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Murtha's Slow Bleed Plan Could Send Lieberman to Republicans

It sounds like Lieberman is making a veiled threat to change parties from Connecticut for Lieberman to Republican, putting the GOP back in control of the Senate, if Murtha's Slow Bleed plan is approved. The Politico has the scoop:

Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut told the Politico on Thursday that he has no immediate plans to switch parties but suggested that Democratic opposition to funding the war in Iraq might change his mind.


Lieberman, a self-styled independent who caucuses with the Democrats, has been among the strongest supporters of the war and President Bush's plan to send an additional 21,500 combat troops into Iraq to help quell the violence there.

"I have no desire to change parties," Lieberman said in a telephone interview. "If that ever happens, it is because I feel the majority of Democrats have gone in a direction that I don't feel comfortable with."

Asked whether that hasn't already happened with Iraq, Lieberman said: "We will see how that plays out in the coming months," specifically how the party approaches the issue of continued funding for the war.

He suggested, however, that the forthcoming showdown over new funding could be a deciding factor that would lure him to the Republican Party.

"I hope we don't get to that point," Lieberman said. "That's about all I will say on it today. That would hurt."

The nutroots made it clear they didn't want Lieberman as a Democrat, forcing him to run for reelection to the Senate on his own ticket. Their gamble failed miserably when Lieberman ran independently from the Democrats in Connecticut and won, proving that he is a man of his word and willing to take risks. Surely, the Democrats must know by now that Senator Lieberman does not make empty threats, so they would be wise to rethink their support for Jack Murtha's "Slow Bleed" plan.

Hat tip: Greg Tinti

Allahpundit at Hot Air writes that Lieberman has been threatening to switch to the GOP since his reelection:

He's been making noise about this since literally a week after the election. Exit question: Is Liebs going to stop the slow bleed? Bonus exit question: If he switches, will newly anti-war moderate Republican Gordon Smith switch the other way? He's up for reelection in 2008 and comes from the bluish state of Oregon. Why not?

Others blogging:

Bill Faith


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Comments (56)

Democrats are losing the... (Below threshold)
Rob LA Ca.:

Democrats are losing their bowels for sure with this one.

Lieberman says leaving the ... (Below threshold)
BarneyG2000:

Lieberman says leaving the Democratic Party is a "very remote possibility."

Don;t get your hopes up to high. This looks more like leverage than a bolt.

Lieberman has almost a full... (Below threshold)
Davebo:

Lieberman has almost a full six year term to serve and despite local opinion the folks in CT can't do a thing about it.

However, his "power" is going to be short lived. Now he's the swing vote. So dems let him keep his seniority.

But Joe is no idiot. After 2008 Senate Dems will no longer need to cowtow to him as they'll surely increase their majority by at least 3 seats. And then he's totally at the will of the Dem leadership.

Perhaps he's sees greener pastures cutting a deal with the GOP for some seniority in the minority party.

He's got nothing to lose after all. There's no way he gets re-elected as an Independant, Dem or Republican given the extreme displeasure with him held by the people of CT.

Good for you, Joe. I hope t... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Good for you, Joe. I hope to hell it doesn't come that, tho.

"He's got nothing to los... (Below threshold)

"He's got nothing to lose after all. There's no way he gets re-elected as an Independant, Dem or Republican given the extreme displeasure with him held by the people of CT."

Amazing they elected him this time around, isn't it? Davebo, it's time to pull your head out for some fresh air.

That would be sweet payback... (Below threshold)
Old Coot:

That would be sweet payback for what the nutroots tried to do to him.

I doubt that either Lieberm... (Below threshold)

I doubt that either Lieberman or Smith will be changing parties. Both have voting records largely in line with the majority positions of their respective parties. However, both are offering their own independent views on Iraq and other issues.

Smith is becoming a little bit like former Senator Mark Hatfield. Hatfield was a Republican moderate, and Smith is voting more similiar to Hatfield than few would have ever expected.

Smith ran for office on a hardline social conservative platform with many of his ads an attack on a single Gay owned adult video store in Portland. But has since seemed to vote far more moderate than any serious political observer in Oregon could have ever expected. He often works on bipartisan bills with Senator Ron Wyden, a champion for consumer rights and aging issues. Smith is also a champion of aging issues.

