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Lieberman: From VP Candidate to Pariah in 6 short years
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The more I watch the developing Lieberman story the more bemused I am. Good enough to be the VP candidate with Gore in 2000, Lieberman is now actively derided and heckled by Democrats as he attends a 4th of July parade:
Senator Joseph I. Lieberman was smiling past the hecklers yesterday in this town's massive Independence Day parade. ``Shame on you!" one yelled. ``War-monger!" screamed another. ``You're a traitor, Joe!" came a third voice.
So much for the myth that only the right calls people "traitors". But I have to wonder, traitor to what?

Obviously to the party. Certainly not the nation. We celebrate those who, in good conscience, stand up for their beliefs, especially if they do so for the good of the country, don't we?

Well for some, apparently not if it what they stand for is in opposition to party orthodoxy.

We've discussed this at various times here and QandO. The Democrats aren't the only one's who've imposed litmus tests on members of their party. Republicans too have limited participation by those who differ with the party line on various issues. The most recent occasion was the exclusion of some from speakers slots at a recent convention of those Republicans who were pro-choice.

But no one tried to run them out of the party as I recall. The majority may not have agreed with their take on that and other issues, but they still were a part of the Republican whole. In comparison to what is being done to Lieberman, their sanction of the pro-choice lobby was mild.

The intent among those who oppose Lieberman seems to be to exclude him completely. The big tent has a "no dogs or Liebermans" sign hanging on the door. Because of what he considers a principled stand on the war in Iraq, Lieberman is out. No tolerance for a principled difference of opinion. You are required to say "I was misled and therefore I was wrong about my vote for the war in Iraq" ala Kerry or you are no longer worthy of being a Democrat.

For some reason, visions of lock-stepped marchers come unbidden to my mind.

Spurred mostly by Internet "net-roots" activists, the campaign against Lieberman has been pretty vicious (while apparently Hillary Clinton gets a 'bye' for the same war stance as Lieberman because, one assumes, a viable candidate couldn't be found to run against her in the Dem primary). And, given that he's been targeted by these activists and the Democratic opponent favored by them is gaining in the polls, Lieberman is considering options:
A day after sending a jolt through the political establishment by saying he will run for a fourth term even if he loses the Democratic nomination, Lieberman confronted face-to-face much of the anger that has fueled the campaign of Lamont. The cheers for Lieberman still generally swamped the boos, but the senator saw up close what he's up against in the final month of the Democratic primary campaign.
A few questions. Is there a possibility of a backlash given the growing visibility of the opposition to Lieberman? What has been, till now, a relatively Internet/press based war against the man is going to begin to spill out into the streets as the primary date gets closer and closer. As displays like those evident at this 4th of July parade become more commonplace, will the largely silent Lieberman supporters be stirred enough to go to the polls and keep him the Democratic candidate?

Secondly, if Lieberman wins the primary, then what? What will "net roots" do in that case? Will they simply abandon the fight, or, will they run Lamont as an independent stealth Democrat in the general election? Or is Lieberman good enough for them then (and no, I'm sure he wouldn't)?

Lastly, and I ask because I don't know, but if Lieberman ran in the general election as an "independent", is there a viable enough Republican candidate in the race who could take advantage of the split to become the dark horse winner?
 
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If I were Joe (big "if" to be sure but here goes) I would seriously think about leaving the D party now, well in advance of the primary. It would seem that the party, as evidenced by the antics of the "faithful", has all but abandoned him. All this act would do is merely formalize the parting of ways that has already happened effectively.

Having done that, the good Senator can focus his full energy toward attracting out the majority(?) in CT that already supports him. He has enough name recognition in his state to more than offset the loss of party affiliation, IMHO. At the same time, he effectively blunts the fanatical fixation of Lamont and his crowd on turning him out. They now have to find a way to maintain the public Anti-Joe passion from now until November without jumping the shark. That is a pretty tall order if you ask me.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
Lamont has pledged to support the Democratic nominee whoever he is, so if Lieberman does win the Democratic nomination then Lamont and the "net roots" will accept that the voters in the Democratic primary have spoken. Presumably the netroots will go back to concentrating on other races in Connecticut and the rest of the nation.

Lieberman however is planning to run as an independent should he lose, which to my mind is the single most significant reason why the Democratic primary voters should think long and hard if Lieberman still represents them and is a valuable member of the Democratic Party.
 
