Thursday, June 14, 2007

Why President Liebermann Would Be Better Than President Bush

Common Dreams has an article by Robert Scheer titled ‘President’ Lieberman: A Cautionary Tale. Sheer's premise explores the possibility that after winning the election of 2000, Al Gore would have been allowed to be sworn in as President, only to die while in office leading to Joe Lieberman assuming the Presidency.

Scheer draws from Lieberman's insane ramblings to arrive at the conclusion that Lieberman may be more damaging than Bush at leading America. Sheer's point is to give pause to anyone who would support any Democrat based solely upon the notion that their candidate is more electable in the general election than another choice.

If Lieberman's own words are the only consideration we take into the discussion, Scheer's point is valid. However I believe there are many other factors which combine to make the Bush administration more disastrous than a possible Lieberman administration ever could have been, under Scheer's scenario.

The major difference would be the composition of the Lieberman administration compared to the Bush administration. Starting at the very top, is there anyone Lieberman could pick after assuming the Presidency that would be worse for that office than Dick Cheney? Lieberman would have to make a herculean effort to find someone as dangerous and wrong headed as Cheney has proven. Just having the dark and brooding presence of Cheney out of Washington would be a tremendous plus to Lieberman in the scenario Scheer describes. How much of the disaster that has fallen this nation under the Bush administration can be laid upon Cheney's doorstep?

The rest of the administration would follow that pattern. Alberto Gonazales would not have disgraced the office he currently holds, Donald Rumsfeld would have remained a footnote in the history books, and the list goes on and on. Even outside the cabinet, like John Bolton at the U.N. and Wolfowitz for World Bank... the people Lieberman chose in their stead would mainly have come from the liberal side of the great divide in American politics. Simply judging from recent history, we find that the office holders of the Clinton Administration were, by and large, competent. Heckuvajob Brownie would still be running the Arabian Horse Association.

The basic history of America and the world may well have changed dramatically under Scheers scenario. When Bush came to power the administrations distaste for all things Clinton led to the discarding of the Israeli/Palestinian peace initiative. Who knows what may have happened in the middle east if a comprehensive peace plan had been reached with a Lieberman ambassador continuing the Clinton example.

In fact with the Bush administrations well known disdain for terrorism warnings prior to 9/11, (again because Clintonians had pushed hard to give terrorism a high level of importance during and after the transition) who is to say how a Lieberman led administration would have reacted when the alarm bells started going off? One thing is certain: the memo titled "Bin Laden Determined To Strike In U.S." would not have been given to the President at a ranch in Texas! Maybe a Lieberman led Justice Department would have put two and two together, and a greater awareness of the threat from terrorism suspects learning to fly, but not land, jumbo jets would have led to heightened security at the nations airports?

Scheers article raises interesting questions in considering a temporal change, but he has not convinced me that a Lieberman administration would be worse for America than Bush's leadership has proven. I'll wrap this up by pleading that readers do not think this post is intended as a defense of Lieberman. The Senator from Connecticut is a wrong headed Bush apologist and I wouldn't cast a vote for him if he were opposed by a door knob. I'm just saying that there is more to consider in judging a Presidency than simply who is the President. I feel comfortable in my conclusion that a Lieberman administration would have proven better for America than Bush has.

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