary of State: Joe Lieberman
    Secretary of Defense: Don Rumsfeld
    Secretary of The Treasury: Steve Forbes
    Secretary of Systems Administration: Richard Armitage
    Director of National Intelligence: John Ashcroft
    Ambassador to the UN: John Bolton
    Ambassador to Korea: Joshua Stanton
    Ambassador to China: Tom Barnett

  3. As McCain runs to the arms of the far right wing on issues ranging from abortion to gay rights, he will lose his appeal to the centrists and moderates in the country. That leaves ample room for Rudy G or even Huckabee to take advantage.

    Lieberman is a knowledgable, fair-minded guy, but not even VP material. His performances in 2000 were underwhelming (to be nice) and his 2004 prez run was a disaster.

    2008 will be interesting, but none of the presumptive candidates seems to be much of a prospective improvement over Bush or Clinton.

    We're in the 21st Century playing 20th century politics. The only two candidates who come close to breaking the barrier of stupidity and banality that is our outmoded discourse are Gingrich and Obama, and serious doubts exist as to whether they can get elected, or even make it out of the primaries.

  4. Eddie,

    I'm not sure what polls or positions you are referring to on abortion or homosexuals.

    I agree that Lieberman is not a viable candidate for the Democratic Party.

    I am also glad we are going to get more candidates of the Clinton-Bush mode. We have had many years of essentially great Presidents, of both parties. I hope this continues.

    Perhaps I'm missing news that everyone else is saying — what new things are Obama bringing to public discourse?

  5. now that's a comment! thank you, Daniel-san!

    i don't think i would choose any of those people for my dream government (especially Tom. what a terrible politician he would make! ;-).

    but i do, sincerely, bow before your superior political knowledge (while reserving the right to snipe snarkily at it 😉

  6. Dan, I must strongly disagree with your view of Clinton and Bush as “great presidents”. On the contrary, I think the last 14 years have seen a notable decline in the fortunes, capabilities and influence of the United States, as well as an abdication by all three branches of the federal government of their responsibilities to help prepare the country for the challenges of the future.

    McCain was a refreshing and viable candidate in 2000 because he was the “Straight-Talk” guy. He gave honest answers to hard questions, a policy he abandoned when he made up with Bush in 2002-2003 and started drinking the Bush kool-aid. The battle over torture was the lone exception, because McCain himself was tortured and even political cowards like him still have some humanity left in them, especially with issues that strike home (similar to how Bob Dole bucked his party over Bosnia in the mid-90's because of his direct experiences of the Holocaust).

    Google McCain's viewpoints on issues like abortion, gay rights (especially gays in the military) and foreign policy and you will see a man who has seemingly changed his convictions in the last 6 years, all of which just happen to be policies that the far right wing of the Republican party happen to support, whereas the majority of people in this country do not.

    Lieberman and McCain are mirror images actually. Liberman is/was beloved by conservatives for his strong support of the Iraq War, but the man has a near 90% liberal voting record. McCain is/was admired by moderates for his former “straight talk” days and the media's love affair with him, but the man has a near 90% conservative voting record.

    For McCain, the media's love affair is over and his poll numbers will begin to suffer as the media successfully uses his own groveling to the far right as well as his delusional proposals for more troops to Iraq (there are not many more to send without breaking the Army, and he knows it) to stain his public image.

    Obama represents 21st century politics. I'm not saying he's the best option for the country, but it would be a refreshing campaign in which he was the Democratic nominee, because he can and could transcend tired old debates about abortion, taxes, gays and other 20th century arguments. The challenges of the nation, i.e. the decaying public schools, the soon to be bankrupt entitlement programs, healthcare, the disaster that is the war on drugs, etc. Obama could address these, just as he did in his Senate campaign in 2004.

    A candidate like Romney or Brownback for the GOP would make it even more interesting and liberating for the general public. Finally, an election about the future, not about the political wars of the past.

  7. By the way, your dream government is quite impressive with the exception of Rumsfeld. I'm elated a man of your intellect can see Harold Ford as qualified to be the Speaker. His brand of politics will be missed in the Democratic Party and in the South.

    Who is the VP though?

  8. I have no idea what Obama stands for. He is is pretty and well spoken and perhaps “looks” how a young president should. The dems made that mistake with Kerry who looked the part, but was an empty vessel.

    I think the attraction of Obama is partially is that he realy doesn't have substance, so folks can infer in him what they want.

  9. I could have been behind McCain in 2000, but I don't know about 2008.

    In 2000, I gave a little money to the first time to candidates McCain and Bill Bradley in the primaries – which was the kiss of death for both.

    This was the first time I ever donated money to any candidate. I am not a member of any political party.

    Ever since, whenever an election nears, by answering machine fills up messages for Republican candidates in the area. It pisses me off every time.

    So, besides campaign finances reform be farce (thanks also to my Senator Feiggold), McCain sold my name to a republican fundraiser.

    Not Cool McCain!

