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Joe Lieberman Just Doesn't Get It

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Joe Lieberman is a Democrat. The reason I know that is because I remember seeing his name underneath Al Gore's back in the 2000 election. Plus, most times I see his name in print in the news, there's a "D" next to it. Otherwise, what is there about Joe Lieberman that would reveal that he's a Democrat?

To be honest, before the 2000 election when Gore selected him as his running mate, I had never heard of Joe Lieberman. I wasn't politically astute for most of my adult life, so I wasn't keeping track of each politician in each state. Then, in 2000, I was an instant Joe Lieberman fan because I'm a Democrat and he was on the ticket. However, in the years since Bush stole the election, I have been paying attention, and Joe Lieberman's true colors have emerged in my eyes. The truth is, Joe Lieberman is a Democrat in name only (DINO). Like Zell Miller (and your perverbial wolf in sheep's clothing), he's really a Republican.

Joe has constantly and consistently supported George W. Bush and the neo-conservative rush to war. In the years since, he's been a vocal supporter of the occupation of Iraq, insistent on 'staying the course', resistant of any kind of exit strategy, and altogether parroting the Republican talking points at every juncture. Joe Lieberman is not really a Democrat. Don't let that "D" next to his name fool you.

What Joe fails to understand...

... is that a vast majority of our country - (upwards of 62% depending on which poll you look at) of both Democrats AND Republican voters - are vehemently against this war in/occupation of Iraq. Those poll numbers are much higher when considering just Democrats. So why (pray tell), would any Democrat, especially one who was altogether screwed over by the lying, scheming, dirty, sleazy, scummy actions of the Bush crime family, be not only supportive of the unjustified war which we all know Bush rushed into with fabricated intelligence, but also supportive of Bush himself? George even kissed him on national television on the floor of the House following the State Of The Union speech.

Joe, what makes you think you could possibly win as a Democrat in a Democratic primary when you've actively campaigned against Democratic values and the Democratic platform, especially against another Democrat who does espouse the Democratic values? What have you been smoking?

The 'Ralph Nader' Factor

Seeing his poll numbers dwindling, Joe decided to fight to the end. He won't go away quietly when he loses his primary. He won't lose graciously. Noooooo. He's going to continue his quest for re-election as an Independent even after he loses the Democratic primary? Now, what could he possibly gain by continuing to campaign as an Independent after losing the Democratic primary?

There are two major parties in the United States political system. With only the rarest of exceptions, all of the elected officials will emanate from either of those two parties. Therefore, it is clear that anyone running for office who isn't from one of those two parties, is doing so for purely symbolic or egotistical reasons. Clearly they have no chance of winning an election, but they can get their word out, and they can get their face into the public eye. Is this Joe Lieberman's mettle - symbolic or egotistical?

There's one other reason Joe might be continuing his campaign as an Independent. Flashback for a minute to the 2000 election. While Democrats and Republicans can debate endlessly about whether or not Bush or Gore would've won given any change in the recount, the butterfly ballot, the sleazy voter disenfranchisement, and the like, there can be NO DEBATE that had Ralph Nader's name not been on the ballot, Gore would've won the election handily. Bush's 537 winning vote margin in Florida would've been easily overcome by the overwhelming majority of Nader votes which would've gone to Gore instead of Bush.

So, here's my question to you Joe. Are you trying to 'Ralph Nader' Ned Lamont? Clearly, since there's no chance you could win in November after losing the Democratic primary in August, I can't see that you would have anything else to gain in the November election if you ran as an Independent, other than to help the Republican candidate by taking votes away from the Democratic candidate.

You should just switch over to the Republican Party where you belong. Or, perhaps you feel you can help the GOP more by staying in the Democratic Party and just acting like a Republican. It worked for Zell.

If the Democrats lose this Senate seat after you basically act like a stinker, we'll be watching to see where you land. Maybe Georgie promised you an ambassadorship or some other plum job to help steer our country further down the sewer pipes. Just take discomfort in knowing that you'll have left your respect and integrity behind.
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Scott Shuster is a progressive columnist, publishing since May of 2005. His liberal ideology is a refreshing diversion from 'politics as usual' in Washington.
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