Mr. Hagel, fuming, shot back that neither he nor any other member of Congress was “advocating defeat” and added, “That’s ridiculous, and I’m offended that any responsible member of Congress or anyone else would even suggest such a thing.”
But even as Mr. Lieberman has found fault with the likes of Mr. Hagel, he pronounced himself “honored” to address the downright weird Christians United for Israel conference in Washington last month. The group’s founder and national chairman, John Hagee, believes Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for immorality in New Orleans and favors a preemptive strike upon Iran.
Mr. Lieberman told Mr. Hagee’s followers to continue to do “God’s work” and said he prayed for their success.
It is hardly necessary to be a member of the anti-war lobby to be alarmed by Mr. Lieberman’s trajectory. I supported the war at its outset, am ambivalent about the notion of U.S. withdrawal, and wrote a column in this newspaper defending Mr. Lieberman against some of the accusations thrown at him by supporters of Ned Lamont last year.
Sometimes I still find it possible to see the contours of the man whom I once found admirable.
But, much more often, I see Mr. Lieberman morphing from a realist into a dreamer and from a genuine independent into a lapdog of the White House.
Last year, in his home state newspaper the Hartford Courant, Mr. Lieberman quoted one of his heroes, John F. Kennedy:
“Too often we seek the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”
These days, as a knee-jerk hawkishness cines to dominate his every public utterance, the sentiment could just as easily be cast back at Mr. Lieberman himself.