The Fletcher Memorial Home for Incurable Incumbents

|

As Tim Cavanaugh pointed out, early results in Connecticut (here) and Georgia (here) suggest that Sen. Joe Lieberman and Rep. Cynthia McKinney are both on their way out of Congress—both by bigger margins than anyone predicted. And both of them are going out with as little class as possible. McKinney is screaming about fraud that doesn't actually sound that bad.

One voter went to vote and my name didn't appear on the ballot. The voter went and complained, and then when she went back to cast her vote, my name was on the ballot.

Reason contributer John Tabin IMs: "Gee, a woman couldn't find a name on a screen, and then someone pointed to where it was. Bull Connor lives!"

Meanwhile, Lieberman spent the day claiming that evil bloggers had destroyed his website, and now plans to run on the … oh, this never gets old… on the "Connecticut for Lieberman" ticket against Ned Lamont.

UPDATE: It's 10:54, and Lieberman's campaign is quietly conceding the race and hinting that Joe will launch his independent campaign tomorrow. The only excitement left is to see whether Lieberman uses his concession speech to declare himself the winner of a two-way split decision for first place.

NEXT: Vinegar Joe trails in early returns

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. I was almost hoping Lieberman would pull it out in the end. I don’t know who is more annoying, Lieberman himself, or the “netroots” and other bloggers who get so misty-eyed over the prospect of Ned Lamont.

  2. Now I’m almost hoping Lieberman wins in November, just so we can print his name with a (CFL-Conn.) after it.

  3. I think truth in advertising would require us to print (R-Conn), regardless of what ticket he runs on…

  4. I was almost hoping Lieberman would pull it out in the end. I don’t know who is more annoying, Lieberman himself, or the “netroots” and other bloggers who get so misty-eyed over the prospect of Ned Lamont.

    I hate Lieberman for sentimental reasons. During the 2004 election he made some statement about how people with Judeo-Christian values were better than the rest of us. And his stupid freakin’ orthodox faith. Apparentley he can use the phone on his holy day but only if someone else dials the number. Wanting to regulate Hollywood. And of course, his support of this rediculous war.

    And one more thing. He acts as if Connecticut voters have no right to vote him out. That just because he’s been around for a while that everyone should just move out of the way and give him a free ride.

    Needless to say I am no fan of the “netroots” but they have a right to be involoved and vote this ass out of office.

  5. jesse, you have confused me once again — when did the argonauts draft joe?

  6. JAT,

    Right after Ricky Williams went down. Joe may be old, but his Senate experience has made him quite elusive.

  7. Doug Flutie would totally be “Sen. Flutie (CFL – Mass)” if he ran.

  8. Were you taking bets David?
    Joe is coming back.
    Joe Diamaggio, Joe Nameth, Joe Montana.
    Never bet against a Joe coming back.

  9. And the Argonauts needed someone to balance out Ricky Williams, and who better than an upright, moral man like Joe? He will never be caught out in a drug test…

  10. peachy, the first time Ricky gets busted with a fattie, Joe will be in front of the cameras saying the league should suspend him.

    You don’t want someone like that blocking for you.

  11. Well, I see Joe as more of a special teams wizard than a lead blocker or a lineman – maybe a punt returner. But I can see how he might not be considered an ideal team-mate by someone with Ricky’s recreational proclivities (and there’s a euphemistic phrase that can cover a lot of ground.)

  12. Excuse me, before I was rudely, at work here, cut off I will now complete my sentence to my first post;
    “Never bet against a Joe coming back in sports. As for politics who knows.”
    Got it.
    Joe win anyway?

  13. Actually, this is all Joe Libermans fault from his mistake in 2000.
    Joe ran at the same time he was running for Veep.
    He then campagins on values and ethics.
    Well running for two offices at the same time isn’t greedy, then what is it?
    If he wins the Veep, a Republican Governor appoits a Republican to serve the next six years.
    Joe fucks his neighbors.
    Or if they have to hold another election, not cheap, same thing.
    By running at the same time for two offices, he shows no confidence in Al Gore. He stabs him in the back.
    If Joe Lieberman said I am coming back as Veep or not at all, he would be Veep right now.
    I remember that and thought what a G’d hypocrite he was. (And Al Gore a coward for not asking him too)
    Joe you deserve what you got.