Written By: Josh
URL: http://
So, I was right to like Liberman in the first place. Good, I was concerned my instincts were getting sloppy.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Lieberman’s latest move recalls his decision, in the 2000 campaign, not to drop out of the senate race even though he was also running for vice-president. He provided himself with a win-win position, and Gore’s candidacy suffered by having a running-mate who had doubts enough about his chances to take out insurance. Lieberman may be the neo-cons’ mole in the Democratic Party, but his number one concern is numero uno.

 
Written By: H. Carl
URL: http://
Gore’s candidacy suffered by having a running-mate who had doubts enough about his chances to take out insurance.
That’s silly. How did it "suffer"? The Dems won Lieberman’s home state in 2000. If Gore had won his, he would have been President.
Lieberman may be the neo-cons’ mole in the Democratic Party, but his number one concern is numero uno.
Here it is in black and white, the entire point of Bruce’s post which you miss in it’s entirety even as it is spelled out for you. More than half of the Democrats in the US Senate voted to declare war on Iraq. To call Lieberman a "neo-con mole" is a perfect demonstration of the strident identitarian paranoia that is dismantling the Democratic Party.

To that extent, rock on with your bad selves =8^]

yours/
peter.
 
Written By: Peter Jackson
URL: http://www.liberalcapitalist.com
but his number one concern is numero uno.
Based on the fact that he knows his opinions aren’t always popular with his own people, and yet he makes them anyway, I’d say he might actually be concerned for his country first rather than his party and himself.
But that’s just the thoughts of a right winger contrasting Joe Lieberman to, say, Ted Kennedy who’s never met a mindless partisan plan he didn’t like.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
but his number one concern is numero uno.
Based on the fact that he knows his opinions aren’t always popular with his own people, and yet he makes them anyway,
What makes him attractive to many readers of this site, I suspect, is his support of the war effort. However, he has supported many causes in the past that are the antithesis of usual small-L libertarian ideals. Most prominently, he has been a perennial advocate of classical FDR-Democratic liberalism. Also, his "mend it, don’t end it" quote on Affirmative Action during the 2000 race was a classic Lieberman defining moment. I do not believe he meant it as cynical pandering to the black vote but really believed it. All-in-all these should make Joe the least ideal candidate for true-believers of any stripe; Democratic, Republican or libertarian.

Sounds like a winner to me.
 
Written By: D
URL: http://
But no one tried to run them [Republicans] out of the party as I recall

This is the fallacy. No one is trying to run Joe out of the party. It just looks like he may lose a primary.

If the voters of his state tell him to go away, Joe should go away. If it turns out that he is a three term incumbent who can’t win a party primary, that is rare indeed.

I still have a feeling he’ll pull out a win in the primary and this will all have been much ado about nothing.

I like Looker’s portrayal of the brave, principled politician taking an unpopular stand for the good of his country that he knows to be unpopular with his constituents. Very heroic.

I suspect Looker might feel differently, though, if this was a principled anti-war Senator from the South, (Albert Gore, Sr. anyone?), who was about to lose an election over his principled stand. Ya think you might believe he deserved it in that case?
 
Written By: Pug
URL: http://
D,

Lieberman may not fit easily in anyones definition of a principled Republican, Democratic or libertarian politician, but since when was anti-war a Democratic position? At least I have been told by many Democrats that the Democratic Party is not reflexively anti-war. As for myself, my feeling is that as FDR liberals go Lieberman has been less of an issue (including occasional noises toward school choice) than most. That predates the Iraq war and is why he was selected as Gore’s running mate.

Pug,
No one is trying to run Joe out of the party. It just looks like he may lose a primary.
The reason some believe he will lose is because a significant part of the activist base does want to run him out of the party, so therefore it is not a fallacy. Kos and his allies have publicly said they want to run him out of the party and consider he and The New Republic as part of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy. Now, one can argue whether he deserves to be run out of the party, but it is a fallacy that no one wants to run him out of the party.

As for the principled Al Gore Sr., well, I guess I’ll just part ways with you there.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://
A little research on Lieberman might actually reveal why so many democrats disdain him. With increasing regularity he has crossed the aisle on non-war issues.

Handing control of our airwaves (TV, radio, etc) to a few monolithic corps., Joe says how soon is now! Destroying the internet to line AT&Ts pockets, sign Joe up. Soviet style domestic surveillance, pissing on the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, Joe has US PATRIOT Act underoos, and he’s been fidgetting in his seat to breakout the (we’re now a banana republic) Patriot Act II versions.

He’s a democrat in name only nowadays, infact he’s pretty far right of the center of the RNC too.
 
