Lieberman’s Last Gasp
Next Tuesday, Democratic voters in Connecticut will decide on their candidate for Senate and things don’t look good for Joe Lieberman. The primary race between Lieberman and Ned Lamont has drawn national attention and has become a proxy battle for the heart (if one still beats) and soul (even if it’s black) of the Democratic Party.
Lieberman campaign hacks have been all over the television this week, selling Lieberman’s liberal bona fides, “he votes 90% of the time with his Party” and “he stands up to the President on healthcare and tax cuts” but that is hardly the point. He supports Bush’s perpetual war plan and he ensured that Bush’s handpicked, right wing ideologues made it onto the Supreme Court. Voting against tax cuts for the rich and believing in Global warming can’t negate that. There is a reason that Lieberman is more popular amongst Republicans than he is with voters of his own Party, and it’s not because we Democrats don’t “understand” what he has done for us, it’s because we know exactly what he’s done to us.
Activists, bloggers and blog readers have joined the fight to unseat Lieberman because he is the perfect example of what is wrong with the Democratic Party. Holy Joe is content to defend the status quo, no matter how bad it is for the country. This, at a time when what this country needs most is robust opposition to the disaster that is the Bush Presidency, and an opposition Party that will move the country forward, not enable its stagnancy.
Pointing out that Lieberman votes with his Party 90% of the time is hardly a positive. Half of the votes cast by the Democrats since Bush took office have been horrible votes that were cast out of fear and some misguided attempt at bipartisanship. When the Party is power is breaking laws, lying to the public, manufacturing evidence to support unjust wars, spying on its citizens with no apology, and shredding the constitution they all took an oath to defend, there is no common ground, there is only opposition or complicity and far too many Democrats have chosen the latter. Getting rid of Joe Lieberman will not save the Party, but it will be a good first step.
Whether or not Ned Lamont is the perfect candidate, at this point, doesn’t really matter. There are many benefits of a Lamont win beyond him holding the seat. First is the fear that it will instill in all of the other Democrats in office that have betrayed the people of this country. Second is that it shows the power of average people getting involved in the political process, and make no mistake, that scares them even more. Our Senators and Congressmen of both Parties have enjoyed a cushy job that, once won, is very hard to lose. The system is set up to protect them from the voters, and this race proves that the voters can, when sufficiently fed up, buck the odds and unseat anyone they choose. That is good for democracy and good for the country. The question now is, who’s next?