  14. I don’t understand the argument that Lieberman running as an Indepedent (or CFL or whatever) means that he “acts as if Connecticut voters have no right to vote him out.” He has every right in the world to run for office under whichever banner he chooses (except for claiming falsely to be the official candidate of a party when he is not). Even in Connecticut, the winner of a Democratic primary isn’t the anointed winner of the general election. I don’t care for Lieberman at all (in fact, he creeps me out), but the man can run for the Senate whether the Democrats in CT want him to or not, and the registered voters will have their say in November.

  15. Michael – I think the grumbles about Lieberman’s third party bid have a lot to do with his being one-half of “Sore Loserman” a mere six years ago. That and that his splinter party is called “Connecticut for Lieberman,” and not the more humble “Lieberman for Connecticut.”

  16. Fair enough, but it’s still weird to hear people gripe about someone running for the Senate and, on appearance, continuing the campaign because he truly believes that he is the best candidate for the job. Also, I guess it’s hard for me to get upset when someone decides to put the screws to either major party, since I am neither a member nor a fan of them.

  17. I don’t understand the argument that Lieberman running as an Indepedent (or CFL or whatever) means that he “acts as if Connecticut voters have no right to vote him out.” He has every right in the world to run for office under whichever banner he chooses (except for claiming falsely to be the official candidate of a party when he is not). Even in Connecticut, the winner of a Democratic primary isn’t the anointed winner of the general election. I don’t care for Lieberman at all (in fact, he creeps me out), but the man can run for the Senate whether the Democrats in CT want him to or not, and the registered voters will have their say in November.

    That wasn’t my argument. From many different reports Lieberman was pissed at his party for not getting a cakewalk through the primary.

  18. If I had gotten my act together I would be selling bumper stickers right now that read Clean House, Clean Senate

    Instead all I got was this lousy t-shirt

  19. Chalupa, if that is why Lieberman is pissed, then he should be labeled a whiner. He can still run if he wants to, though. Now, there are reports that Senate Democrats are trying to get Chris Dodd to pressure Lieberman not to run as an Independent. I could understand why he’d feel kinda sold out. At the same time, the Dems obviously need to look out for their party as a whole. It would be quite the monkey wrench into the Dems’ works if Lieberman wins despite the official nomination and concomitant fundraising going to Lamont. Strange dynamic there.

  20. I guess Connecticut isn’t a state with a “sore loser” law? In some states, if you lose a primary, you can’t switch parties (or, in some states, races) to keep running after your loss – like what may be happening to Ney’s handpicked successor in Ohio.

  21. Lieberman lost this election because he couldn’t admit that we’ve lost in our efforts to stabilise Iraq. Now he can’t admit that he has lost.

  22. Michael, Chalupa, et al.:
    I completely agree that Lieberman has every right to run under any banner he chooses, with any funding source he wants. And something that many of us here lament is that it’s either the Ds or the Rs if you want an office, so a man choosing another way is theoretically a good thing. What makes this case so distasteful, however, is Joe’s whiny, you-owe-it-to-me insistence that he just by-God ought to be Senator, and his claims of interference, discrimination, etc. by the Lamont campaign have all the gravity of a spoiled child. I am, as others here, also not much of a fan of the self-satisfied netroots, but many, many of Joe’s comments throughout the campaign rubbed me very much the wrong way. Add that to the pious exclamations by the right as to how wonderful Joe is and how sad the primary challenge was for democracy made me view this as an insiders vs outsiders battle, and it was about damn time one of the insiders lost.

  23. rah62: His team in CT worked it out. He has something like 2 days to qualify for an independent bid, which his campaign already has all ready to hand it. I’m not sure if it’s a concidence of the calendar or what, but it turns out, I think, that the deadline to run as an independent was right after the primary, so he could run either way.

