The locals are sick of Joe
Courtesy of my left nutmeg
There are times when politics is more than a game
By Keith C. Burris
The more I think about it, the more I am stunned by Joe Lieberman's announcement yesterday that he will petition to get on the ballot as an independent candidate for re-election to the Senate.
But there is something untoward -- something both cynical and sad -- about Joe Lieberman's insistence that he will hang on to his office no matter what.
For SOMETIMES politics is about more than office.
Sometimes politics is more than a game.
Politicians who can get things done are usually careerists -- fairly ruthless ones.
But what if what needs to get done is an end to a war? One way or another.
What if it is a year of test and trial?
Joe Lieberman is for the war in Iraq. It was a sound idea to remove Saddam and occupy Iraq, he believes. And he says we need to leave that country with a victory.
But how would we achieve victory?
It would take many more years and many more soldiers. It would take a draft.
And Lieberman is NOT for that. He's for doing what we are doing now.
Democratic primary voters in this state hate the war. They want to vote for something else. They want choice and change.
Joe Lieberman and his party are at odds.
So how does Joe deal with that?
Well, his operatives say these Democrats are radical and extreme. And Joe says Democratic primary voters are not the majority of the state. He says, "I'm asking Democrats ... to consider my total record."
In other words: FORGET THE WAR. I NEED TO KEEP THIS JOB.
But we can't forget the war. The war is the issue.
Kids are dying for a mistake. Good soldiers are perishing for hubris. Our best young men and women have been abandoned by their government -- left to fight in Iraq without a way to win.
The war must define the Democratic Party this year because the Democratic Party is the alternative to the president.
Yesterday Lieberman said he was arranging to run as an independent because "I know there are no guarantees in elections." But running both inside and outside the party guarantees him a place on the ballot. And, many believe, re-election.
Sometimes politics is more than a game.
What matters this year is not Joe's desire to remain a senator, or whether Lamont scores points by saying he will be the loyal Democrat.
WHAT MATTERS IS THAT VOTERS GET A CHANCE TO VOTE AGAINST THIS WAR.
If enough of us do so, we might get our troops home sooner rather than later.
The Times has a wonderful depiction of the parade today:
Angry Democrats Dog Lieberman at Parade
By JENNIFER MEDINA
Published: July 5, 2006
WILLIMANTIC, Conn., July 4 — The new terrain of the campaign trail for Senator Joseph I. Lieberman came in the form of a boisterous Independence Day parade on Main Street in this eastern Connecticut town.
Along the street were several loyal supporters of Mr. Lieberman, who greeted him with hugs, smiles and promises of "We're with you all the way, Joe." But their encouraging words were often drowned out by the shouts of "Joe's got to go," "traitor" and "shame on you."
"Joe's always been willing to take a bit of a gamble and it's a gamble he's going to lose now," said Jeff Talbot, 45, a graphic designer who created the float. Once a registered Republican, he is now a Democrat. "I'm not anti-Republican," he said, "but I am very disturbed with the distorted views that are coming out of the leadership in our country. And we need someone representing us who understands that."
Mr. Lieberman responded to all of this by passing out chocolate Kisses, telling volunteers to "give a kiss" to anyone who jeered at him. He said the shouts were a sign of "too much hate in our politics."
"It's dividing our country and it's making it harder for our government to get anything done for the people who send us there," he said. "I'd rather be a hugger than a hater."
Mr. Lamont, who in recent weeks has scaled back some of his attacks on Mr. Lieberman, disputed that portrayal, saying that the shouts showed "passion, not anger" among voters. He said that he was confident that he would have support from Democrats who had not voted in the last several elections, adding that support from party loyalists would surge if he won the primary.
"I think Senator Lieberman undermines the Democrats at a time when we are trying to present a constructive alternative," he said. "We have people who are very emotional about their desire to see change in Washington and the way business is done there."
All along the parade route were signs of a feisty few weeks ahead. As one man barked out "Betrayal, you've betrayed us!" an aide to Mr. Lieberman tried to quiet him down. And as a Lamont campaign worker chatted with a boy wearing a Lieberman button, he stuck a Lamont sticker over it.
When the fuck has anyone ever called a politician a traitor? If that's the case, he's got problems, real problems, especially with the state's papers turning against him. I think if it comes down to a three way race, we're gonna see a Connecticut Democratic Party civil war. But more importantly, a lot of people who resent him and had to keep their mouths shut will do so no longer.
Lieberman is already desperate, we'll have to see how desperate and how soon he finally shows his hand. This independent run thing is the height of arrogance, he can't lose like a normal person? He's been pretty highhanded in the way he's run things. That always makes enemies.
posted by Steve @ 1:52:00 AM