- The Washington Times - Friday, August 11, 2000

Responses to Gore's choice as running mate

By continuing to state Vice President Al Gore's vice presidential choice as a bold move, Democrats only perpetuate the idea that there is something abnormal with being Jewish. It seems nobody but the media and the Democrats have made Mr. Lieberman's religious views an issue.

The media treatment of Mr. Lieberman and Richard B. Cheney couldn't be any different. When Mr. Cheney was introduced, his 20-year-old voting record received scrutinized attention. The media have been too busy analyzing the weight of Mr. Lieberman's religion to ask why he voted, in the last year, for late-term abortions, and what his 95 percent rating from the League of Conservation Voters means.

Mr. Lieberman's religion plays two ways for the Democrats. It takes attention away from his voting record, and it attempts to link, once again, the Clinton/Gore era to Camelot.

Repeatedly, the religious issue is brought up to compare the same choice American voters made 40 years ago. This religious link to John F. Kennedy is only compounded by the constant reminder that he was nominated in Los Angeles, the site of this year's Democrat convention.

The bottom line is this: Mr. Clinton is no Jack Kennedy and neither is Mr. Gore. Give it a rest folks. Nobody cares deeply about the religion of a vice president any more then they care about the sexual orientation of a vice president's daughter.

MARCUS DUNN

Alexandria

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Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is being hailed as a decent, moral, honest and ethical man. Of course, we all know these are the last adjectives that come to mind when describing the Clinton/Gore administration. It is clear that Vice President Al Gore selected Mr. Lieberman to help him distance himself from President Clinton, whom he proclaimed on the day of impeachment that he would "go down in history as one of our greatest presidents."

Mr. Lieberman took to the floor of the Senate and denounced Mr. Clinton's behavior as "immoral" and "harmful," but when push came to shove he voted to acquit. If Mr. Lieberman was as honest and moral as he is being described, he would run away from Mr. Clinton and Mr. Gore as fast as could run. But we know that regardless of all his posturing and all the hype about being decent and moral, he is, above all, a Democrat. Party loyalty and the chance for real power trumps all morality, decency, and honor. Mr. Lieberman, like Sen. Robert C. Byrd (as displayed by his vote on impeachment), honor party above all.

While the pundits talk of Mr. Lieberman helping to pull Mr. Gore out of the ethical mud, few will admit that what has actually happened is that Mr. Lieberman has jumped into the Clinton/Gore cesspool.

THOMAS WHITE

Salisbury, Md.

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Now we have the latest and hopefully last version of Vice President Al Gore manifested in the person of "Flip," aka Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman. "Flip" has joined "Flop" to form the best the Democrats have to offer.

It took Mr. Lieberman less than an hour after being selected as Mr. Gore's running mate to start flip-flopping on the privatization of Social Security, and more is on the way.

As we watch Mr. Lieberman begin to debilitate, depreciate, denigrate and disintegrate, we have our final answer to the question, does power corrupt absolutely? Absolutely. A Democrat pundit said on Fox News earlier this week that "Lieberman stands where the rubber meets the road." Maybe, but he sure doesn't stand where the shoe leather meets the sidewalk. In other words, he can talk the talk, but he can't walk the walk. He proved that his denunciation of President Clinton on the Senate floor was nothing more than words. When it came time to back them up with corresponding action, he flipped with a not guilty verdict.

So to "Flip" I must say, your words have come back to haunt you. Mr. Lieberman, your "behavior [was] not just inappropriate. It [was] immoral."

BILL ANDERSON

Fort Walton Beach, Fla.

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The selection of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman to run for vice president has created more discussion about the upcoming election than any other single issue. During the first 24 hours after the choice was made, more has been said and written about his "Jewishness" than about his political philosophy or his ability to become president, if necessary.

