Friday, January 21, 2011

David Brooks vs. History

David Brooks has some very nice things to say about Joe Lieberman, but he kind of blows the whole argument by failing to do his homework.

Lieberman votes with the Democrats 90 percent of the time, but he has always been a Scoop Jackson Democrat who early on broke with his party on defense issues. In the 1990s, he challenged party orthodoxy on school choice, entitlement reform and the place of religion in public life.

But precisely because of these independent or hawkish credentials, he’s been able to leap in at critical moments and deliver for the party in a way no other senator could. Long before there was an Obamacare debate or the “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal, Lieberman played an important role in saving Bill Clinton from impeachment. As momentum for impeachment was growing, Lieberman gave a crucial speech on the Senate floor that scolded Clinton for his behavior but resolutely opposed removing him from office. [Emphasis added]

Except Bill Clinton was impeached. It was in all the papers. As you might remember from your high school civics class, the House impeaches the president, the Senate then holds a trial to remove him from office. In Clinton’s case, the removal failed, but Sen. Lieberman had nothing to do with preventing the House from impeaching Mr. Clinton.

My suggestion to Mr. Brooks: If you’re going to remind us why we’re all going to be very glad to see Joe Lieberman retire, at least get your facts straight. There are plenty of other examples of his career to annoy us without getting them wrong.