When Oregon was hard-hit with high unemployment after 9/11, Smith no doubt received many help letters from hurting Oregonians and moved to a more moderate stance in support of increasing the minimum wage and protecting the Food Stamp program and social programs from $40 billion in cuts to help finance $70 billion in more tax cuts mainly for the benefit of the higher income segment.

There should be enough room in the Senate for both more moderate Republicans and more conservative Democrats like there used to be at one time. At one time, the Democrats ran the range from former SDS radicals like Tom Hayden to Alabama Governor George Wallace on the right. The Republicans also had a wider range of represented views as well.

"After 2008 Senate Dems wil... (Below threshold)
Dave:

"After 2008 Senate Dems will no longer need to cowtow to him as they'll surely increase their majority by at least 3 seats."

If Iraq isn't noticably improved by 2008, congressional politics won't matter. I predict things will improve.

The war in Iraq will end th... (Below threshold)
Lee:

The war in Iraq will end the day before the 2008 Presidential election, so this will all be moot before long.

The war in Iraq will end... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

The war in Iraq will end the day before the 2008 Presidential election, so this will all be moot before long.

Hmmm. It isn't going to happen, but just for the helluva it, let's say that by some miracle it did. Would that be a good or bad thing, Lee?

Iraq...hmmm..we know other ... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Iraq...hmmm..we know other nations are bailing as we ramp up...check out http://www.icasualties.org/oif/
Just as we desire that Iraq can overcome serious (and in their case deadly) differences...we are no better...
...at some point in time.we will withdraw mostly..kindly..pretty much...

It appears, as our past presents, we only differ about the circumstances....Ya all..or the spectrum between...cry out for more...more..more..
I don't have to be a moonbat to SHOUT OUT ..ah less..less
yeah..a a disabled vet i will rant...Fook all people who pretend ..and i don't doubt..you are sincere...that..just as I don't know how I would live your life...I would hope you would not presume ...to ..pretend..unless you say.."I pretend"
Bring'em home..unless you or your children..replace them..

I've been somewhat preoccup... (Below threshold)

I've been somewhat preoccupied but...

...wasn't the "send more troops" a liberal demand not so very long ago?

I remember that, maybe not the Dem leadership and certainly not people like Code Pink and who-all, but certainly anti-Bush people here and elsewhere when they talked about what Bush did so very wrong it was "not enough troops."

It isn't going to happen? <... (Below threshold)
Lee:

It isn't going to happen?

It's November 4, 2008. I can see it now.

President Bush arm in arm with the Republican candidate for President - standing in front of a big banner that says "Mission Accomplished".

You don't think the Republicans will end the war once the polls show them losing the Presidential election if they don't? Hell, even if it isn't over they'll lie and say it is.

Man, you conservatives are a gullible bunch.

nogo, everyone going over t... (Below threshold)

nogo, everyone going over there is a volunteer. You know that. All new recruits and all reenlistments. Maybe not me or my children (none of us would be accepted into the military at this point anyhow, so the point is moot) but by *definition* the people going to Iraq and Afghanistan and going into the military are people, like me, who support what our military is doing over there.

They *are* being replaced by people who support the mission. They are being replaced by people from the sub-set of the population that you are asking to replace them.

Why pretend they are not?

You mean Lieberman ISN'T a ... (Below threshold)
Publicus:

You mean Lieberman ISN'T a Republican now?!

Um, Lee, FYI, that (Republi... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Um, Lee, FYI, that (Republicans ending the war--which is laughable in itself) doesn't answer my question nor was it a part of your original "thought". Your initial thought suggested/implied that the war might be over by then (not by the hands of the Republicans mind you, just plain over). So--surprise, surprise--you still didn't answer the question.

Nevertheless, moving on...

Wasn't it rumored/widely believed/theorized that the Republicans would trot out OBL just in time for the 2002 elections. Or was it 2004? Both? If memory serves, both. What about Saddam; he was supposed to be caught just before 2004 elections, too. Turns out he was...a good 11 months before that happened and most people forgot about it by the elections. Finally, wasn't it rumored/widely believed/theorized that the Republicans would end the war before the 2006 elections. (I don't know about you, but I had more than a few friends (including co-workers) predict this to my face.) Oops. Didn't happen. Unfortunately.

