More noteworthy than Ned Lamont’s defeat of Joseph Lieberman is the loony left’s and Democratic leadership’s puffed-up reaction to it. I say give them more rope and let them completely hang the party they’ve hijacked.
Many are acting surprised at the Democratic Party’s readiness to throw Lieberman overboard. They shouldn’t be.
Lieberman’s 90 percent liberal voting record isn’t good enough for the monomaniacal antiwar fringe. Complete obedience is required. No belligerence toward terrorists can be tolerated; all venom must be reserved for President Bush and the neoconservative cabal.
While Joe Lieberman was good enough in 2000 to join Al Gore on the national ticket, he probably wouldn’t even be allowed in Jimmy Carter’s prestigious box at a Democratic National Convention today, unlike the rabid Michael Moore, who has rooted for the terrorist insurgents against American troops in Iraq.
No matter how loyal Lieberman has been to the party, he violated the cardinal rule against showing civility to President Bush. Worse, he supported him on the War on Terror, Iraq Theater — a truly unforgivable sin. Didn’t he realize that all interests, including America’s national interests, must be subordinated to the overarching agenda of hating and demonizing President Bush? Well, he’ll realize it now. Or will he?
While Republicans are falling all over themselves praising Lieberman, they, too, should be careful not to turn into single-issue advocates. While Lieberman’s support for the war in Iraq against the oppressive Democratic tide has been admirable, let’s not forget just how liberal he is on almost all other issues, from taxes and abortion to guns and Kyoto.
Nor should we overlook how Lieberman was virtually forced to behave as the election approached to ensure a respectable showing against his anti-Bush primary rival. He made clear he was no Bush-lover and certainly no conservative.
In a speech at the East Haven Community Center two days before the election, he couched his remarks in terms chosen to clarify — above all — that he was no Bush lapdog. He “opposed the Bush ban on stem cell research.” He opposed the “Bush constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage.” He “opposed the Bush bankruptcy bill” and “the president’s efforts to undermine affirmative action.” He “stood with my fellow Democrats to oppose George Bush’s plan to privatize Social Security.”
Let’s not lose our heads and pretend Lieberman’s a conservative — such as with the Weekly Standard’s toying with the idea of his running as a vice-presidential candidate on the Republican ticket in 2008. There are plenty of national security hawks on the Republican side who are also conservative on economic and social issues.
I respect Lieberman for doing the right thing on national security, but his post-election posturing shows how even honorable Democratic politicians are willing to pander in a desperate effort to avoid permanent ostracism by liberals.
Let’s keep our eyes on the big ball. This isn’t about Lieberman, but the Democrats’ steadfast refusal to support the good guys against the bad guys in the War on Terror and their excommunication of anyone in their ranks who dares to buck their thought police.
While Republicans are pointing to the Democrats’ purging of Lieberman as proof they’ve marginalized themselves as the party of Cindy Sheehan, Democratic operatives and leaders are boasting about the development and what it portends for 2006 and 2008.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid says he is more confident than before Lieberman’s defeat that Democrats can recapture control of the Senate. Sen. Chuck Schumer joined read in saying, “The results bode well for Democratic victories in November.” Sen. Kennedy called the election a “clarion call for change.”
But these Democrats, perhaps unwittingly, are just reinforcing what we’ve been saying about them: They have no constructive solutions and no policy agenda other than to oppose and trash President Bush and “his war.” Reid and Schumer admitted as much when they essentially dismissed Lamont’s role in the election, saying it was “a referendum on the president more than anything else.”
Liberal Slate magazine confirmed this Democratic mindset in an article following the July debate between Lieberman and Lamont by conceding that “Lamont is less a candidate than he is a conduit” for the expression of displeasure against Lieberman for supporting Bush on the war.
Hopefully, Democrats will continue to glean the wrong message from this election and believe they can rely exclusively on an anti-Bush wave to carry them to victory instead of resuming their long lost role as a credible party offering an alternative agenda. Such ill-begotten and delusional smugness is exactly where we want them to be going into 2006.