In my view, Sen. Joseph Lieberman should call on President Clinton to

In World War II, at the age of 17 — with some 30 members of my
family in Nazi concentration camps — I enlisted in the U.S.
Navy. At that time, my commander-in-chief, Franklin Roosevelt,
frequently described himself as “slightly left of center.” From
then until my last day, I intend to remain a classical liberal
Roosevelt Democrat.

I take issue with the so-called “New Democrat” movement founded
by President Clinton and my very own senator, Joe Lieberman —
supported by minority leaders Dick Gephardt and Tom Daschle.
While professing “centrist” politics and pleading for “civility”
they sit back Pilate-like, and silently condone the attacks by
what I call the “new lunatic left” on my friends Henry Hyde and
Bob Barr, with whose conservative center-right politics I often
disagree — but whose articles of impeachment of President
Clinton I support.

During the recent impeachment debate I heard not one rancorous
or mean-spirited word from Henry Hyde or Bob Barr — or from any
other Republican. In contrast, all of the partisan hate
language came from “new” Democrats.

I am appalled by the incessant lashing by Democrats of supporters
of impeachment as “extremists” (the same word we use for Saddam
Hussein) and “radical right-wingers.” Even in the face of these
epithets, the Republicans quite properly refrain from such
equivalent accusations as “extreme left” and “socialists.”

During the debate, Rep. Patrick Kennedy, Democrat of Rhode
Island, a nephew of the late President Kennedy, spoke of a
“political lynching.” He has also denounced Mr. Barr as a “white
supremacist” and a ” racist” who had “no right” to quote speeches
of John Kennedy.

Similarly, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., Democrat of Illinois, son of
the civil rights leader, referring to the impeachment of Andrew
Johnson, said: “In 1868 it was about Reconstruction. In 1998 it
is still about Reconstruction” — implying that supporters of
Mr. Hyde’s and Mr. Barr’s impeachment efforts are racists who
require “reconstruction.”

Joining the illiberals, Harvard professor Alan Dershowitz (who
helped O.J. Simpson “play the race card” with great success) used
the same offensive tactic against Mr. Barr — charging that Mr.
Barr’s use of the term “real Americans” was a form of
anti-Semitism and a “code word for racism.” Although
admitting that President Clinton should be impeached if he in
fact committed perjury before a federal grand jury, Dershowitz
has become the author of a best-seller charging Republicans with
“Sexual McCarthyism.” In a demagogic outrage, Dershowitz has on
national TV stated:

    “A vote against impeachment is a vote against
    fundamentalism. It’s a vote against anti-
    environmentalism. It’s a vote against the radical
    right. It’s a vote against the pro-life movement.”

In effect, professor Dershowitz is saying that one can’t be a
mainstream Christian, or a proper “pro-choice” American woman if
one believes that the president’s perjury before a grand jury is
an impeachable offense. In lashing out against
fundamentalism, Dershowitz is denouncing the Jewish Orthodoxy of
Sen. Lieberman, the Chassidic movement of my own ancestors,
the Irish Catholicism of Sen. Moynihan, and the evangelical
Christianity of many constituents of Senator Robert Byrd.

In my view, the present House Democrats and their many supporters
in the media are now themselves dangerously polarizing the
American people. Yet what is perhaps even more dangerous is the
failure of most of my fellow Democrats to speak out against the
hate-mongering of such new left wing lunatics as actor Alex
Baldwin after he screamed out on late-night TV:

    “… If we were in other countries, we would all right
    now, all of us together would go down to Washington and
    we would stone Henry Hyde to death and we’d go to their
    homes [of impeachment advocates] and we’d kill their
    wives and children.”

Currently, media superstar James Carville is the “New”
Democrat’s principal spokesman — and President Clinton’s
strongest defender. In his own words, Carville is “waging a war
of retribution” against all conservative Republicans.

In the 18th century, Edmund Burke, the British father of modern
conservatism, noted that “for tyranny to prevail simply
requires that enough good men do nothing.” Today, I am a
constituent of Sen. Joseph Lieberman — who as a founder of
the “New Democrats” also holds himself out to be piously
religious. I am disappointed that he (like Sen. Dodd) remains
smilingly silent and “does nothing” to disassociate himself from
those of his, and my, fellow Democrats who have become hate

Is there now no voice among the “New Democrats” that will speak
out to denounce the hate-mongering of the likes of
Dershowitz, Baldwin and Carville?

Jerome Zeifman served as chief counsel to the House Judiciary
Committee during the Nixon impeachment proceedings. A retired
lawyer, he is now writing a book titled “Twice in a Lifetime: The
impeachments of Richard Nixon and William J. Clinton” about his
role in both.

Note: Read our discussion guidelines before commenting.