Written By: Chris
URL: http://
This is the fallacy.
Ah, so the net roots campaign has all been in good cheer and "You’re a traitor, Joe" is just the boys and girls having a little fun with the guy?

It’s clear to most of us watching from afar that the last thing a certian segment of the party want is Joe Liberman representing it and them. And they seem to be dictating the tempo right now. Now you may feel that somehow translates into inclusiveness, but I’m not seein’ it that way.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I suspect Looker might feel differently, though, if this was a principled anti-war Senator from the South,
If you prefer having an appreciation for senators like "I agreed with myself before I disagreed with myself" Kerry and "I like this, unless it doesn’t look good, in which case I hate it, and always have fought it" Clinton, hey, more power to ya.

After all, I make nearly all my decisions based on how I feel about the war in Iraq.
Joe wasn’t perfect for me, but then again, no politician is. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be perfect for me once I got the job either.

Alas it wasn’t just Joe’s stand on Iraq that caught my eye. Joe was on the wrong side of the Jenghis Khan aisle during the Abu Gharib hearings as well.
Joe was obviously a Mongol, based on his observations.
But all of this is precisely why, having grown up a Yankee in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts, I moved to Texas, because I have a fundamentally different view of things than the average voter inside the Route 128 belt in Mass-wa-chusetts. Making it very likely that I’m a really poor judge of what his constituency is like in Connecticut.


 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
I don’t know who you are, but after reading about 3 sentences, your self-righteousness made me wanna puke
 
Written By: Robert
URL: http://
You may or may not be aware of this, but at the moment this article is on the front page of Google News in the US.
 
Written By: Sebastian Holsclaw
URL: http://
Let’s use the real word for all of this .. PURGE.

The Democratics Party in in a state of purge. The umbrella is gone.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
I don’t know who you are, but after reading about 3 sentences, your self-righteousness made me wanna puke

Written By: Robert
Bob, who’s making you want to hurl?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Me I hope - I’m goin to advertise myself as an internet based emetic if it is.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
That’s the problem that Beinart and others are going to face in their party. "Scoop" Jackson and Lieberman could probably vote FOR Hillary-Care AND the war. NOW, the increasingly one has to be in favour of Hillary-care, as a good starting point AND oppose the war. I would argue that the Democratic base is becoming INCREASINGLY interested in a "party-line" position.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
There are a lot of Dems considerably more conservative than Lieberman. Yet, Lieberman is the one who has a strong primary opponent. Lieberman is also the guy who takes every media opportunity to slag his own party. Other, more conservative Dems, do not. See?
 
Written By: Oliver
URL: http://www.oliverwillis.com
So it’s OK to vote for war, but Heaven Forfend that one ought to SUPPORT one’s vote and the results thereof!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
They voted to support the planned war, the one that had us out by a certain date, and was better organized and would be run by a Democratic president. Not this Chimpy McHitler run mishigas quagmire we’re in!
And Joe makes a great example of what happens when you don’t toe the line, VP candidate and all.

Still, I can understand the Dems slaggin him in return, I think the Republicans would do no less if he was on their side of the aisle.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
My, how quickly we forget! This is quite tame compared to what the Republican party has done to its moderates. If you want to refresh your memory, read the book by Gov. Christie Todd Whitman about how the Republican extremists tried to force her and other moderates out of the Republican Party. They succeeded in forcing Jeffords to turn from R to independent, too, as I recall.
 
Written By: reading
URL: http://
My, how quickly we forget! This is quite tame compared to what the Republican party has done to its moderates. If you want to refresh your memory, read the book by Gov. Christie Todd Whitman about how the Republican extremists tried to force her and other moderates out of the Republican Party. They succeeded in forcing Jeffords to turn from R to independent, too, as I recall.

Really...so that whole appoint Gov. Whitman as EPA Administrator was simply a part of the choreographed campaign to heave her out of the Party? Oh and that feller Chaffee he’s been so badly treated he broke down in tears and left, too...oH WAIT. Jeffords wanted to be in office in an INCREASINGLY Democratic state, so he was shocked, SHOCKED that the President would attempt to implement his agenda! So shocked he HAD to leave the Party.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I don’t know who you are, but after reading about 3 sentences, your self-righteousness made me wanna puke
Huh, how about that. Only took me one sentence from you to feel the same way.

Go figure.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Pg writes - This is the fallacy. No one is trying to run Joe out of the party. It just looks like he may lose a primary.

If the voters of his state tell him to go away, Joe should go away. If it turns out that he is a three term incumbent who can’t win a party primary, that is rare indeed.