  10. Speaker of the House: Harry Ford (D-TN)
    Secretary of State: Joe Lieberman
    Secretary of Defense: Don Rumsfeld
    Secretary of The Treasury: Steve Forbes
    Secretary of Systems Administration: Richard Armitage
    Director of National Intelligence: John Ashcroft

    Hmmm…Rumsfeld time has come and gone…I was okay with him though.

    I hope whoever is president in 2008 can find a spot to get Ford some executive experience….he has a future. perhaps Warren Buffet could bring him onto the BRK board and mentor him some.


    Ashcroft? I don't know about that. I Negraponte has some years to go.

    SysAdmin? Armitiage doesn't do anytiing to me…how about a Guiliani there? How about the retired Coast Guard Commandant turned FEMA director? Also, didn't Hammes retire from the Marines…

    Lieberman at State works for me.

    Bolton works for me.

  11. I'm waiting for more substantive policy ideas from Obama. I believe these are forthcoming by the fall, if not the summer. It will be interesting to see where he goes, what kind of foreign policy advisers in particular he picks up. He asks the right questions at hearings, listens to the right people abroad and seems open-minded and willing to admit mistakes and reality, a refreshing quality sorely lacking in everyone from McCain to Bush to Kerry.

    What about Romney? What about Rudy? The same could go for them. I'm interested in all of them, because we need new ideas and fresh debate, not the old stale business about abortion, taxes, Iraq, etc.

  12. Sean-tzin,

    I picture Tom as more of a back-room, speaking-to-the-Central-Committee kind of diplomat. But it will be fun to have him at the ceremony recognizing the Republic of Taiwan as an independent country! :-p


    If you don't believe Obama has been substantive, then why support him?

    Could you provide specifics on McCain's issue-changes. His position on homosexuals in the miltiary, for instance, seems unchanged over the last decade.

    Likewise, how are you definition “far right wing”? As policies you disagree with?

    As VP: Paul Wolfowitz.


    I admire Ashcroft for his policy of “throwing up static” — a million small hurdles for any of our enemies. It increases the chances of catching these guys.

    He was a terrible AG, however. He had a very agenda-driven view of the Justice Department which weakened him considerably.

    My admiration for Armitage comes from his description in Rise of the Vulcans… any guy who quits the American military in order to keep fighting for South Vietnam is my kind of SysAdmin. [1]


  13. Dan, re: Tom. you are crazy! 😉

    re: Obama: someone said over on Tom's website that good presidents are optimistic, they present a positive vision for America and the world. if Obama can manage the other stuff, i think he could be a good candidate in this regard. i'm more concerned about him being a senator (make bad candidates) and relative inexperience in foreign policy.

    Eddie: perhaps the 'notable decline' is a rising, non-zero-sum tide of globalization that is raising all of the boats. some which were further behind more than others. i think such a view of globalization precludes continuing American hegemony. (of have, of course, drunk Dr Barnett's Kool-Aid on this 😉

    re: McCain: leaves me very cold and is, frankly, getting old to go along with his pre-esixting crotchetiness 😉

    re: this discussion: i would like to say that y'all are coming to some good consensus here that i'm willing to get in line with. now if we could just a) convince the parties and then the electorate, or b) institute temporary oligarchy, we should be fine 😉

  14. Dan,

    I like Obama because he's the only Democratic candidate I believe is worth putting in the White House. I have kept a close eye on his short Senate career and appreciated his candor with constituents, especially people from the Democratic base, on issues like Iraq, Social Security and immigration. He speaks harsh truths to people, not sugarcoating or denying the often heady times we are in. I forgive him his lack of specifics at this point because 99% of first-term Senators and others do not have much of an agenda, nor much of specific ideas and programs, John Edwards and Lindsey Graham excepted. We'll see what happens in the fall, if he has not given us specifics, then I will be forced to support whomever the GOP nominates.

    Re: McCain

    He was on ABC's “This Week” and professed to be unaware of the military classifying homosexuality as a “defect”. He's so desperate for power he's getting in bed with major donors and big party movers who hate gays, want to impose religion in the government and have been busy waging other culture wars for decades now, much to the detriment of society and governance.

    The “far right” to me is the type of people who have sold out conservative principles and decided to cut taxes in times of war, rapidly enlarge the federal government to suit their power needs, invade countries with no solid plans for the aftermath, ruin America's reputation abroad by poorly hiding torture and naive hypocricy on issues like popular democracy and human rights and a host of other abuses of power, decency and real and important conservative principles. No straw men here, I'm talking about George Bush, James Dobson, Trent Lott, Dick Cheney, George Allen, etc. I respect relatively honest and realistic conservatives like Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, Billy Graham, Rudy G, etc.


    Re: Obama, I agree with the comment on Tom Barnett's blog, that is quite true, especially in these times of fair trade, evil gay marriage and illegal immigrant demagogues.

    Re: state of America,
    While there are good indicators that Barnett and other opportunists (including myself) love to show, I believe that our ruling class is overwhelmingly filled with a bunch of amateurs and idealogues and has been since the Clinton's era. While private citizens and corporations can do much on their own, there is still too much that is important in this country that is being squandered and ignored by the ruling class across the three branches of government. Worse, the military has also become afflicted.

