Monday, July 03, 2006

And Here It Is...

Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) is up for re-election this year. Six years after serving as the Democratic nominee for VP and two years after an pathetic run at the white house. He's been in the Senate since 1988, but his stregth is failing him. He has an ususpected primary opponent this year...and he very well may lose.

How serious is this challenge in the Democratic Primary? Consider this: His opponent Ned Lamont has pledged to support whomever wins the Democratic Nomination, even if it's Lieberman. Lieberman has refused to do so. If Lieberman loses the primary he can still run as an independent. The problem is, to do that you must submit 75,000 signatures on the day AFTER the primary to qualify. There's no way to do that without starting early and there's no reason to start early unless you're concerned you will lose.

It was just announced that he's started gathering signatures. So how have the mighty so fallen? Well, let's start with me telling you I've never liked Lieberman. I didn't like him in 2000 and I strain to think of one thing in the last 6 years to change my opinion for even one minute. Prior to the Bush Presidency, he was noted as being a moral critic of President Clinton. He was brought onto the ticket with the notion of calming some of the (so called) Clinton fatigue (oh to be so priviledged again). The problem was that he's not an effective personality for the national audience. He's not particularly stirring or Charasmatic, so once you got past 'he gave Clinton a hard time' there's not that much left. More disasterously, he was an electorially foolish candidate. Whatever his draw, it was minimal and virtually non-existent outside of the North East. Keep in mind we've had just TWO New England Democrats elected since the mid 1800s and Joe Lieberman is no FDR or JFK. Both those men had an appeal that transcended their locale.

Since 2000, Lieberman has been George W. Bush's most faithful Democratic ally. Often he's been found to agree with Bush when other Republicans would not. He's often the first to speak against democratic plans in the Senate, preferring to cheerlead for Bush. This has had 2 disasterous results.

1. His support of the Bush administration has been unwaivering, even in light of profound incompetency and dishonesty.
2. His home state happens to be one of the most hostile towards the President.

This is a problem when you behave as if you are indifferent to the President's mendacity. Actually, it seems more like duplicity. I think he's deathly afraid of having to be responsible for his actions as Bush's go-to man. He likes to say he's voted and acted in accord with his conscience and his own moral judgement. More to the point he has not. Most of his recent actions have simply been to affirm the position of the president or to avoid offering his own contrasting ideas. Repeating 'ditto' after you hear whatever the President has to say...that doesn't make you a man of conscience. That makes you a Rush Limbaugh listener.


The Hud said...

as an aside, in 2000 the Lieberman campaign hired the airline my dad worked for to fly them around. My dad piloted for him on more than one occasion; claims he is a nice guy. That's not an argument for anyhting; I hear GW is super personable and fun at parties.

bulb said...

Strong stuff, but I think he probably deserves it. There is also the Yale connection.