William F. Buckley

He has not done that, but he has provided critical aid to the Republican administration. Of course, there has been the ongoing support for the Iraqi enterprise. He went so far in this as to vote against Sen. Harry Reid's proposal to put down a date after which no money could be voted to sustain that war. Sometimes he would wander even further afield, as when he provided critical support for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. More recently, he asked Gen. David Petraeus if he wanted congressional authority to pursue Iranian troops across the Iraqi border into Iran. That elicited a blog headed, "How Nucking Futs is Holy Joe Lieberman?"

Asked in a television interview whether he intended to change his political allegiance, Sen. Lieberman smiled patiently at the questioner and managed to convey that he was in no hurry, but would welcome the Democrats' rediscovery of the international spirit shown by FDR, JFK and LBJ.

Al Gore has yet to be heard from on this point, but the Nobel Prize he has just been awarded for his pursuit of peace is certain to be interpreted by political ethnologists as the equivalent of rewarding Gore for disavowing his sometime running mate.

Now all this, of course, will straighten out after the next election. To add to the piquancy of the scene, Connecticut's other senator, Christopher Dodd, is eager to run for president. Dodd first won election to the Senate in 1980, defeating James L. Buckley, former senator from New York.

It is unwise, while seeking ascendancy in your party, to berate senior figures in the same party, which is what Joe Lieberman was until the avant-gardists in Greenwich decided to oust him. Just possibly, Christopher Dodd will find himself rejected for president, and rejected two years later for yet another term in the Senate. Maybe the Democrats in Greenwich will attempt to draft James Buckley, restoring a sense of historical order.

William F. Buckley

William F. Buckley, Jr. is editor-at-large of National Review, the prolific author of Miles Gone By: A Literary Autobiography.

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