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Friday, May 19, 2006

He just won't fight

Hey baby, you're always special to me

Liberal Wrath in Connecticut

Published: May 19, 2006

HARTFORD, May 18 — "George Bush's favorite Democrat," they call him. "Republican Lite," they sneer. But liberals are no longer just venting on Internet blogs and talk radio programs about their centrist nemesis: Senator Joseph I. Lieberman of Connecticut.

Now, from across the nation, a determined alliance of antiwar activists is working overtime online and on doorsteps to defeat Mr. Lieberman, whose political moderation helped him earn the Democratic nomination for vice president six years ago. Their goal is not only to punish Mr. Lieberman for staunchly supporting the war in Iraq but also to protest what the activists consider the Democratic Party's willingness to accommodate President Bush.

Without a national race to focus on, thousands of activists from other states — encouraged by a host of liberal bloggers — have contributed money and volunteered to help the campaign of Ned Lamont, a cable television executive with little political experience who is trying to unseat Mr. Lieberman in the state's Democratic primary in August.

Although Mr. Lamont's challenge appears to be a long shot, it is roiling some quarters of the Democratic Party, just as the party is trying to regain control of Congress this year. Many Democrats assert that the vigorous challenge to Mr. Lieberman is overshadowing the governor's race and taking money and attention away from three closely contested House races in Connecticut that many strategists consider crucial to the Democrats' majority hopes.

"It's absolute Democratic cannibalism," said John F. Droney, a former Democratic state chairman in Connecticut.

The liberals' campaign is clearly rattling Senator Lieberman, who has not faced a serious primary challenge in his three terms, Democrats say.

He has been cold-calling scores of state party delegates who will meet to endorse a candidate on Friday. He is boasting of union endorsements and interest groups he once took for granted. He has already run commercials and mailed letters to delegates from prominent Democrats like Senators Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid to remind voters of his liberal record on issues like the environment, abortion rights and gay rights.

And while he has continued to defend his Iraq stand, disputing what he calls "caricatures" of his views, he has tried to distance himself from the president. "I'm probably the only person in America to run against George W. Bush twice," Mr. Lieberman, referring to his vice-presidential campaign in 2000 and the Democratic primaries in 2004, told about two dozen people last week at a center for the elderly in Farmington, a Hartford suburb. "Because I don't think he gives us the leadership this country needs."

Yet Mr. Lieberman's critics do not seem to be listening, particularly Mr. Lamont, who has spent more than $370,000 of his own money to challenge the senator.

"Connecticut's a progressive state," Mr. Lamont said at a fund-raiser in the home of a Yale professor in North Haven on Sunday. "You're not going to lose a senator. You're going to gain a Democrat."

A growing cast of prominent activists is backing Mr. Lamont. Markos Moulitsas, who advised the presidential campaign of Howard Dean in 2004 and founded the blog Daily Kos, is appearing in a campaign commercial for Mr. Lamont. James H. Dean, the brother of Howard Dean and the chairman of the grass-roots group his brother formed in 2004, supports Mr. Lamont. Tim Tagaris, recently the Democratic National Committee's Internet outreach coordinator, has become director of Internet operations for the Lamont campaign. Even the state's best-known independent, former Gov. Lowell P. Weicker, has announced his support for Mr. Lamont because of Mr. Lieberman's support of the war.

On Tuesday, the National Organization for Women's political action committee endorsed Mr. Lamont, in part because he said, unlike Senator Lieberman, that he would have supported a filibuster to prevent confirmation hearings for Samuel A. Alito Jr. to the Supreme Court.

Senator Lieberman was also endorsed this week by the Human Rights Campaign, a gay rights group. But some Democrats who have voted for him for years are reconsidering their support. "He won't stand up and fight," Jim Boorsch, a retired lawyer who voted for Mr. Lieberman in his last three races, said at the Sunday fund-raiser


"A very simple thing happened that changed Democratic politics dramatically, and that was that the war turned bad," Mr. From said, adding of the senator's critics: "There's a group in our party that makes a lot of noise and I don't think they've ever won an election. They're trying to take out one of the great statesmen our party has and that's wrong."

Uh, right Al. Who ran to the WSJ editorial page the day after the election. Apeasment doesn't work, and Lieberman's statemanship is like Chamberlain's, We need a Churchill,not someone trying to appease their way to power.

How succesful has the DLC been?

Let's see, your boy Marshall Wittman was laughed out of the room, Marty Frost and Tim Roemer chased down like dogs, and some other loser, oh, Donnie Fowler, was beat squarely by Howard Dean,who is the most popular DNC chair in memory. Who can raise thousands with an e-mail, who has invigorated the party at the state level, after your guys lost control of the House and Senate.

It isn't some people, 92 percent of Democrats polled want Dems who fight, not who appease. Vichy Dems always have an excuse for failure, for not standing up to Bush and his yesman Congress.If we just act like nicer Republicans we can win elections.

Now beating Joe Lieberman is no easy task, but he needs a challenge, because without it, he'll sell Dems out for his own ego. My bet, he winds up working for Bush in the post-Rove era, where he can be bipartisan all he wants.

posted by Steve @ 12:04:00 AM

12:04:00 AM

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