((Great post. The big news here is that Joe might actually stand firm against Alito.) - promoted by BranfordBoy)
Representatives from DFA groups around the state went to Hartford with Jim Dean yesterday to meet with Senator Lieberman. We went in prepared to talk about a number of topics: the war (and the Senator's attitude toward it), the Alito nomination, the Patriot Act, and Senator Lieberman's uncomfortable closeness with the current administration.
Senator Lieberman was gracious and welcoming, and went on for a few minutes about how he thought that debate on the war was vital to the cause (yadda yadda yadda). John Hartwell and I put forth our arguments that the war was at the point of being damaging to the US, Iraq, and the Middle East, and urged him to support a plan for withdrawal/redeployment of the troops. I brought up the fact that it would be very nice if the Senator could take the lead in acknowledging that "staying the course" and "cutting and running" were not actually the only options here. Again, gracious response, that indicated while, he was happy to sit and drink coffee while we talked, he was not changing his stance, and the president was doing just fine with the war, thanks.
Vicki Usher and Carol (from Marilyn Mackay's group - sorry I don't remember your last name, Carol!) brought up the Alito nomination, and we all were pleasantly surprised with Senator Lieberman said that a filibuster was on the table for him - hopefully he'll stick to his guns! And again, when Nathan Karnes discussed the Patriot Act, Senator Lieberman indicated that he strongly disapproved of the President's erosion of civil liberties and indicated he has a strong interest in making sure the Patriot Act doesn't go too far in the future (Nathan - can you comment more on this?). Lastly, Jim led a discussion of how disappointed we were that the administration and the media were using the Senator as a schill for the GOP. Senator Lieberman sweetly suggested that the media overplayed this and really, what could he do? He also took this opportunity to remind us that all the Democratic Congressional candidates did oh so much better when he was at the top of the ticket. Ego much, Senator? Was that a veiled threat against mounting a primary? It was hard to tell amidst the charm. Please Senator Lieberman - lose the charm and renew your integrity!