Afraid that Connecticut's Democratic voters will reject him in the primary, he's now hedging his bets by planning to run as an independent if he loses. "I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party," he says, and tries to make this sound noble.
Of course, Lieberman's been looking more and more like a Bush-Cheney Republican as he defends one after another of the administration's positions. There's no clean solution to their disaster in Iraq. But while we can argue different approaches for withdrawal, Lieberman not only backed the war initially, but also continues to give Bush political cover on it, denying the magnitude of the disaster and attacking the patriotism and judgment of any who'd question our occupation. Although he's taken a few decent stands on labor and environmental issues, and that matters, each time he gives Bush political cover on his most vulnerable issues, he makes it harder to oppose him on all other questions Lieberman's self-created role as political enforcer has a long heritage.
Eleven years ago, Lieberman joined Lynne Cheney in co-founding the American Council of Trustees and Alumni. Their purpose was to attack dissident educators, setting themselves up as cultural commissars who took on the right to decide what was and wasn't appropriate patriotism when educators explored key public issues. Their approach would have fit well in Communist East Germany, but seemed strangely out of place in a democracy, and Lieberman's never disassociated himself from it.
Of course Bush might not be even president had Lieberman not hamstrung Gore by arguing against demanding a full recount of the Florida ballots. Or if he'd held Dick Cheney even slightly accountable in their Vice Presidential debate for stands like opposing the freeing of Nelson Mandela from a South African prison, instead of cozying up to him in a fawning love fest. Maybe it was predictable that he'd support Bush's regressive energy bill, tax plans, and judicial nominations.
Maybe he should just drop the pretense and run as a Bush-Cheney Republican without any further evasions.