  24. Hmmm, many polls suggest that Joe could very well win in the general election in November. Playing Devil’s Advocate here, do you honestly think that Lamont’s supporters won’t whine and claim that Lieberman unfairly took the election from him if he runs as an “Indepedent Democrat” and wins? I doubt it. I supported invading Afghanistan and did not support invading Iraq, and I think Lamont’s victory tonight showed that DEMOCRATS in Connecticut agreed with me and disagreed with Lieberman’s views on Iraq. However, the general election is the one that determines who goes to Washington, and Lieberman should be able to run. He is certainly self-righteous, but I expect no better from the Lamont crowd if he loses in November.

  25. Torrent, I know that – I read the news. My comment was about CT’s apparent lack of a “sore loser” law.

  26. Michael,

    The problem with Joe running as an indy once he lost the primary is that it hurts the Democratic party both locally and nationally – it opens the door to a “Dems don’t have their house in order” line of attack and it splinters the party. Other Dems need to choose between whether to support an incumbent that is well liked vs the official party nominee chosen by the CT voting base (with rather high turnout I might add). Now if you don’t give a shit about the party its not a big deal. But Joe is a national / prominent Democratic figure. Plus he has spent a good deal of his campaign assuring the voters that his is a good and loyal democrat.

    While I agree that Joe Loserman certaily has the right to run as an indy if he so chooses, doing so
    puts his own personal career / ambitions above the good of the party (and arguably, the country) at a time when the Democrats are poised to possibly take control of one or both chambers of Congress and maybe put real checks and balances back to our government.

    If he would have decidded to run as an Indy from the get go and avoid the primary altogether, that would have been understandable. Parties though have primaries. That’s the system we have, and Joe is a member of the party. People are quite justified in criticizing Joe for essentially wanting a do-over if his party failed to realize he is what’s best for CT and the Dems nationally (he has pledged to caucus with the Dems if he wins his Indy bid).

  27. Now, I don’t give a shit about the party, but leaving that aside, wouldn’t it be incumbent (pardon the pun) upon Lieberman to run if he TRULY believes that A) Lamont would be bad for the country and the Dems if he would win; and B) he could do a better job?

  28. Michael,

    Yes, Lieberman has every right to run as an independent and may feel that getting himself into the Senate matters more than getting a Democrat there. However, if he truly believes that and considers his connection with the Democratic Party transcient enough to prefer vague identification with it rather than its actual institutions, candidates and policies, then he ought to have decided to forgo the Democratic nomination process and to file as an independent months ago.

    If the Lamont campaign wants to say that Lieberman’s decision to run as an independent is inappropriate, they could do so based upon the fact that he will be running as neither an independent nor a Democrat. He will not be running within the context of the Democratic party, and he will be forming a new party. As such, if he wants to campaign using the legacy of the Democratic Party, then he can’t admit that the Democrats of his state didn’t want him and that he wants to use their name to challenge his decision.

    Lieberman needs to stop trying to have his cake and eating it too. Of course, he has once before rejected such calls.

  29. *use their name to challenge THE DEMOCRATS’ decision. (I apologise for the typo.)

  30. wouldn’t it be incumbent (pardon the pun) upon Lieberman to run if he TRULY believes that A) Lamont would be bad for the country and the Dems if he would win; and B) he could do a better job

    It could be considered principled if he wasn’t an incumbent dem, hadn’t just lost a primary and ran as an indy from the begining. In this case, the party rejeted him as their candidate.

    In our democracy voters are supposed to choose their candidates, not have that choice made for them by someone who knows what’s good for them.

  31. Lets not forget Bill Clinton’s contribution.
    Bill campaigned for Joe high, and for a primary, wide.
    The result, Bill has yet to put someone over the top since he has left office.
    It maybe a minor factor in this case but don’t underestimate it. There are still a lot of rich Catholics in Connecticut, and rich Catholics are the most moral Catholics.
    Chances the MSM will mention Bill? Zero.

