This is why I like Joe Lieberman so much — he’s always writing stuff that sounds like I wrote it myself, always giving me cause to think, Thank God I’m not alone here…
Specifically, he wrote in an op-ed piece in today’s WSJ:
How did the Democratic Party get here? How did the party of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy drift so far from the foreign policy and national security principles and policies that were at the core of its identity and its purpose?…
This was the Democratic Party that I grew up in – a party that was unhesitatingly and proudly pro-American, a party that was unafraid to make moral judgments about the world beyond our borders. It was a party that understood that either the American people stood united with free nations and freedom fighters against the forces of totalitarianism, or that we would fall divided.
He goes on to lament how this unraveled over Vietnam. He writes wistfully of efforts by such Democrats as himself (remember the Third Way?) to pull the party back from a condition in which it blamed America for all its international troubles, as the party became "prisoner to a foreign policy philosophy that was, in most respects, the antithesis of what Democrats had stood for under Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy."
There are flaws in the piece, admittedly. He uses the inaccurate common terminology, referring to this trend toward self-loathing isolationism as a move "to the left" — when I would assert that it is the rejection of the kind of idealistic, internationalist liberalism of FDR, JFK and the rest. Isolationism is, if nothing else, a manifestation of conservatism — and not the better sort of conservatism, either.
But set that aside. He ends strongly, with a quote from "a great Democratic secretary of state," Dean Acheson (who, perhaps not coincidentally, was from Connecticut):
(N)o people in history have ever survived, who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.