Tuesday, October 17, 2006
Lieberman has the law after him
You may not know, since all evidence is to the contrary, that members of the U.S. military are forbidden by law to participate in political campaigns. That doesn't mean they can't vote or express a personal opinion; it just means that the military and its members must not attempt to overthrow the government, even democratically, by showing support for one candidate over another. I can remember a time when these rules were scrupulously observed by soldiers and politicians alike, but that was before the Republican Party set us on the forced march to fascism.
But I just wanted to remind you of those rules as you consider this—
On the campaign trail, Lieberman's message has changed since the primary, when he stressed his party credentials as a vice presidential nominee and presidential candidate who opposed Bush. His target then was Democratic voters antagonistic to the war and disdainful of Bush.
Democrats now are the smallest segment of his support. A recent poll shows his support comes from 67 percent of Republicans, 45 percent of unaffiliated voters and 35 percent of Democrats.
Lieberman relies on talking points more often sounded by the Bush White House than Democratic congressional candidates, invoking patriotism and America's need to be vigilant in a dangerous world.
Last week, Lieberman campaigned in Waterbury, where the mayor, Michael Jarjura, is a rarity: a Democratic officeholder still backing him. About 50 police officers and firefighters, some on duty and in uniform, stood behind him on the steps outside city hall as Lieberman held himself above other politicians.
The city's police chief, Neil O'Leary, stood to Lieberman's left in uniform, gold stars on his shoulders. Three firefighters wore their sooty turnout gear. Others wore yellow T-shirts of the International Association of Firefighters, one of the unions that stuck with Lieberman after the primary.
There oughtta be a law. But who knows? Maybe there is. But who's going to enforce it?