Joe Lieberman's "Lurch to the Right"?

Reporter John Broder's front-page Week in Review story was titled"Gore-Lieberman: A Hyphen Apart? Try Poles." Much like the story itself, Broder's lead was a lazy attempt at provocation.

Imagine for a moment the Supreme Court had gone the other way in Bush v. Gore in 2000. We would now be in year eight of the Gore-Lieberman administration. Well, maybe not the Lieberman part.

Even as a short-hand description, that's sloppy reporting. The Supreme Court ruling "the other way" would not have made Al Gore president. The Court didn't have the authority to declare him president. The Court merely stopped the Florida Supreme Court from another recounting of the Florida vote. An exhaustive November 2001 report from the Times itself showed that Bush would have triumphed "even if the United States Supreme Court had allowed the statewide manual recount of the votes that the Florida Supreme Court had ordered to go forward."

Broder then bizarrely claimed that Sen. Lieberman has "lurched to the right" since 2000.

As Mr. Gore steadily migrated leftward from his roots as a hawkish, centrist New Democrat, Mr. Lieberman lurched to the right, so much so that he now makes common cause with Republicans, at least on the war.

But his actual voting record makes a far different picture. The American Conservative Union has awarded him an overall, lifetime voting rating of 17 (100 being most conservative), making him a fairly liberal Democrat in his caucus.Lieberman's recent alleged "lurch to the right" resulted in his rating for the year 2006 being...17. Some "lurch." His only consistent overlap with conservatives is his position on the war.

Later on, Broder strained to find the most peculiarly unflattering way to describe Lieberman:

And although he disavows any interest in running for vice president again ("Been there, done that, got the T-shirt"), it is not inconceivable that he could become the first person to lose the vice presidency on both major party tickets.

Broder also inserted some liberal opinion into his description of Lieberman's reaction on the Senate floor to the Monica Lewinsky affair:

Mr. Lieberman has given [Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama] reason to fume. In 1998, he roundly (some say sanctimoniously) condemned President Bill Clinton for his dalliance with Monica Lewinsky. In a recent television interview he said of Mr. Obama, "I'd hesitate to say he's a Marxist, but he's got some positions that are far to the left of me and I think mainstream America."

That's not really all that fume-worthy, given that Obama was declared the most liberal senator by National Journal magazine (ACU itself gives Obama a lifetime conservative rating of 8 out of a possible 100).