  32. Terry,

    Much of the coverage that I’ve seen, including that of ABC News, has mentioned Bill Clinton’s support for Lieberman. This was primarily brought up in the context of the factions of the Democratic Party that support or oppose Lieberman and the fact that Bill Clinton is the only very successful Democratic Presidential candidate since FDR.

    I doubt that the “moral” vote of “rich Catholics” responding to Clinton mattered much. Those who vote based upon “moral values”–as if principled opposition to war was not a vote based upon moral issues–tend to be Republicans anyway. It is my understanding that while Connecticut election law makes it easy for independents to declare a party affiliation shortly before an election, those who already have a party affiliation must make changes far in advance. Also, those who do feel compelled to vote based upon so-called “moral issues” would certainly not be inclined to vote against an extremely religious candidate who loves to praise various policies of an extremely religious president.

  33. ChicagoTom, if I believed that primaries are the same as general elections, I’d agree, but I do not believe that. Besides, if we are appealing to democratic instincts, wouldn’t it be more of an affront to prevent Lieberman from running in the general election if he can win it by means of being the most appealing to the candidate to the most voters of Connecticut? Lamont being more popular amongst Democrats is one thing, but the citizens of the state as a whole make the more important final decision.

  34. Michael,

    I don’t want to run around in circles with you.

    Whether or not you personally agree with primaries or not is irrelevant, the reality is that is how parties nominate their candidates. Joe wants to remain a Democrat (as indicated by his rhetoric) but the Dem voters in his state don’t want him.

    To repeat, if he would have skipped the Dem primary and ran as an indy from day 1 things would be different. But he chose to run in a primary as the Dem nominee and the Dems said thanks but no thanks to him.

    No one is arguing that it isn’t his right, but to pretend that what he is doing is anything other than an selfish attempt to retain power and somehow represents the good of the party is nonsense.

    If you want to argue that there shouldn’t be primaries at all and everyone should just run in a big general, thats one thing. But there is a primary system and he voluntarily participated, and lost. If he had class he would support the Dem nominee and agree that either of them would be better than a Republican. But he didn’t. He excersized his right to have no class and be a sore loser — yay for him!

  35. I agree with Michael. Everyone seems to think that a party nomination means more than it does. If anything, the primary process hurts voters by eliminating good, capable candidates simply because a subset of the voting population deems it so. I wouldn’t vote for Joe (nor for Lamont) but I think the state of connecticut makes out in this deal. They get another good candidate.

  36. One more thing about this race. I remember watching Inside Politics or some other CNN show a year or two ago and Bob Novak was talking about how some bloggers were trying to mount a challenge to Lieberman in the primary. Him and the host laughed it off and mentioned what a long shot it was. I remember sitting there thinking “If only…”

    That’s another reason why the results tonight are so satisfying to me.

  37. Tom, if you think it is a classless move by Lieberman, you’re probably right. Still, Connecticut Democrats feeling this is classless is NOT the same as having their “choice made for them by someone.” The Democratic Party made their choice. It’s only fair that the state as a whole gets to make theirs.

    P.S. It was also classless when Lieberman ran for Senator and Vice President at the same time in 2000, but you have to blame the rules in such a situation.

  38. Michael – you have to blame the rules in such a situation.

    No, you don’t. Bob Dole had quit the Senate in 1996 after he won the GOP presidential nomination. Lieberman isn’t uniquely self-obsessed – Lloyd Bentsen and LBJ also ran for re-election to the Senate whil running for VP – but that doesn’t mean he’s not self-obsessed.

  39. It’s only fair that the state as a whole gets to make theirs.

    No one claimed it was unfair to the state of CT.

    Who it is unfair to is CT Democrats.

    And while its Joes right to run, it would be equally fair if this gets him stripped of commitee assignments and lost his seniority and any leadership positions within the caucus.

