09 July 2006

Running Scared

George Bush’s favorite Democrat is suddenly fighting for
his political life. Facing a strong challenge from newcomer
Ned Lemont, Holy Joe’s allies in Washington are circling
their wagons and launching a media counterattack
against the crazed liberal “haters” that wish to purge
their party of Connecticut’s junior senator.

David Brooks writes in the Sunday NY Times:

What's happening to Lieberman can only be
described as a liberal inquisition. Whether you
agree with him or not, he is transparently the
most kind-hearted and well-intentioned of
men. But over the past few years he has been
subjected to a vituperation campaign that only
experts in moral manias and mob psychology
are really fit to explain. I can't reproduce the
typical assaults that have been directed at him
over the Internet, because they are so laced
with profanity and ugliness, but they are
ginned up by ideological masseurs who salve
their followers' psychic wounds by arousing
their rage at objects of mutual hate.

Imagine that. Connecticut Democrats who actually expect
their senator to take a stand against the Republicans
and not sellout members of his own party when it comes
to issues like Social Security, abortion rights, and the Iraq
War aren’t actually patriotic Americans participating in the
democratic process. No indeed. They are in fact witless
members of an irrational mob fueled by “rage” and

It is a narrative supported by Lieberman himself, as seen
in this July 4th quote, also from the NY Times:

Speaking to reporters at the end of the parade
route, Mr. Lieberman decried what he saw as
too much hatred in politics.

"Once you start hating, you lose the ability to
get anything done," he said.

And you certainly can’t accuse Joe Lieberman of hating --
hating Republicans and their failed policies that is. In fact,
you can always count on Holy Joe to be first in line to
show “bipartisan support” for everything from Bush’s
nonexistent exit strategy in Iraq to denying emergency
contraception to rape victims
. Which is probably why his
most vocal defenders these days are Republicans.

He’s even got Ann Coulter in his corner.

But will this attempt to paint Lieberman’s opponents in
the Democratic party as irrational haters convince
Connecticut’s primary voters to support the candidate
who -- as he never stops reminding us -- has the
courage to vote his own convictions, no matter how
unpopular those convictions may be?

We won’t really know until the primary in August. But the
fact that this race is even close, and that Lieberman is
now saying that he may run as an Independent if his
loses the primary is already causing panic within the
Washington establishment.

Steve Gilliard writes:

The Beltway crowd is shocked that real
people might want to get rid of one of their
favorite housepets, therefore they have to be
fringe leftists demanding a loyalty test.
Instead of disgusted at the way he only
attacks fellow Democrats and makes nice
with Republicans who's values he supposedly
doesn't share. People outside Washington
aren't stupid they know when they're being
sold out. Lieberman does things to get the
support of the Beltway in crowd, who are
slaves to power. And then he comes home and
he's got problems.


The same people who sent Lieberman back to
Congress three times are now crazed and
need to be saved from themselves by him and
two chances to vote for him. Because they're
too stupid to vote for him in a primary, after
sending him to the Senate three times.

I've never seen a more frightened successful
experienced politician not facing indictment in
my life. He's totally lost his nerve. He's
insulting the voters who sent him to

Insulting the voters. It’s worked for Joe’s buddies in the
GOP for the last six years... maybe it’ll work for him too.

You can learn more about Ned Lamont -- and contribute
to his campaign if you are so inclined -- here.