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The Message in the Coming Lieberman Defeat: It's More than the War

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This piece is time-sensitive. And as it might have an impact, I'd call it time-urgent.

This piece, I am hoping, could help to pre-empt the media from defining the message of the election in those terms that continue to protect and serve the Bushites. Conceivably it might also help to inspire the Connecticut insurgency to come out Tuesday in greater numbers.

If, when you read it, you also believe this piece could serve some useful purpose, I hope you will help to disseminate it ahead of Tuesday's primary. Especially if you know people who might be able to spread the word in Connecticut itself, that could be valuable.

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The Democratic voters of Connecticut apparently about to reject Senator Joe Lieberman in Tuesday's primary-are poised to send the national Democratic Party a message. And the media are poised to help the Democrats, and the nation as a whole, to misinterpret it.

It's all about the war in Iraq, the media will tell us.

But this over-simplification obscures the heart of the matter: that citizens are not only opposing the war but are struggling for a way to deal with America's present deeper crisis.

A former advisor to Lieberman, quoted in a recent article in The New Republic, explains why rank-and-file Democrats are furious with Lieberman but not with his fellow war-supporter, Senator Biden: "Here's somebody [Biden] who voted for the war, continues to say that we should be there, but is absolutely critical of Bush and how he handled it. And so, as a result, he gets a pass. It's how Lieberman talks about the war that people can't stand. He comes across as not necessarily being pro-war but being pro-Bush."
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So it's not ultimately about the war, and we must not allow ourselves or the public to be otherwise persuaded. It's about this particular president and all the damage his regime is inflicting on America. It's Lieberman's being a help and a support for the Bush presidency that's given rise to this grassroots rage against him.

By rejecting Lieberman, Connecticut's grassroots Democrats are seeking to send a message to their party about how appalled they are at this Bush presidency, and thus also at any Democrat who does not understand how profound a threat this regime is to all they hold dear.

The same Democrats who oppose this war are also, and most fundamentally, appalled by the dark and dangerous nature of this regime that now rules our country.

They are appalled by the power grab, and the dismantling of the Constitution and the assault on the rule of law.

They are appalled by the debasing of our national discourse by this regime's shamelessly deceitful and manipulative tactics.
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They are appalled by the Swiftboating of anyone who stands against them, the smearing of opponents from John McCain to John Murtha.

They are appalled at the scent of fascism, and they worry about the future of our democracy.

They are appalled by the use of so much power to engorge those at the very top at the expense of everyone else, but especially of the most vulnerable.

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Andy Schmookler, an award-winning author, political commentator, radio talk-show host, and teacher, was the Democratic nominee for Congress from Virginia's 6th District. His new book -- written to have an impact on the central political battle of our time -- is (more...)
 

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