Lieberman the Great Compromiser

U.S. Sen. Lieberman Says He Would Have Compromised on Slavery

Cites economic costs of American Civil War

By Woody Nichols
Staff Writer
The London Daily Advocate
December 19, 2009

In an interview with the Hartford Courant newspaper to be published Monday, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, the controversial independent from Connecticut who has been criticized by some Americans for delaying health care reform in that country, said that if he had been a member of the U.S. Congress during the era before the American Civil War, he would have voted to compromise with the southern states rather than risk conflict over the issue of slavery.

After stressing his “long record of accomplishment” on civil rights legislation, Sen. Lieberman said, “I know this may be an unpopular opinion, but I believe that the Civil War had a terrible impact on the economy of that time, increasing the national debt and unfairly imposing the government on our profitable textile businesses, and so it was not morally justifiable on that basis. I would have sought a compromise rather than subject our nation to that war.”

The 2000 Democratic Party vice presidential candidate added, “But I would have imposed some regulations on the slaveholders, such as insuring that the slaves were fed and clothed adequately by local standards and that slave families were kept intact when possible. I would have also guaranteed each working slave a half-hour daily lunch break.”

Sen. Lieberman concluded the interview by saying that he thought slavery would have passed away eventually “by natural processes,” although he admitted it might have taken another 50 or 60 years. “But look at the money that would have been saved if there had not been a Civil War,” he summarized.

Asked about U.S. health care reform, Sen. Lieberman offered, “I don’t believe our economy can afford health care for everyone right now without unfairly impacting our profitable insurance companies in a negative way, but someday I’m sure we’ll have a better system, perhaps by 2060 or 2070.”

2009 RS Janes. LTSaloon.org.