WARNING: Do not read this op-ed in The Wall Street Journal by Joe Lieberman if you have a heart condition or blood pressure issues, because I promise you, this will make you sick.
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?
Beginning in the 1940s, the Democratic Party was forced to confront two of the most dangerous enemies our nation has ever faced: Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. In response, Democrats under Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy forged and conducted a foreign policy that was principled, internationalist, strong and successful.
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.
This was the Democratic Party of Harry Truman, who pledged that "it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures."
And this was the Democratic Party of John F. Kennedy, who promised in his inaugural address that the United States would "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of freedom."
This worldview began to come apart in the late 1960s, around the war in Vietnam. In its place, a very different view of the world took root in the Democratic Party. Rather than seeing the Cold War as an ideological contest between the free nations of the West and the repressive regimes of the communist world, this rival political philosophy saw America as the aggressor - a morally bankrupt, imperialist power whose militarism and "inordinate fear of communism" represented the real threat to world peace.
This is what makes the constant, lavish praise heaped on Lieberman by Harry Reid and his anonymous "Senate leadership" comrades so mystifying -- and so self-destructive. Democratic leaders like Reid just keep building up the character, credentials and political wisdom of someone who is in the process of mauling their party and their candidate in the most toxic manner possible.
Along those lines, Matt Yglesais makes a very good point about the shock and horror being expressed by some "liberal" pundits towards Lieberman as a result of his "Zellification." While Lieberman's attacks on the Democratic Party as weak and inept in national security are becoming more prominent due to his role in the McCain campaign, they're nothing new -- neither for Lieberman nor for many of the Beltway "liberal" pundits pretending to find Lieberman's attacks so outrageous.