Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Moose Heaven

The Moose was in Moose Heaven last night.

There are two living politicians and two deceased ones that the Moose reveres. Of course, the Moose is a acolyte of T.R., the great one. And the other past statesman that the Moose worships is Senator Henry "Scoop" Jackson.

What did T.R. and Scoop have in common? First, they were both devout believers in the American experiment and projecting American power in defense of our values and interests. And second, they were strong defenders of the environment and this nation's natural treasures.

We all know about T.R.'s conservation efforts. Because he was primarily remembered for his hawkish foreign policy views, Scoop is less well know for his environmentalism. Indeed, Scoop was an environmentalist before environmentalism was cool. From his bio,

"From 1963 to 1980, Senator Jackson served as chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and its predecessor, the Committee on Interior and Insular Affairs. In this capacity, he played a leading role in the conservation legislation of the 1960's and the energy legislation of the 1970's. As an "environmentalist" long before the term was fashionable, Senator Jackson authored the landmark National Environmental Policy Act and sponsored legislation to preserve vast park lands and wilderness areas throughout the United States, including the North Cascades Park, Olympic National Park, and the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in Washington State."

Last night, the Henry M. Jackson Foundation honored the two living statesmen who embody the Scoop and T.R. tradition - Joe Lieberman and John McCain. Interestingly, the two Senators are the co-sponsors of the prime legislation to curb global warming. And they both consistently put country before party to the consternation of the partisan fever swamp from both parties.

The tribute to the two Senators in awarding them the Henry Jackson Award for Distinguished Public Service,

"Joe Lieberman and John McCain embody the qualities so valued by Scoop - unshakable integrity, the ability to stay the course against the odds, and a willingness to cross party lines to get the job done."

Those qualities are largely missing from most politicians these days. In fact, those virtues can be a political liability rather then an asset. A case in point is Joe Lieberman who would rather see America succeed in Iraq than George W. Bush fail in his presidency. To the left, that stance is the unforgivable sin. And it has earned him the wrath of some who increasingly celebrate every American setback in the war,viewing bad news as good news in the November elections. It is inconceivable to this crowd to put country first. That is why they loathe Joe.

Good for Joe - he has made all the right enemies and has held fast to his principles.

The truth is that the Democratic Party desperately needs more Joe Liebermans who are tough on security and progressive on domestic issues. Yet, the luna-lefties in the party are engaged in a despicable and contemptible smear, sewer campaign against him. They must be repelled if the Democratic Party is to regain the mainstream of American political life.

While both John McCain and Joe Lieberman are loyal to their party, they put truth first. McCain has stood up to some in the GOP on such issues as campaign finance reform, climate change and torture. Joe Lieberman has been a lonely voice in his party in refusing to concede defeat in Iraq. At various times, their positions have earned them the ire of the left or the right or both. But, who are the other politicians who are brave enough to sail against the wind even at the risk of political consequences? And what courageous stances have their critics taken to give them the moral standing to excoriate these statesmen for insufficient devotion to party, principle and country?

America is a better place because of leaders like T.R. Scoop, John and Joe. God bless them!
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