August 9, 2006

So Joe loses

This defeat for Lieberman is not really a surprise. Nor, as it turns out, is Lieberman's decision to run as an independent if he lost. He did and he will.

Now the discussion will begin in earnest. Is this moving the Democratic party too far to the left? Is this a result of activist bloggers? Is this a vote a lack of confidence for Bush?

I remember thinking that Lieberman was a good choice for Gore. Not the best choice, but a good one. Then came the VP debate. Lieberman caved. Horribly. He allowed Dick Cheney to run rampant over him. Cheney could claim with a straight face that his massive wealth gain during the Clinton years had nothing to do with his vast contacts in the government. Lieberman could have easily pointed that out. Instead, he allowed Cheney to do his little Grandfatherly act. I mean, how hard do you have to work to make Dick Cheney more interesting and credible?

In 2003, SOF, myself and some Democratic friends traveled to Stillwater to hear the Presidential candidates. We heard John Edwards, Carol Mosely Braun, Howard Dean, Dennis Kucinich, Dick Gephardt, and good old Joe Lieberman.

It was a learning experience. Kucinich and Braun were more impressive than expected. John Edwards was simply not very polished or credible yet. Howard Dean was fantastic. And Joe Lieberman was annoying. I think he told us that Democrats who don't support this war "risk not understanding a moral war when we see one."

I could understand his support for the war. But his arrogance and condescension really mimicked that of the President, and I think we have had all of that we can take.

So, I am not sad that Joe lost. I am not surprised that he will threaten the Democrats possible gains in the mid-year election, because he is not, nor has ever been, a team player.


JoeG said...

Let me tell you, this has been causing quite the ruckus up here in my state of CT. We are a mostly Democratic state, but we currently have a Republican governor with an over 75% approval rating, and a history of supporting independent candidates. One of CT's former governors was independent Lowell Weicker.
Current polls have Little Joe beating Lamont and the Republican candidate (Schlesinger?) in a 3-way election. There are still Democrats who are faithful Lieberman supporters. There are a number of Republicans who support him because of his Bush support and because they aren't happy with the GOP's selection of candidate. In my opinion, from reading the local papers and letters to the editor and such, yesterday's vote was a clear referendum against Bush and the war. Make no mistake, there are plenty of Democrats who just can't stand Lieberman and his party disloyalty on a number of issues, and Ned Lamont hit on every one of them in his campaign.
Lamont may have won over a slim majority of Democrats here, but he's got a helluva fight ahead in trying to unseat Little Joe unless he can stem the tide of Republicans ready to vote for him in November. As an independent myself, I plan on voting for Lamont. Lieberman is in this for Lieberman, and nobody else. Quite frankly, I'm tired of his crusade against Hollywood and video game violence, his pro-war stance, and just his attitude in general, much as you pointed out yourself Streak. I fear, though, that the Republican support will be enough to let him slide right past Lamont and into the Senate once again.

Streak said...

Joe, you are confirming what I am hearing too. Kevin Drum said similar stuff, but wonders how the actual campaign will play out and thinks that Lieberman will become more shrill and possibly alienate some of his softer supporters.

Then there is stuff like this: "George Stephanopoulos:
According to a close Lieberman adviser, the President%u2019s political guru, Karl Rove, has reached out to the Lieberman camp with a message straight from the Oval Office: 'The boss wants to help. Whatever we can do, we will do.'

The list of 'Republicans for Joe' keeps growing. . ."

JoeG said...

That's exactly the thing Streak. For every soft supporter he alienates, he likely picks up one or two more Republican supporters. CT Republicans are really not happy having Schlesinger as their candidate, as he is even more obscure than Lamont. It is certainly cause for concern. I hope Lamont is able to appeal to enough non-affiliated voters to pull it off.

Bruce said...

Personally I've always disliked Lieberman becuse he is a moralizer. He likes to preach to people about what they "should do". That doesn't sit well with me because I tend to be one of those people that likes to think for themselves and hates some guy telling me why he's better than me. Its why I've never liked TV preachers as well.

JoeG said...

I do agree with you Bruce, but TV preachers are another animal. To some degree they are supposed to be telling you what you should do based on the teachings of (presumably) the bible. Problem is, the many preachers have just about as many different interpretaions, and they all differ in their teachings of what you "should do" to be a good Christian.
Politicians, however, should not be wasting their time railing against Hollywood producers and video game makers about taking violence and sex out of their products. That is why the ratings system was invented, and parents need to take responsibility to know what their kids are doing, and to help them distinguish fantasy from real life. That is not the government's job, and Lieberman has spent way too much time trying to make it the government's job. I agree, Bruce, that he is very preachy and a moralizer, which not only presupposes that people can't think for themselves, but also removes any incentive for them to do so at all. Why think and be responsible if the government can do it for you? People should look to their preachers to some degree, and within themselves for the most part to determine what they morally "should do". Politicians should be making reasonable laws regarding right and wrong behavior, and leave mcuh of the thinking to the people.