It came as little surprise that when Senate Republicans blocked debate Monday on a resolution that would have opposed President Bush’s plan to increase troop levels in Iraq, Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, erstwhile Democrat, sided with them.
But Mr. Lieberman also went further, accusing Democrats of giving strength to the enemy and abandoning the troops, and arguing that an alternative resolution that he and many Republicans backed was “a statement of support to our troops.”
Mr. Lieberman’s enthusiasm for the troop increase has become a talking point for Republicans trying to shore up support for the president’s plan. It infuriates the bloggers who first tried to defeat him. Some of his best friends on either side of the aisle take issue with him publicly. But given his importance as the lawmaker who ensures Democratic control of the Senate, members of the majority say there is little they can do.
At hearings on Iraq, Mr. Lieberman frequently leads witnesses to testimony in support of the president. Isn’t it true, he asked Gen. George W. Casey Jr., the departing commander of American forces there, that over all, the policy in Iraq has been a success? Doesn’t Mr. Bush’s strategy offer “a higher probability of working than any other plan?”
“I’m a feisty, happy warrior,” he said. “And I’m going to continue to fight for what I think is right for the security of our country.”