With this in mind, I suggest taking up a new line of work and try prognosticating this year's World Series winner. $5 says you'd have better luck than past track record...

P.S. I'd take the Yankees over the Phils.

This bush league blackmaili... (Below threshold)

This bush league blackmailing crap by Lieberman has got to stop. What's to prevent every other Senator from threatening to switch parties when they don't get their way on an issue? Heck, they might as well play musical chairs every morning in the Senate chamber.

Reid should sit down with Lieberman and tell him to put up or shut up. You're either with the Democrats or you're with the Republicans. Be a man and pick your side Joe!

Man, you conservatives ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Man, you conservatives are a gullible bunch.
Posted by: Lee at February 22, 2007 06:49 PM

Well "we" would be if we had an ounce of belief in your ability to predict the 2008 elections.

But we don't. And even less in your ability to comment on the topic instead of making a lame attempt to drag the thread in another direction.

Ignore the troll

Larkin there are no "men" i... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Larkin there are no "men" in the democrat party (well maybe one or two). That's the whole problem.

You've convinced me Peter -... (Below threshold)
Lee:

You've convinced me Peter -- I'm betting on the Yankees too!

Nice try Synova...ye... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Nice try Synova...
yep..everyone now in..went to a recruiting office..

a simple fact..I became aware of when our son-in-law..a medic from the Fairbanks "Stryker"..who left the Army because of a medical discharge..
Ya know..our govt did not pony up our share of govt matching college funds...because he did not fulfill his 4 year obligation?
Do ya think..any recruiter points out.."I want to make it clear..when you think you are signing up for 4 years, you can be extended"
I know you check the web out...you know..that the volunteers we are accepting..would not have even been considered 10 years ago...
Even during Viet Nam..NO ONE DID MORE THAN ONE COMBAT TOUR...unless they "volunteered"...
The reason our "volunteer Army" is reduced to felons and dropouts...is because few others are desperate enough...when you joined..I am assuming you are a fellow vet..What did your recruiter tell you?
I challenge you to find anyone who was told by their recruiter in the past five years..
1. You may have to serve in active duty more than these four years....

2. Understand..if you are discharged because of injuries sustained in training or in combat, the government will not fulfill it's share of the promised college fund, because you did not fullfil your part of the contract.

3. Understand, our President and The past Republican majority has asked, and gotten cuts in tax payer money to V.A. Hospitals...so we are behind..but we will really..really try to take care of you..

Larkin was it "bush league ... (Below threshold)
marc:

Larkin was it "bush league blackmailing crap" by Senator Jim Jeffords after a switch that placed the Senate in Democratic control?

Ah... I love the smell of sour grapes in the early evening.

And another thing Reid shou... (Below threshold)

And another thing Reid should tell Lieberman is that the Democrats are going to stop the war because that's what they ran on in the election, they won, and the people expect them to keep their promises.

Of course, I wouldn't expect someone who didn't have the courage to respect the vote of his own party which also gave him the chance to be Vice President to understand that. Lieberman is the most unprincipled crass opportunist in Washington DC right now and his trying to blackmail the Dems just proves that once again.

Do ya think..any recrui... (Below threshold)
marc:

Do ya think..any recruiter points out.."I want to make it clear..when you think you are signing up for 4 years, you can be extended"

"Nice" variation on the troops are dumb lie. Do you think these aren't 10 year olds and as adults are able to read, understand and then sign what they are committing to.

Vet rant continued...seriou... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

Vet rant continued...seriously..ya don't have to be a vet to have an opinion on the failures/successes now taking place with our military presence in Iraq...
but..please...realize..how the greatest fear in your daily life compares to the fear of a troop going out on patrol as part of our President's surge to "secure Baghdad"...or anyone riding around in an unprotected humvee 4 years into this...

I give only one real challenge...attend the funeral of the next troop dying for this lie(Wmd's) from your town/city..

Do this..and try to remain unchanged..one way or the other...

