That’s the sound of Joe Lieberman who’s bitching and moaning about how so many Democrats aren’t supporting him in his Senatorial re-election bid. There’s an editorial in the Washington Post today that’s a sort of excellent footnote to David Broder’s Op-Ed piece on the 18th about Joe Lieberman’s apparent anger over the fact that he has a Democratic challenger for his seat. In Broder’s article, it sounds like Liebermann would do away with the primary process if he could. His feeling is that since he’s a “popular incumbent Democrat,” he should basically just be given his seat. Sorry, Joe. Don’t work like that.
Joe’s challenger, Ned Lamont, was (according to Broder) “infuriated” with Lieberman’s contention that those who were critical of the Iraq war were “undermining the president,” [sic]. Lamont’s rebuttal to that comment was to launch his own Senatorial campaign. From Broder’s article: “”My opponent says it broke Democratic unity,” Lieberman said. “Well, dammit, I wasn’t thinking about Democratic unity. It was a moment to put the national interest above partisan interest.” Lieberman then went on to talk about how the Democratic party has to accept different views on things instead of everyone being in lock-step, etc. etc. etc…
Here’s the thing, Joe… Can I call you Joe? OK, here’s the thing… There are two very visible Democratic Senators at the moment who supposedly “support the war,” which I am now going to start calling an occupation since I have been convinced by Thom Hartman that the “Iraq War” was, indeed, finished on the day that Bush declared that “major combat operations have ended.” That was the end of the war — leaders killed or jailed, military defeated, etc. End of the “war,” start of the “occupation.” Exactly. So here we have two very visible Democratic Senators — Joe Lieberman and Hillary Clinton — claiming that they support the war. I have problems with each of them. With each of you, Joe (I’ll talk to Hillary later). It is one thing to say you support the “war.” It is another to say that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is “undermining the president.” Well, I have a problem with that word… Undermining… See, it’s a Hannity word. It’s a Limbaugh word. It’s a right-wing word. And then there’s the matter of your questionable voting record in the Senate and your public distortions of that record. It seems every time you open your mouth, we hear a Republican. And there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what the people of your state want. So why not just stop whining and complaining and accept that you have a challenger who might not agree with you. Isn’t it the right of the people to decide whether or not they want someone who supports the occupation representing them? As for Hillary, I find it odd that she’s trying to tell all the Democrats to step in line behind her, and you’re telling them that “Democratic unity” is a dirty word.
It’s all very confusing, and I think the problem is the times we’re in. These are times where, to save the planet, to save the US, to save the middle class, to save our boys and girls overseas, and to possibly save the world from a new nuclear arms race, Democrats need some kind of unity, which is why Lieberman is facing a primary opponent. The question is, what kind of unity should the Democrats have? Where on the scale between left and middle-of-the-road should they reside? As far as I’m concerned, Hillary and the Democratic Leadership Council have been calling the shots in the party for the last several election cycles, and we all know how successful Democrats have been in the new century. As Markos Moulitsas of the Daily Kos noted a couple weeks ago on Meet The Press, “The reason Hillary Clinton isn???t necessarily well liked [as a candidate for president] is because she???s seen as part of the establishment, as part of the people that brought us the troubles that the Democratic Party is suffering today.”
Hillary Clinton and Joe Lieberman are not the future of the Democratic Party according to many Democrats, and not just because they support for the Iraq Occupation. They don’t represent the ingredients — the part of a solution to a strong, unified Democratic party that is capable of inspiring voters and winning elections. And as they say, if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. And if you think we’re all wrong, Mr. Lieberman, your energy will be much better spent trying to convince voters that you’re what they want in an elected leader rather than whining to anyone who will listen about the fact that you have a challenger and that Democrats aren’t rallying around your candidacy.