Sen. Joe Lieberman Calls of Bipartisanship in Washington; if Sanctions Don’t Work, U.S. Should Lead Global Coalition
At the B’nai B’rith International Policy Conference, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) talked about the “ideological rigidity that makes it hard to get things done in Washington,” but noted the one issue that seems to transcend party lines is Iran.
In a diverse nation, you cannot expect to get 100 percent of what you want; that’s where compromise comes in, Lieberman said. But that is not happening in Washington, and therefore problems are not getting solved.
“The future is compromised if the sides can’t get together,” Lieberman said. He also said “bipartisan leadership is more essential than ever.”
Lieberman lamented that one of the worst effects of partisanship makes political leaders risk averse. He says you can’t be a leader if you are worried about everyone liking you.
In noting how rare bipartisan spirit is in Congress, he said Iran is a point if agreement.
Lieberman favors tough sanctions against Iran. But he said that while harsher sanctions are necessary, if they do not work, and with all options on the table, a more formal international coalition led by the United States should address the issue. He noted that the Iranian nuclear program is moving forward and that Iran is pushing ahead with its uranium enrichment program.
After saying that Iran is the greatest threat to world security today, calling it a fanatical regime and the top state-sponsor of terror—he noted that there could be a cascade of proliferation in the world if Iran has nuclear weapons.
Lieberman described the issue of Iran as an exception to the rule of partisanship in Washington, calling Iran a unique bipartisan issue on Capitol Hill.
B’nai B’rith International presented Lieberman with the Excellence in Statesmanship Award.
Watch Senator Lieberman's Keynote Address