The Lieberman Lie
Defend the leader at
The LA Times writes to defend Joementum
Purging antiwar Democrats
Activists are trying to make a smaller party tent by targeting Joe Lieberman, as the Connecticut senator lives down to their expectations.
July 6, 2006
ANTIWAR ACTIVISTS WHO ARE opposing the renomination of Sen. Joe Lieberman in next month's Connecticut Democratic primary complain that he's not a "real Democrat." They're wrong, but Lieberman runs the risk of making prophets of his critics by preparing for a backup reelection campaign as an independent.
An ardent supporter of toppling Saddam Hussein, Lieberman has been immune to the buyer's remorse that has afflicted other Democratic senators who voted to authorize President Bush to use force against the Iraqi dictator. Two weeks ago, he was one of only six Senate Democrats to vote against a resolution calling for U.S. forces to begin leaving Iraq this year.
Cheered on by a nationwide network of antiwar activists, Ned Lamont, a cable TV company executive, is challenging Lieberman in the Aug. 8 primary. Lieberman is sufficiently spooked by the challenge that he said Monday that he would urge his supporters to sign petitions for an independent candidacy in November if he loses to Lamont — paperwork that must be prepared before the primary. He called the possible campaign as an independent an "insurance policy."
Democratic voters in Connecticut have the right to nominate the candidate of their choice. But it is more than a little disturbing for the longtime popular senator (and the party's 2000 nominee for vice president) to be targeted for defeat by national fundraisers based on his foreign policy views. There were principled people on both sides of the debate to go to war in Iraq. This page did not support the war, but it cannot cheer on liberal activists who run the risk of being guilty of the same sort of insistence on ideological purity that they deplore in Republicans.
The Democratic Party — the party of Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman and John F. Kennedy — is a big enough tent to include voices on the conservative end of national security policy. Lieberman's views shouldn't trigger a nationwide jihad against him. To their credit, most party leaders are backing Lieberman.
It is equally unhealthy for our two-party democracy when conservatives target more liberal voices within the Republican Party for failing to march in lock-step on matters of principle. Come to think of it, the people of Connecticut are familiar with that flavor of jihad too. Lowell P. Weicker Jr. was a Republican senator from that state who was considered far too liberal by many Republicans elsewhere. After losing his seat to Lieberman in 1988, he was elected governor in 1990. As an independent.
Too bad this is all bullshit.
The local voters are increasingly sick of the highhanded, Washington-centric Lieberman, who acts offended that he has to actually run in a primary. I mean, he looked pissed that Lamont had the nerve to question him.
Let me ask something: is Jim Webb running on a pro-war platform? Or the 55 other veterans running, 52 as Democrats?
I don't get why Lieberman shouldn't be held accountable for his support of a failed war, one where the Kerensky government of Iraq is growing closer to eviciting us by the day. Maliki wants to overturn the status of forces agreement so they can prosecute the American rapists and killers they are burdened with. The US will try to soft soap their way out of this, but the rape-murder of a 15 year old girl is so serious that the resistance waited months to seek their revenge.
For some reason, Lieberman is supposed to get a pass on supporting a war most Americans oppose. For some reason,Connecticut voters, who say in poll after poll they want Dems who would challenge Bush. are supposed to send back his closest Democratic ally.
Editorial page editors expect Democratic voters to show tolerance to a man who routinely lectures them on their video game habits, music, and demands people not only support the war, but support President Bush without question. Does that sound like it represents the people of Connecticut?
When will editorial page editors realize that the war is unpopular, that there is going to be a polticial price paid for that. The focus is on the bloggers, but the reality is that Lamont's bid has exploded beyond all expectation, not because Kos was in a commercial, but years of resentment towards his lack of consitutient service have come to a head.
Lieberman couldn't even win the state convention by a convincing margin. Small town voters haven't seen Lieberman in years. He won't come to their towns. He can go on Fox News, but he can't go to the small towns around Hartford. This, as much as any lingering anti-war sentiment, is the source of his problem.
In a recent parade, average voters called him a traitor. I mean walked up to him in the street and insulted him. This is not a popular man in some quarters. And I don't think they read Daily Kos. They do see him get a man-kiss from Bush and they don't like that. The last time I heard of that kind of thing was when Alan Keyes marched in a Chicago parade and the black folks turned on him.
I would suggest people read the Connecticut papers and see how he's been treated. Lamont is likely to pick up several key endorsements from them. Not because they oppose the war, but because Lieberman isn't doing his job.
posted by Steve @ 10:30:00 AM