    Joe wants to have it both ways, but he shouldn’t get it — if you run as an indy against a Dem, you shouldn’t get to keep seniority/appointments in the party where their voters rejected you and you circumvented their will.

  40. There’s nothing I like more than seeing an incumbent lose (regardless of their party), but what’s really sad is that Lieberman stands a good chance at winning the general election.

    Yeah, he has the right to run for office, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is a pathetic public official that believes that he deserves his office, just because he’s been it for a long time.

  41. There’s nothing I like more than seeing an incumbent lose (regardless of their party), but what’s really sad is that Lieberman stands a good chance at winning the general election.

    One thing I am going to enjoy watching is all the Democrat Lieberman supporters in the Senate having to answer the uncomfortable “who will you support now?” question.

    I bet a lot of Dem senators are gonna publicly support Lamont — and things could get ugly in this race.

    If I were to take a very wild guess though, I think Lieberman will lose a 3rd party bid. Lamont had been polling competitively in the last 3-way polls I had seen, and depending on how much Lieberman gets hammered as selling out the Democratic party I wouldn’t be surpised if a lot of primary Lieberman voters switched to Lamont in the general. Lamont only will really need to also attract the moderate vote in the CT general to win, and if high profile Dems help out, that shouldn’t be that hard to do

  42. With the Republican nominee having at best a libertarian’s chance in the general election, Joe’s going to nearly sweep the Republican votes. Talk radio has been a nearly non-stop Lieberman lovefest the past few days.

    For Lamont to win in November, a whole bunch of folks who voted for Lieberman today will have to switch candidates.

  43. This will be the first — and last — time I ever say the following:

    Those of you who do not live in Georgia, I feel sorry for you.

    The walking circus that is McKinney did not dissappoint. First the inevitable claims the election was stolen came from some of her supporters (goddamn, does no one accept defeat anymore?), then her security staff starts beating up reporters (it was even caught on tape! The local NBC afiliate showed it!), and then…out of nowhere, after an awkward amount of stalling, before giving her concession speech she throws on this Pink song & starts singing along to it.

    It was much more entertaining than Leno ever could’ve been. Here’s the coverage of that beautiful mess, enjoy…

  44. “And while its Joes right to run, it would be equally fair if this gets him stripped of commitee assignments and lost his seniority and any leadership positions within the caucus.”

    Agreed here. If he is willing to leave the official state party, he should also be willing to reap the consequences in Washington. If Lieberman REALLY wanted to fudge with people, though, he would have switched party affiliation and run as a moderate Republican. He’d probably stay popular with indepedents and almost assuredly would win a Republican primary against Schlesinger or whomever else the CT GOP could throw up against him, and then head into a two-man showdown with Lamont. Good Lord, what would happen then?

  45. From a recent issue of The New Yorker:
    “Lieberman?s seat was up that year, and he decided to run simultaneously for senator and Vice-President. Lyndon Johnson had taken out a similar insurance policy forty years earlier, but there was a difference. The governor of Texas in 1960 was a Democrat, so when Johnson resigned his Senate seat after the election a Democrat was appointed to replace him. The governor of Connecticut in 2000 was a Republican. If Lieberman had made way for the state?s popular Democratic attorney general, Richard Blumenthal, who would have won easily, and if the Supreme Court had allowed Gore to take office, then the new Senate would have split 50-50, with Vice-President Lieberman breaking the tie in favor of the Democrats. But, by insisting on having it both ways, Lieberman single-handedly guaranteed that the new Senate would be Republican?either by a 51-49 margin under a Gore Administration or (as it turned out) by the tie-breaking vote of Vice-President Dick Cheney. This was more than just routine political expediency. It was what was known that year as a character issue.”

  46. Sorry, I should have included the author of those words. It was Hendrik Hertzberg.

  47. Here’s a nightmare scenario: The Dems get to 50 seats in the Senate. If Lieberman caucuses with them, the D’s will organize the upper house. Of course, Joe* could cut a deal with the Reps if they only get to 49. (49 (R) + 1 (CFL) + VP Cheney = 51) On the gripping hand, Linc Chafee could imitate “Jumping Jim” Jeffords and cross the aisle, assuming he survives his own primary challenge on September 12. What fun.

