Maybe. Maybe not. Lieberman has been one of the worst of the DINOs, Democrats in name only, and coming from a strong blue state, he's had no good excuse.
While the mainstream media may be saying his loss is about his war stance, I think its about his zealous centrism, his DLC-to-the max failure to stand up to Bush, to Republicans in solidarity with fellow Democrats.
The real reason Lieberman is being fired is because his "employers," the people of Connecticut, want someone who will represent THEM and not some DC beltway insiders and lobbyists. Lieberman has earned the enmity of the liberal blogosphere because he reminds us too much of Zell Miller-- a Democrat who went to the dark side, who ended up totally rejecting the Democratic party, going a bit nuts in the process, culminating in his hate Democrats speech at the 2004 RNC convention.
WaPo writer Dan Balz says,
"Although there are reasons beyond Lieberman's strong support for the war and what critics say is his accommodating stance toward Bush that have put him in trouble, the results will be read largely through the prism of what they say about Iraq and Bush's popularity."
But he skirts around the most important reason. The people of Connecticut are rejecting all the leaders of the Democratic party who are backing Lieberman. They are rejecting the weak, indecisive fearful inability of the Democratic party to commit to tough stands-- on the war, on Alito's appointment, on Bush's authorization of spying on Americans....
Lamont will, rather than owing the Democratic senate leadership, come to the senate as a relative independent. He'll be primed to become the leader many had hoped Obama would have been. Too bad Obama drew Lieberman for his freshman mentor. Actually, he didn't "draw" Lieberman. He was probably very intentionally appointed the most conservative Northern Democrat as one more way to neutralize his independence and left leanings. Expect Lamont to be assigned a conservative Democratic mentor too. He should make it clear, before he is elected, that he won't accept one. He should pick his own mentor. The hell with letting the leaders who tried to sabotage his campaign appoint one for him.
A Lamont win sends a message to the Democratic party that they and their leaders backed the wrong man, the wrong policy. The big question is, will they learn something from this? Will they change their ways?
One thing it should do is strengthen the position of those Democrats who have been independent, who have rejected the calls for Centrism that the Clintons have echoed again and again. Russ Feingold should come out stronger.
Lieberman has been an enabler. He has, by his chumminess with Bush, with Sean Hannity and too many Republicans enabled Bush, Cheney and the right wing cabal to dangerously degrade our constitutional rights. This fall, the failure to be a reality based leader will cost many politicians their jobs. The failure to stand up for the values of America and the constitution will cost political jobs.
Americans are looking for strong, honest leadership with integrity. Joe Lieberman thinks he's a good guy, an honest man. But his collusion with the "enemy" on the other side of the aisle doesn't fit with what is needed for the Democratic party's future. His hewing to the center, at the price of party loyalty has made him a traitor to Democratic unity and to defense of constitutional rights too many times.
Democrats need to stick together. They need to focus on the "to" in "to"gether and clearly define a direction.
The answer should not just be to get out of Iraq. The answer should be make good decisions based on reality, not extreme right wing theories. Democrats need to come out as being willing to fight, but preferring to work things out, preferring building roads, schools, hospitals and space stations rather than handing money over to Halliburton, the US military and its dead-end projects with failed planning.
Then there's the elephant in the room. Lieberman is being rejected because he's acted too much like a REPUBLICAN. Tens of thousands of Connecticut voters have switched their voter registration from Independent to Democrat so they can vote AGAINST Joe Lieberman. This is a clear sign that the people are very angry and fed up with REPUBLICAN policies. It's a sign the Republicans are in big trouble in two months. It will take a massive distraction to save them and tens of millions of voters already believe the Bush administration would stoop to any means to create that distraction.
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