Marc,I don't recal... (Below threshold)

Marc,

I don't recall Jeffords threatening to switch for months and trying to blackmail the Republicans because of a single issue. As I recall, he switched rather quickly and cleanly. He said the party had moved too far to the right and he couldn't identify with it anymore.

Lieberman should have the guts to do the same. If he chooses to go I say good riddance and don't let the door hit your ass on the way out. It actually puts the Dems in a better position for 2008 because then they won't be held responsible for Iraq and can run as the opposition party again.

As a high school diploma is... (Below threshold)
nogo postal:

As a high school diploma is no longer required (as it once was)to join the military...your assumption that those joining are all literate ..given the pathetic state of our public schools..is a stretch...
and unless..you have personally seen the currant contract that is being signed..ah..well..

Just to be more precise:</p... (Below threshold)
marc:

Just to be more precise:

Those who join the military agree to this provision under paragraph 9c of the enlistment contract states:

In the event of war, my enlistment in the Armed Forces continues until six (6) months after the war ends, unless my enlistment is ended sooner by the President of the United States.

But current enlistees are too stupid to read that right nogo?

Political opponents (and if memory serves you are one who has used back-door-draft) of the President often refer to Stop Loss as a "back-door draft," and act as if President Bush invented the policy.

Congress first gave Stop Loss authority to the Department of Defense right after the draft ended.

nogo, did you whine and cry after Clinton imposed Stop Loss at the beginning of the Bosnia deployment, and during the Kosovo Air Campaign.

given the pathetic stat... (Below threshold)
marc:

given the pathetic state of our public schools..is a stretch...

See I told ya... nogo thinks they are too stupid.

.you have personally seen t... (Below threshold)
marc:

.you have personally seen the currant contract that is being signed..ah..well..
Posted by: nogo postal at February 22, 2007 07:44 PM

Seek and ye shall find nimrod.

And BTWEven du... (Below threshold)
marc:

And BTW

Even during Viet Nam..NO ONE DID MORE THAN ONE COMBAT TOUR...unless they "volunteered"...

Maybe, just maybe you could wrap your brain around the fact the U.S. Military was at minimum twice as large as it is now.

I have my doubts

The slow bleed plan could b... (Below threshold)
Russ:

The slow bleed plan could better be described as al qaeda's war plan. They wanted the US to "bleed" just as the Soviets had before them in Afghanistan. According to the book Taliban, the terrorist assumed the US probably would come into Afghanistan after them and had several days before 911, assassinated the Uniter Front commander, to cause chaos.

Lee,Picking the Ro... (Below threshold)
Peter F.:

Lee,

Picking the Royals is more inline with your past predictions. LMAO.

Good-bye for a while, you crazy kids! MY butt is off to the Caribbean tomorrow morning for 9 sun-filled days. I'm sure America will still be here when I return...unless Lee, Barney, nogo, et al somehow overthrow it all before I get back.

Interesting to read the com... (Below threshold)
OhioVoter:

Interesting to read the comments about Smith of Oregon. I thought - when saying anything about Mormon politicians (except Harry Reid, of course) - the only "acceptable" comment was to call into question whether or not they would destroy the country if allowed to express an opinion.


;-)

I wrote to my Senator Smith... (Below threshold)
epador:

I wrote to my Senator Smith about his Vietnamization of the War in Iraq. He did respond in a form letter that basically stated his position that defending the current government was encouraging it to not solve its problems fast enough. So the only logical thing to do is pull out now. Sounds like he already joined the Democratic Party.

I've attended the local services of our dead, as well as services for 14 folks I've know personally who died in uniform, and the local rededication of Veteran's Memorial here in this blue state. Sad to see so few turned out for either local function. The grounds were overflowing for the ones on military bases. Its interesting to note that 90 years ago 5,000+ people (a sizable chunk of the county population) showed up for he town memorial's dedication. This summer less than fifty showed up for the rededication after an extensive restoration.

Something sure has changed.

"Picking the Royals is m... (Below threshold)
Lee:

"Picking the Royals is more inline with your past predictions. LMAO."

Hey, I got the 2006 election right. We'll see how I do in 2008.

"Something sure has changed."