  15. Eddie,

    “He was on ABC's “This Week” and professed to be unaware of the military classifying homosexuality as a “defect”.”

    I saw McCain's appearence on This Week. It seemd much more like a disagreement over whether the military used the “defect” or “defective” in describing homosexuals than whether or not the military had a don't-ask-don't-tell policy

    “…who hate gays…”

    Any justification for the choice of verb in this sentence, other than policy diagreement?

    “The “far right” to me is the type of people who have sold out conservative principles”

    Such as?

    “decided to cut taxes in times of war”

    Is war somehow morally associated with high taxes? I would think wars should be won, while tax policy should center on economic growth.

    “rapidly enlarge the federal government to suit their power needs,”

    Especially with regards to NCLB etc, I agree.

    “invade countries with no solid plans for the aftermath”

    To an extent… Though perhaps the real problem was the wrong plan, rather than like of one. [1]

    “ruin America's reputation abroad by poorly hiding torture”

    The countries that care of this — those dying states in Western Europe — are the ones we least need.

    Thanks for the comment.


  16. Eddie: “I respect relatively honest and realistic conservatives like Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, Billy Graham, Rudy G, etc.”

    Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the Senate, speaking of Sweden:

    “You look at the social impact of the countries that have engaged in homosexual marriage….You’ll know ‘em by their fruits.” [ed. note: Sweden hasn’t legalized gay marriage.] —

  17. Last comment got eaten by Blogspirit's comment verification page.

    Eddie: “I respect relatively honest and realistic conservatives like Newt Gingrich, Sam Brownback, Billy Graham, Rudy G, etc.”

    Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), sponsor of the Federal Marriage Amendment in the Senate, speaking of Sweden:

    “You look at the social impact of the countries that have engaged in homosexual marriage….You’ll know ‘em by their fruits.” [ed. note: Sweden hasn’t legalized gay marriage.]

  18. Curtis,

    Sorry for the late delay. Onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, I cannot view blogspirit, blogspot, typepad or wordpress websites. Now I am on my own 'net so I can read your response.

    Sen. Brownback talks a big game with regards to gay marriage, abortion and other hot button social issues, but he is perhaps the most open-minded (to cooperation and compromise) Senator of his generation. He appeared with Sen. Obama before Rick Warren's AIDS summit last week, much to the chargin of the fundamentalists whom he depends on for votes, donations and party position. He works on issues like prison reform, human trafficking, ethnic cleansing in Burma and Sudan, drug law reforms, etc. with some of the most liberal Senators and Reps. out there. And he has always espoused these views. Sen. McCain is only a recent convert because he covets the money and support of the fundamentalists…

    This columnist (1) captures my thoughts on McCain quite well. He gives McCain's recent moves a fair appraisal both for their effect on his presidental chances and for his transition from reformer to insider.

    Re: your responses, I must say that w/r to torture, this country has lost respect and admiration most of all in places like Asia, Eastern Europe and Africa, as well as in Britain and Australia. Its not that I don't oppose torture, it may have to happen from time to time, but the incompetent, dishonest and poorly planned policies and responses of this administration and foreign policy elite to the challenges of the war on terror infuriate me.

    You cannot cut taxes that lack a clear benefit for the economy and the American people while underfunding the war effort with piecemeal supplements and half-assed strategic planning, not to mention the critical issues we have with America's physical and social infrastructure.

    The far right (i.e. Dobson, Bush, Cheney) have abandoned core conservative principles for smaller government, responsible foreign policy, wise spending, market reforms, etc in exchange for greater power. Given the intense debate amongst conservatives that started before the mid-term election and continues even now, I sense there will be a course correction in 2008.

  19. Eddie,

    Thanks for the article on McCain. It doesn't mention that McCain's 2000 rhetoric was an aberration for him. Of course he's political — challenging the presumed nominee you have to differentiate yourself — however, the criticism of his views of the Iraq War are off the mark. Like Hillary Clintoln, I cannot recall being more dovish than Bush at any time since the beginning of the Iraq War. This is not so much an “emergence” as a consistent philosophy.

    Additionally, any article that says some group has embraced “anti-X extremism” is probably a little over the top, and that's certainly the case here. Consider that the author would apparently criticize 49 of 50 states as anti-environmental extremists, because only Washington State has the Growth Management Act!

    (But then, being fashionably environmentalist by raising the cost of living for the working class has always been popular with a segment of the Left…)

    I agree with you on this administration's incompetence in execution.

    On “the far right” (by which you apparently mean contemporary conservatives)

    1. agreed on the small government criticize
    2. we've had an globalist-idealist foreign policy since 1993, which followed 12 years of anti-communist idealism (1977-1989). So unless you are criticizing execution, I'm not sure what you mean by an irresponsible foreign policy
    3. If you expect wisdom out of government, I'm afraid to say that every system will disappoint you.
    4. Again, not sure what market reforms you are referring to. DR-CAFTA? Negotiated free trade deals with Singapore, Vietnam, and other states?

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