Leiberman and democracy
Why, yes, the ermine robe is best. The
chinchilla is for plebeans, not a man
of my stature
If you wonder how dictatorships start, look at Joe Lieberman.
It isn't that he is running an independent campaign which is dangerous, but that he refuses to respect the results of an election.
I've been thinking all day about how to comment on Lieberman's independent run, but it came to me, the thing which is so odious, so wrong, is that he's running after losing, as if those votes didn't mean anything.
He has placed Joe Lieberman over elections, over party loyalty, over democracy.
An independent run has always been an option for him, he didn't have to run as a Democrat, but he did. But he refuses to accept the verdict. He, instead, claims he was cheated out of victory by dirty tactics and a campaign which ran on divisive tactics. Which is demonstrably untrue. Lieberman not only refused to accept the verdict of the voters, he seems to be contemptous of it. He seems to think that if he can't convince one electorate, he can convince another.
It isn't about Joe Lieberman should be Senator, but that no one but Lieberman is fit to be Senator. And that is dangerous to democracy. Because it goes to the core of what democracy is supposed to be, which is a contest of ideas. Instead, Lieberman sought to demonize his enemies and act as if some great offense had been committed by challenging him.
Coups and the dictatorships which follow start when one side not only questions the verdict of an election, but finds it illegitimate. Which Lieberman has done. He isn't just saying he lost, but the way he lost was unfair.
Which is dangerous in the extreme. Lieberman thinks he's above an election result he doesn't like. He is refusing to play by the rules of our democracy. He ran as a democrat and lost, and refuses to accept that verdict.
Sure, candidates talk about an independent run, but usually when they have another party's nomination in their pocket. They don't form Loyalists for Lieberman or any such nonsense. They don't insult the voters who had loyally returned him to office. They don't racebait the opposition, then invent reasons to attack their supporters.
The dangerous thing is not that Lieberman is running as an independent, but that he's showing contempt for democracy.
posted by Steve @ 6:50:00 PM