Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball of Newsweek write that Senator Joe “Vichycrat” Lieberman has “quietly” decided to give President Bush a pass on Katrina.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, the only Democrat to endorse President Bushâ€™s new plan for Iraq, has quietly backed away from his pre-election demands that the White House turn over potentially embarrassing documents relating to its handling of the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans.
Liebermanâ€™s reversal underscores the new role that he is seeking to play in the Senate as the leading apostle of bipartisanship, especially on national-security issues.
Conventional wisdom says that Lieberman is so much in love with his self-image of the Good
German Democrat that he’d send his mother to Iraq to make Bush happy. Of course, it’s always possible someone is paying him off.
On Wednesday night, Bush conspicuously cited Liebermanâ€™s advice as being the inspiration for creating a new â€œbipartisan working groupâ€ on Capitol Hill that he said will â€œhelp us come together across party lines to win the war on terror.â€
Talk about someone backing the wrong horse.
Last year, when he was running for re-election in Connecticut, Lieberman was a vocal critic of the administrationâ€™s handling of Katrina. He was especially dismayed by its failure to turn over key records that could have shed light on internal White House deliberations about the hurricane, including those involving President Bush.
Asserting that there were â€œtoo many important questions that cannot be answered,â€ Lieberman and other committee Democrats complained in a statement last year that the panel â€œdid not receive information or documents showing what actually was going on in the White House.â€ …
…But now that he chairs the homeland panelâ€”and is in a position to subpoena the recordsâ€”Lieberman has decided not to pursue the material, according to Leslie Phillips, the senatorâ€™s chief committee spokeswoman. â€œThe senator now intends to focus his attention on the future security of the American people and other matters and does not expect to revisit the White Houseâ€™s role in Katrina,â€ she told NEWSWEEK.
Joe is finding other ways to sell us all out. From an editorial in today’s New York Times:
Making his umpteenth pitch to Congress to provide more security money for New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated the obvious when he said that money to defend against terrorism should be divvied up based on an assessment of risks, not â€œspread across the country like peanut butter.â€ After all, his testimony to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee echoed one of the key recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. The mayor estimated that more than $3 billion had been distributed in this lunatic way to date.
Unfortunately, the committeeâ€™s incoming chairman, Senator Joseph Lieberman, is partial to peanut butter. Mr. Lieberman, who won re-election last November as an independent with help from Mr. Bloomberg, continues to believe that every state, regardless of the risks or threats it faces, should be getting antiterrorism money. In negotiations with the House, Mr. Lieberman is seeking a â€œcompromiseâ€ formula that preserves guaranteed minimums for relatively low-risk places like his home state of Connecticut. The minimums he wants well exceed the financing favored by the House, and cannot be justified on the basis of national security.
If the Senator isn’t pocketing a generous amount of “thanks” from somebody besides his constituents ….