There is no doubt that Hillary Clinton is a powerful politician. For some people, that's enough. Some people are willing to follow whomever has the most power, regardless of whether that power is employed in the right cause.
The rest of us must look more carefully at those who seek our support in their effort to gain more power. The rest of us must examine Hillary Clinton more carefully.
Upon examination, Hillary Clinton turns out not to be what her supporters wish she would be. Increasingly, her political stances are moving toward the right. It started with support for Bush's tax cuts for the rich, then into Clinton's vote in favor of the Patriot Act, though she never even read the legislation before voting on it. Then, of course, there was Hillary Clinton's support for the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Senator Clinton didn't just support the Iraq War at the beginning. She still supports it, and still refuses to admit that she made the wrong choice. Since that pro-war vote, Hillary Clinton has gone sliding further and further to the right, supporting initiatives to mix religion and government, supporting Pro-Life candidates, and even voting for a law to end free speech as we know it by making flag burning a crime. Time and time again, Hillary Clinton has failed to stand up to George W. Bush. When Russ Feingold called for the censure of George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton left him hanging.
If all this doesn't convince you that Hillary Clinton is becoming more and more like a right wing Republican with every passing year, consider this: Senator Clinton is now defending Joseph Lieberman. In fact, Hillary Clinton isn't just defending Lieberman, she is helping Lieberman defeat a true progressive Democrat, Ned Lamont.
Ned Lamont is running for United States Senate in the Democratic Primary against Joseph Lieberman because of Lieberman's repeated cooperation with the worst of the Republicans' right wing agenda. While the Republicans have been lying to America, running up record debts, cutting away our civil liberties, and selling out the basic needs of American citizens, Senator Lieberman has been lecturing Democrats that we need to be friendly to Republican ideas, and we should not contradict George W. Bush. Lieberman has actually suggested that criticizing President Bush is unpatriotic. He's said that Americans do not have the right to full religious liberty. He's supported George W. Bush almost every step of the way.
Hillary Clinton ought to be ashamed to be seen in the same company as Joseph Lieberman. But, she isn't. In fact, Senator Clinton has written a letter to the delegates of the Connecticut Democratic Committee, urging them to support Senator Lieberman, and help defeat progressive Ned Lamont.
The letter, which is shown below, contains many false statements. For example, Senator Clinton claims that " Joe Lieberman fought tooth and nail to protect the guarantee of Social Security that this country has honored for seven decades to its senior citizens." The truth is that Senator Lieberman tried to help George W. Bush's attacks on Social Security until they were all but certainly doomed. During the State of the Union Address, when President Bush announced his plan to destroy Social Security as we know it, Joseph Lieberman was one of only two to stand up and applaud. That's right - Senator Lieberman actually applauded the destruction of Social Security.
Perhaps you are tempted to excuse Hillary Clinton's support of Joseph Lieberman as some kind of loyalty. One Democrat in the Senate is obligated to campaign for other Democrats in the Senate, you might say.
Well, if that were your defense of Clinton's conduct, then you'd have to explain why she is continuing to support Joseph Lieberman even though Lieberman has said that he will abandon the Democratic Party and run against Ned Lamont as an independent if Lamont wins the Democratic primary. If Joseph Lieberman won't be loyal to the Democratic Party, and regularly rejects basic Democratic Party values, why should Democrats be loyal to Lieberman?
When Bill and I were at Yale Law School, he volunteered to work on the campaign of a young man who was running for State Senate. The candidate's name was Joe Lieberman.
When I started running for the Senate in New York in 1999, many people thought I didn't have a chance. One sitting senator, however, provided me significant help early on in my campaign. That was Senator Joe Lieberman.
In the Senate, I have had the pleasure of getting to know Joe even better. We work together on both the Armed Services and Environment and Public Works Committees and I have seen his leadership first hand. He has repeatedly led the fight against the big oil companies that want to drill in the Arctic, he has championed innovative alternative energy solutions and his bill to combat global warming is the most thoughtful and comprehensive that's been proposed.
As Senators from neighboring states, Joe and I have worked on many issues together: strengthening support for first responders, improving children's health care, and cleaning up Long Island Sound so that families in New York and Connecticut can enjoy it for generations to come.
Last year, right after the 2004 election, President Bush announced that privatizing Social Security was his highest priority. Joe Lieberman fought tooth and nail to protect the guarantee of Social Security that this country has honored for seven decades to its senior citizens.
And Joe has also fought the Administration's outrageous attempts to gut Medicare and Medicaid and he has been a consistent critic of their ill conceived prescription drug plan. Now Joe is working hard to see if he can help improve that plan.
I believe that the 2006 election is a particularly important one for our country. We have the chance to put Democrats in control of the Senate and the House, to curb the excesses of one party Republican rule and hold Republicans accountable for their actions. Keeping Joe Lieberman in the Senate is an important part of that victory plan.
I know that you may not agree with Joe on all the issues. I don't either. But I know that he is a man of integrity and of devotion to the people of his state and the future of his country.
I hope when you cast your vote on May 20th and then again on August 8th that you will vote to send my friend Joe Lieberman back to the Senate.Many thanks,