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.