Have you decided what you are going to be for Halloween? Joe Lieberman has: he's going to dress up as Jack Murtha.
Lieberman has been trying out his costume on the campaign trail in Connecticut, desperately trying to trick voters into thinking that he's against the war in Iraq so he can treat himself to their support.
"No one wants to end the war in Iraq more than I do," said Lieberman last week. "I have been very critical of a lot of the mistakes the Bush administration has made in Iraq."
Lieberman clearly hopes that by paying lip service to being against the war he can confuse voters into forgetting that he was a lead sponsor of the resolution authorizing the war, has been a bellicose backer of the president's failed policy ever since -- repeatedly voting against efforts to change course in Iraq -- and continues to attack Ned Lamont for working to end the war.
And here's the really scary part: Lieberman's masquerade is working. After losing the Democratic primary, he dumped his war hawk outfit in the trash, slipped on his Murtha mask, and began to steadily increase his lead in the polls.
Of course, Joe Lieberman isn't the first politician to disguise himself with "I want to help end the war" rhetoric while continuing to subvert all genuine efforts to bring the war to an end.
Back in 1969, Richard Nixon attempted the same charade, talking like a man committed to bringing our troops home from Vietnam while aggressively working to expand the war. Indeed, the rhetorical parallels between Nixon in '69 and Lieberman in '06 are striking.
Here are a few examples. The Nixon quotes are all from a speech he gave on November 3, 1969 -- 3 years and 9,000 dead American soldiers before U.S. involvement in Vietnam actually ended. Lieberman's words are from this year's Senate campaign.
"Many others -- I among them -- have been strongly critical of the way the war has been conducted." -- Richard Nixon, 11/3/69
"I have been very critical of a lot of the mistakes the Bush administration has made in Iraq." -- Joe Lieberman, 10/18/06
"It is a plan that will end the war and serve the cause of peace." -- Richard Nixon, 11/3/69
"I recently, again, issued a 10-point plan to get the job done [in Iraq]." -- Joe Lieberman, 10/18/06
"I want peace as much as you do." -- Richard Nixon, 11/3/69
"No one wants to end the war in Iraq more than I do." -- Joe Lieberman, 10/18/06
The Lamont campaign is planning to release a video tomorrow that will juxtapose clips of Nixon and Lieberman making these claims. The effect is spooky and unsettling. The ghosts of Nixon and his want-to-end-the-war lies (as well as of those 9,000 dead U.S. soldiers) should haunt the final two weeks of the Lieberman-Lamont race.
Don't let the masquerade fool you. A vote for Ned Lamont is a vote to end the war in Iraq; a vote for Joe Lieberman is a vote to stay the course.
Lieberman Update: Check out this new video of Joe Lieberman taking a page from the Richard Nixon playbook.