Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman joined The Cats Roundtable to give his case for compromise and civility in public discourse, his No Labels movement, as well as his feelings on Bloomberg’s presidential bid, Israel, and beyond.
Senator Lieberman wastes no time in sounding off for compromise between Democrats and Republicans. He cites his work with No Labels, a bi-partisan organization, to bring leaders from the fringes to the middle. He finds partisanship, division, and anger dominating political life and “really hurting our country, and dividing our people.”
His focus since leaving office has been to get Democrats and Republicans on common ground and raising money to support both Democrats and Republicans in office or running for office “who will put the country first.”
He cites the No Label’s Problem Solvers Caucus, who have twenty-four Democrats and twenty-four Republicans working together to break Congressional gridlock.
“If there’s a hope—we’ll get out of this bad period of our politics,” he told The Cats Roundtable.
Lieberman thinks Democrats’ concentration on impeachment is flawed in that it lacks a balanced focus on passing needed legislation.
“I know that Nancy was reluctant to get into the impeachment,” he said, but added the pressure from Democratic members forced her hand. “But honestly, for their own good, and the country’s good, they ought to figure out how to walk and chew gum at the same time,” Lieberman added.
As for how the impeachment winds will blow? Lieberman says with Democrats will probably pass an indictment, but unless there’s something “shockingly bad,” then President Trump will be acquitted by the Senate. He hopes Congress will carry out the impeachment inquiry not out of loyalty or vendetta, recalling the history of the impeachment process being set at a 2/3 majority vote, but because he “didn’t want one party to basically override the results of an election by an impeachment process.” He confesses to The Cats Roundtable that after looking at precedents, this will be the most partisan impeachment to date.
The increased partisanship in public discourse is leading to a change in traditional values of both parties, Lieberman reflected. For instance, he notes Democrats seem to be raising more questions of Israeli policies because Trump is pro-Israel.
“If one party takes position A, one party’s going to take position Z,” he said.
He also sees a trend in Democracies around the world failing to find a compromise. He cites UK’s vote for “Brexit” but the failure of two prime ministers to adopt it, along with the failure of Israel to form coalition governments after two elections.
As for former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s presidential bid, Lieberman says he is an “admirer of Mayor Mike” and that despite his low polling, believes Bloomberg has “a real record” and appeals to Centrist Democrats. He says it’s possible Democrats might go to the national convention without an obvious nominee, and Bloomberg’s entrance into the race increases the possibility.
This possibility comes on the heels of the implementation of new rules for the Democratic national convention, regarding superdelegates, the unelected delegates who can support any candidate at the national convention. The new rules state that superdelegates no longer will vote on the first ballot. But, if a candidate isn’t selected, it is up to the superdelegates to decide the best course for the party in the second ballot.
“This could be one of the more exciting, because it’s unpredictable, of national conventions we’ve had in America in a long time,” Lieberman said.