Saturday, July 15, 2006

Kiss Lieberman Goodbye

Today's New York Times has an article about the bruising primary fight around Senator Lieberman. It is a very frustrating piece, typical of the Times. Poor Lieberman, he's trying to be all collegial and nice and non-partisan, and those flame-breathing anti-war Democrats are out to get him. The unspoken politics of the Times is that having political beliefs, either left or right, is wrong. The only correct way to do politics is in the "middle", where there are no ideologies or beliefs involved. Please! Nothing frustrates me more than moderates who claim to have no ideology. Of course they have an ideology. I don't know anyone more ideological than Joseph Lieberman. I find it profoundly insulting that people such as myself who are not afraid to speak their political beliefs out loud get labeled extremist, and those who keep them secret--or "moderate", as they say--are given some sort of moral legitimacy.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the status quo newspaper supports the status quo.

One of the more frustrating things about this article is the claim that this is simply a knee-jerk reaction by anti-war Democrats. The fight against Joseph Lieberman goes back a long way. When I was living in Connecticut, I was often pretty heavily involved in state Democratic Party politics, from driving Susan Bysiewicz to a fundraising cocktail party in her first run for statewide office, to participating in a secretly-organized slander of now-former Congressman Sam Gejdensen's Republican opponent--after that little adventure, I was literally advised that I should stay inside for a few days and not answer the phone, lest the media find me. Not one of my prouder moments.

Anyways, this is just to say that I've known people in the Connecticut Democratic Party for quite awhile. And I can tell you, even way back in 1998, when the Iraq War was still just a twinkle in the Bush family eyes, the grassroots of the state party hated--hated--Joseph Lieberman. And it wasn't a matter of ideology, or even any specific political platform. It was that he was considered a Machiavellian, power hungry jerk who was personally unpleasant to everyone in the party, and had made his career by running against fellow Democrats. Lieberman got his start doing just what Lamont is doing now--by attacking the Democratic Party from the inside. And now finally it's caught up to him.

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