I still have a feeling he’ll pull out a win in the primary and this will all have been much ado about nothing.
(1) - It is a strong move by the Leftist activists of the Democratic Party to run out Lieberman as non-true believer. "Lieberman must perish as a blasphemer!!" is a dominant theme with the Kos Kids, moveon.org, code pink, DU, netroots, and the Jewish moguls still pissed he called on them to clean up their Hollywood slime-dreck. There is no other way to see this. The Democrats seem to get into these messes regularly. Punish the Apostates! They did their worst self-damage when the McGovernites treated the white Southerners of their Party as closet racist POS’s stripped their power, and also ended white Democrat control of major US cities. Then there was the sneering on blue collar Democrats as unsophisticated proles best guided by liberal elites, which delivered another batch into Reagan’s arms. Then the Pro-Life purges the Dems did in the 90s, finally making Catholics majority Republican. There! That showed them! It looks like their latest Apostate&Heretic targets are National Defense Democrats - perhaps a blunder of proportions approaching their drumming conservative white Southerners out of the Party back in the 70s.

(2) The only thing that keeps the Democrats competitive is the lop-sided Black vote, and there are plenty of signs the next generation of blacks are sick of being taken for granted, their issues and problems only recognized the few weeks before election-day. Blacks have never joined in the activist ranks after the 1st McGovernite apostate punishment of Southern Dems.

(3) The Connecticut electorate is fairly white, well-educated. They are liberal-leaning but nothing like Massachusetts. There is also a big independent block and a tradition of most Republicans and Democrats at least considering what the other Party has to offer. The only real "locks" the Democrats have in CT are blacks and government employee unions. There is also a tradition of Independents proudly standing apart from both Parties, a sizable block, and CT recently had an Independent Gov. (Weicker). Lieberman has been popular with moderate Republicans and Independents while still being a basic Open Borders, pork slathering Big Government Democrat - starting out as he did as a flaming liberal Jew who further got liberalized at Yale Law. But an Orthodox Jew - so he has cultural, fiscal, and foreign policy beliefs that align him more with mainstream Americans than most East Coast Dems. Lieberman has also got a reputation as a clean politician and someone who works very hard. CT voters - considerable Republican and Independent vote - gave Joe past electoral landslides. The last Republican ran against him later had child molestation charges and is in jail now. I live in CT.

(4) I think the Dems are making a big, big mistake at the activist level conflating polls showing widespread disappointment with Bush’s conduct of the Iraq War with similar levels of public approval for a cut and run approach that conceeds defeat against Islamists and Al Qaeda forces inside Iraq. Not just in CT. Activists are going after other Dems who "voted for Bush-Hitler’s War" like Jane Harmon, Bill Nelson thinking the masses want more Barbara Boxers and John Kerrys. I hope Lieberman loses his primary - just to show how little CT voters care about right-wing or left-wing Party activism.
 
Written By: C. Ford
URL: http://
Chris wrote of Lieberman:
"He’s a democrat in name only nowadays, infact he’s pretty far right of the center of the RNC too."

According to the ADA Voting Records in 2005 Lieberman had a score of 80 (100 is a perfect liberal score). For comparison, Lincoln Chafee (often called a RINO) had a 75 (while John McCain (often praised as a moderate, though he repudiates the term) had a 10).
In 2004 Lieberman had a 75 (Chafee a 55, McCain a 35).

http://www.adaction.org/votingrecords.htm
 
Written By: Anonymous
URL: http://
The Dems have a tendency to try to re-write history with themselves becoming noble, and the GOP being the evil bad guys. (I’m sure it happens the other way around, too.)

For example, if you ask the average 20 something kid what party was the most opposed to the Civil Rights movement, I am guessing they will answer "the Republicans." I’ve also run into Dems that assumed Huey Long was a Republican and that Rev. Phelps is one too. Also, remember Kerry calling Vietnam "Nixon’s war."

Now, this is happening in regards to the Iraq war - they want to come out as the party that really opposed the whole thing, and they need to "prove" this by punishing Lieberman. Then the transformation will be complete and they can fly away a beautiful shiny butterfly.

Or is this all my imagination?
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
J.L. no longer reflects the passions of the people of Conn. The right of a women to chose,SS,Alito and a futile bloody cluster yuck. joe has jumped the shark he is so over.
 
Written By: Vincent Scorza
URL: http://
"For some reason, visions of lock-stepped marchers come unbidden to my mind."

Careful, you are perilously close to vile and despicable accusation.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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