Six years of lies and deceit from the White House has torn this nation apart, and it will be a couple of years before we can being the process of bringing America back together again. This will go down as one of the darkest periods in American history.

What's the big deal about t... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

What's the big deal about the Iraq war. Military members are safer in a republican army with a war than in a democrat army without a war. Anyone want to run a PDF file from the DOD and compare Iraq with the same number of months during Slick's debacle? How about 3133 military deaths during the Iraq war and 4417 without a war during the same length of time under Slick.
Right now you are safer in Bagdad than in New Orleans, Chicago, Phillie or Detroit. The antique MSM forgets to tell you that. It doesn't serve their anti-American purposes and the dhimmi's can keep their head buried in the manure pile.

It is "fascinating" how my ... (Below threshold)
Oak Leaf:

It is "fascinating" how my former political allies ("conservatives") have chosen to describe as "slow bleed;"

-requiring 12 months between combat deployments. Yes, you need to have time between combat deployments and I speak from experience. Or is the question for the GOP what is too much? One Day? One Month? Ten weeks?

-requiring that before a unit deploys that each individual soldier has been trained in their individual MOS and that they have trained together (using the equipment they will use in combat) as a combat time before deploying. Murtha is not inventing standards he is using the standards already in place.

-reining in "stop loss" so the temporary measure is once again a TEMPORARY tool not a permanent one.

-going back to the Rumsfeld Policy (and 50 year prior history) that limited reserve mobilizations to a cumulative 24 month mobilization per campaign. People join the reserves because, well it is the RESERVE not the Active Component.

These issues are not roadblocks. Readiness issues are never roadblocks.

Instead of complaining about these items, the GOP (and the military) would be best served if instead of whining about Murtha you came up with plans and proposals so the readiness items could be met. Yes, they can be met.

On these particular issues, the GOP is playing with fire. If they choose to attempt to defeat these issues, the GOP will rue the day when the absentee military ballots are counted in 2008.

Instead of being the party that "supports the troops" the GOP has become the party that "supports the mission that the troops have been tasked with." There is a major difference between the two and it has been noticed.

Mullah Cimoc say this Liebe... (Below threshold)
Mullah Cimoc:

Mullah Cimoc say this Lieberman him working for the israeli? Him rabbi? Him better than spy this man?

The enemy of my enemy is de... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

The enemy of my enemy is definitely my friend in this case.

Old Joe is a decent guy, and is doing what he believes is correct, unlike all the other Dems. who "were for the war before they were against it" morons.

Just a word to the wise-- L... (Below threshold)
An inside source:

Just a word to the wise-- Liebs is not running again. This is his last term, which is why all this speculation about the next election is not really relevant.

Also-- He won CT by a wide wide margin. I think the lesson most people miss is that while CT is Democratic, it is essentially a DLC type moderate Dem state. Lamont and the MoveOn people were a poor choice by the state party and many of the people associated with them have lost their prominence and looked rather foolish. Case in point-- look at Chris Dodd or George Jepson.

first tiem coming to this b... (Below threshold)

first tiem coming to this blog...a bunch of very opinionated readers I like...and it will not be approved.

What is with this? Says th... (Below threshold)
Lori from Texas:

What is with this? Says that Senate wouldn't reorganize even with a party switch.

http://politicalinsider.com/2007/02/liebermans_switch_wouldnt_flip.html

It's hard to believe that t... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

It's hard to believe that the 2000 Dem VP nominee may be flanked to the GOP. Although I don't think he would do it, he may do so, which would help the war effort.

Jeff

OakLeaf:Well state... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

OakLeaf:

Well stated. There is a need to refit and retrain units. Also, there will be newbies coming into any unit that need to be entered into the routine.

All that can be hoped for is that the Iraqis step up to the plate and start fighting a bit more for their country. Although their nation is very new, it is their nation, and in the end it is their fight.

Jeff

Nogo: who left the Army bec... (Below threshold)
Ran:

Nogo: who left the Army because of a medical discharge"

Was this a service connected discharge? As a disabled Vet, unless things have changed, he's entitled to a lot of college benefits. Being shot up in Nam, I went thru college on that.

Hey, I got the 2006 ele... (Below threshold)
Jo:

Hey, I got the 2006 election right. We'll see how I do in 2008.