I've heard people say, "I don't think the country is ready for a Jewish vice president." People who say that are projecting their own bias onto the general population. Although a Bush/Cheney supporter, I nevertheless feel begrudgingly proud of Vice President Al Gore for making a wise and courageous choice. Wise because Mr. Lieberman adds a much needed ethical and moral gravitas to the ticket, and courageous because America, as Mr. Gore undoubtedly knows, still suffers from the malignant cancer of bigotry.

During the next few months, I hope we hear more about Mr. Lieberman's voting record and the talent he can bring to the national ticket, and less about his religion.

BOB WEIR

Flower Mound, Texas

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Did Vice President Al Gore choose Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman as his running mate because he supports school vouchers? I don't think so. Did he pick Mr. Lieberman because he voted for the first welfare reform bill, which President Clinton vetoed? I don't think so. Did he pick Mr. Lieberman because he has chastised Hollywood for its blatant disregard for decency in films and music? I don't think so.

Maybe it is because Mr. Lieberman stood in the well of the Senate and blasted Mr. Clinton for his lying to the American public concerning Monica Lewinsky. It sounds to me as though Mr. Gore is trying to bring some credibility, morals, decency, truthfulness and character to his campaign.

Mr. Lieberman is honorable, decent, moral, intelligent and thoughtful. It is sad to say, that it won't be enough to garner Mr. Gore many votes, because the selection of Mr. Lieberman is just fluff and an otherwise hopeless attempt to again fool the American public.

JAN BRATCHER

Newport, Ark.

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Vice President Al Gore, perpetually in search of the self that will sell, has reinvented that self yet again. Yesterday, it was a borrowed brown suit; today, it is borrowed respectability in his choosing a running mate. Neither wash well.

Yet, Mr. Gore may have more in common with Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman than even he suspects. Mr. Lieberman, full of angst, articulated all the right reasons for repudiating the lies, manipulations, deceptions and disgrace of President Clinton. Then, after much maudlin, self-indulgent (and celebrated) moralizing, he voted exactly against his own prime-time soaring rhetoric and for his own political interest.

The moral emptiness and incipient hypocrisy of Mr. Gore, the "Hollow Man," will come back as a raven to roost on his shoulder in November, whispering, "Nevermore." His latest reinvention as "Halo Man" will not save him. The people know.

FREDERICK A. PETERSON III

Centreville

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When all the world knew that President Clinton lied under oath, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman delivered his oft-repeated pious lecture on morality. Everyone clapped, and so did I.

Now, all the world knows that Vice President Al Gore is a dishonest man, but the stakes are now higher for the senator. With the prospect of being just one heartbeat or one successful impeachment away from the catbird seat, from which he can roam the world on Air Force One, he is willing to abandon his earlier sanctimony.

I am a 70-year-old registered Republican who voted for Bill Clinton and Mr. Gore in 1992. My vote is always up for grabs, but it is all over for this election. If Mr. Gore is good enough for Mr. Lieberman, Mr. Lieberman is certainly not good enough for me.

BRAD JOHNSTON

Warrenton, Va.

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Tod Lindberg suggests that people won't hold Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman's vote to acquit President Clinton of the impeachment charges against him ("Mr. Integrity," Op-Ed, Aug. 8). I disagree. When Mr. Lieberman made his views known about Mr. Clinton's behavior with Monica Lewinsky, I was mightily impressed. At last, a Democrat with some ethical and moral standards. Alas, Mr. Lieberman by his later vote, along with all other Senate Democrats, showed that his politics easily trump his ethics, and I marked him off as just another Clinton partisan.

The real question now is who of the Gore/Lieberman duo will get the other to change his political stripes. My money is on Vice President Al Gore. Look for Mr. Lieberman to be a loyal echo of all that is Mr. Gore in the campaign ahead.

WILLIAM T. SHEPHERD

Stephens City, Va.

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Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman is described as "the conscience of the Senate" who condemned President Clinton's immorality. Yet, he voted against all evidence and his own words to acquit President Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal. This "centrist" condemns Hollywood's immorality but votes in favor of the barbaric practice of partial-birth abortion. His is a curious conscience indeed.

JIM HOLMES

Woodbridge, Va.

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