The Independent Democrat
Now, more than ever
Joe Lieberman is running some kind of half-mad race for the Senate now.
Lieberman talks about being non-partisan as if it's a virtue. Even though the Republicans are using his defeat in the most partisan way possible. They are attacking the Democratic party full bore and Lieberman is letting them use him to do it.
What a betrayal of prinicples. A lot of Dems were under pressure to NOT support him. Well, he's as loyal to them as he is to the staff he fired.
But let's examine the way that he's running: to end partisanship.
Does Ned Lamont seems to be a fire breathing radical?
So Lieberman's first premise is wrong on it's face. The issue isn't Lamont's politics, but Lieberman's accomodation. He keeps thinking accomodation is partisanship. He doesn't even get that every kind of support from the GOP makes him look like the weak compromiser that he is accused of being.
Lamont didn't distort his record, Lieberman had to face his record. Sure, his Washington buddies didn't mind his stands, but outside Washington, it looked like he had his nose so far up Bush's ass that he could do a colonoscopy. I mean, he lectured Dems to support the President, an unpopular president who's word to Dems could not be trusted.
While he is personally liked, Lieberman's poltical instincts have been way wrong. From his jihad on video games to his calls for bipartisanship, he has radically misjudged both the electorate and the tenor of the times. Lieberman never thought he would face a challenge from the left, which most sane people realize would be inevitable.
I think that Lieberman thinks he's still the liberal of the past, with "reasonable" views. Many Democrats see him as the living embodiment of the Vichy Democrat, weak and compromising. Bipartisanship is dead in Congress as long as the wingnuts rule. They got into office running against the corrupt, evil and weak democrat party (as they call it). They were not in the business of compromising with them, but destroying it and creating a permanent GOP majority.
S0 why does Lieberman think he can create compromise where there is no room for it?
The intellectual foundation of his campaign in other times would have some appeal. Americans are apoliticial. But Lieberman is basically running on a platform of more of the same. His unhinged attacks on Lamont are doing him no credit.
Some people are saying that Lieberman is being egged on by his wife to continue the fight. As if he didn't lose the primary. Which makes sense. Lieberman hired a lot of political pros, but he had kids on his staff, who's primary loyalty was to him, not the party.
Tim Tagaris, Lamont's internet guru, and who more will be said about later, worked on the Hackett campaign and the DNC. Tom Swan, Lamont's campaign manager, has been a player in Connecticut politics for about as long as Lieberman. These people are clearly loyal to Lamont, but they are loyal to more than Lamont. They are loyal to ideas beyond Ned Lamont. Which means there are things they would not do.
Which is why they can give solid advice. Because it's not just about the man, but ideas.
Lieberman has used personal loyalty in a way which is more befitting a royal than a democratically elected official. He has people around him who are loyal to him. Marty Peretz said as much, between unhinged racist rants. They are the Lieberman party. They support him over the party, and that is dangerous ground. Especially given his laspe into demagougery today.
The reason is that unlike Schumer and Feinstein, he provides cover for their increasingly conservative views. They can call themselves liberal because of their distaste for conservative dogma, but they can lapse into racism and comfort themselves that they really haven't changed.
The reality is that old line Dems like Chris Matthews and Larry O'Donnell are disgusted by this and can barely keep the bile down. They may like Lieberman, but Matthews was withering about Lieberman on election night. He got his start with Tip O'Neill and you don't do shit like that in Boston. No one wants Lieberman to jump ship, they're handling him with kid gloves, but the patience for that is limited. His hatred for Lamont, and I think he hates him, has blinded him to the damage he's doing.
Lautenberg sent a hint. Stop before we hurt you.
But instead, Lieberman collects praise from Republicans like a college freshman gets praised by juniors. He doesn't seem to understand that there's an ulterior motive, and it's not to say nice things. It's to gut the Democratic party and use him as a lure to do it. And he's going along like he's doing nothing wrong.
The GOP will field a candidate other than the card counter Alan Gold, they have no choice. He's a New England Katherine Harris. But Lieberman has no concern about the damage he is doing. Because like the stuck up girl who doesn't get that attention is based on the idea she is clueless and an easy mark for horny guys, he thinks it's about him. It isn't. They're just buttering him up before screwing him.
posted by Steve @ 7:44:00 PM