Big whoop. Many republicans knew this would probably be a bad year for the GOP - it's fairly historical. Betcha you got 2000, 2002 & 2004 wrong though, didn't cha? lol.

Six years of lies and deceit from the White House has torn this nation apart, and it will be a couple of years before we can being the process of bringing America back together again. This will go down as one of the darkest periods in American history.

Darkest period in history? Good grief, spare us the drama, Queen. Maybe you and a handful of other moonbats think so. The american people would laugh at that.

Nice try though.

I see old "pucker puss"(lee... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

I see old "pucker puss"(lee lee) (RTP) (RM) has his "ditto" key smoking again. "darkest"--dumbest statement that ever been posted on this site. But then again what can you expect from p'p'?

Maybe its dark because the ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Maybe its dark because the battery in his laptop is low? Probably due to global warming. Blame Bush.

It still sometimes amazes m... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

It still sometimes amazes me that the lefties have no regard or understaning of military personnel or matters of enlistment. NO ONE signs up for just a three, four or longer hitch. I signed up inn 1970 and I was clearly told that my enlistment was for 4 years active and 2 reserve. Then they added if we are in a war, my reserve status would be activated. Get a clue. It is bad enough that the left depises all things militariy but they don't take the time to understand about enlistment. ww

All that can be h... (Below threshold)
Dan Irving:


All that can be hoped for is that the Iraqis step up to the plate and start fighting a bit more for their country. Although their nation is very new, it is their nation, and in the end it is their fight.

They are.

And the have help.

I don't recall Jeffords ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

I don't recall Jeffords threatening to switch for months and trying to blackmail the Republicans because of a single issue. As I recall, he switched rather quickly and cleanly. He said the party had moved too far to the right and he couldn't identify with it anymore.

He left because the party wouldn't support dairy price supports (which only made milk more expensive for poor families while helping the mega-corporations that basically run US farming nowadays) and because they didn't invite him to a WH ceremony. He voted against the Republicans more than half of the time long before he left the party.

He didn't leave on deep principles. He left because his feelings were hurt that the WH wouldn't cowtow to a guy who opposed the Republicans most of the time.
-=Mike

What is with this? Says ... (Below threshold)
MikeSC:

What is with this? Says that Senate wouldn't reorganize even with a party switch.

http://politicalinsider.com/2007/02/liebermans_switch_wouldnt_flip.html

The GOP can opt to change the rule.
-=Mike

Awww....Say it ain't so Joe... (Below threshold)

Awww....Say it ain't so Joe!

"I have no desire or intention to leave the Democratic Party or the Democratic caucus," Lieberman said Friday while in Hartford to host an education forum. "I hope and believe we'll never get to that point, so I believe this latest flurry is much ado about nothing."

Nogo, you have an amusing b... (Below threshold)
serfer62:

Nogo, you have an amusing but stupid method of expressing your thoughts?

Ahhh, oakleaf of the lets-punish-the-GOP-by-voting-Kommiecrat now is against the "mission".

Jeff it takes a long time to build an army. A good NCO takes 8 to 12 years while officers come and go. Washington got his after 6 years. Give them time. The Iraqis are doing fine and at a very fast pace. AlsoNationalism has to exceed tribalism.

As to Joe. He will use his status to control the wacko lets-leave-now-crowd better as a Kommiecrat. He is after all a lib...

"Anyone want to run a PD... (Below threshold)

"Anyone want to run a PDF file from the DOD and compare Iraq with the same number of months during Slick's debacle?"

Sure. Here's a PDF, but it only runs through 2004. Let's take 2002-2004 for Bush's wartime versus 1997-1999 (presumably after Clinton's maximum effect on the armed forces had played out) for Slick's debacle.

Bush Iraq War Totals: 999 + 1410 + 1887 = 4296 deaths

Slick's debacle: 817 + 827 + 796 = 2440 deaths

It seems that your contention that, "Military members are safer in a republican army with a war than in a democrat army without a war," is not correct. You can thank me for running the PDF and proving you wrong later. In return, since I did your requested research, perhaps you'd like to see how your theory holds up with any three years of Reagan to any three years of Clinton.




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