    BTW, I hold no truck with “sore loser” laws. The government shouldn’t be involved in primaries, anyhoo, not running them, paying for them, nor setting their rules. Political parties are private associations, and regulating them violates our first amendment guarantee to freely associate.

    Kevin

    *Not “Vinegar Joe.” That was Genl. Stilwell, and makes as much sense as “Sugar Ray” Leonard.

  48. Nice headline reference…

  49. I didn’t know that every Joe made a comeback in sports…

    I think L.T. has something to say about that.

  50. But how does the latin american meat-packing glitteratti come out after all of this? And it’s doubtful the two losers will be appearing to themselves on closed-circuit TV, considering their divergent bases of support.

  51. I’m sure this is giving Lieberman too much credit, but couldn’t he view himself as representing more than just the Democrats in Connecticut? In other words, that he knows that there are independents and Republicans out there that will vote for him in the general election? After all, once he wins, he represents Connecticut, not just Democrats in Connecticut. In theory, of course. In theory.

    Query: What happens if Lieberman wins, but he’s pilloried, tarred and feathered, and otherwise abused by the Democratic Party during the general election? Will he really stick with them in the Senate after that?

  52. Pro,

    Joe is still a liberal but so are a few Republicans like Snowe and Chafee. I think if he wins as an independent and the Republicans hold a majority in the Senate he probably throw his lot in with them and causes the Dems a few problems. Still though, the incumbant club is still the incumbant club and he knows it was the nutroots not the Democratic Party establishment who beat him in the primary, so I can’t imagine him being too terribly hostile to the Dems in the Senate. Also, I don’t think he will be abused that badly by most Democrats. There are a lot of them who don’t want the lunatic fringe running the party.

    Thank God Cynthia McKinney got beat. It would have been a truly sad day for the country if on the same day the Dems kicked out Liberman they allowed McKinney and her 9-11 conspiracy theories to stay.

  53. A few months ago, when Lamont announced his run, I mocked him believing Lieberman too much of an institution to ever be knocked out in a primary. Let me take this opportunity to say that apparently I was completely and totally WRONG.

    I have before me a bottle of steak sauce and a piece of headgear. I will now eat my hat.

  54. In our democracy voters are supposed to choose their candidates, not have that choice made for them by someone who knows what’s good for them.

    And this is the problem with Democracy – that adults have such a simplistic and naive view of the world. “Voters are supposed to choose…” “Not have the choice made for them…” Who is this mythical voter? And why is it that every person I’ve ever “chosen” has never won? What does it mean to “vote” but never actually get what you voted for? And if you do get what you voted for, is that any better?

    Grow the hell up. Democracy is a process whereby certainly people are designated leaders, and others are not. The process itself has to be credible, in some sense, but the particulars don’t matter. In this case, if Lieberman runs and wins, the country isn’t going to collapse. So let him do it.

  55. The Democrats didn’t seem to have a problem with Perot running as a third party for President in 92 and 96 and they certainly would have cheered McCain had he run as a third party in 2000. Fair is fair, if more people in Connecticut want Lieberman to be Senator then there are that want Lamont, they should have a right to vote that way. A lunatic fringe should not be able to deprive people of the Senator they want. If it wasn’t a lunatic fringe who elected Lamont, then Lamont will win the general election anyway and what is the harm?

  56. Would that it were Foster’s Home for Imaginary Incumbents.

    Kevin

  57. *use their name to challenge THE DEMOCRATS’ decision. (I apologise for the typo.)

  58. The Democrats didn’t seem to have a problem with Perot running as a third party for President in 92 and 96

    Right, because Perot ran as an indy after trying for a major party nomination and failing ?? As for McCain, he didn’t run as an indy, he bowed out after his party said “no thanks” — so let’s not speculate on would have’s ok.

    Joe ran and lost as a Dem in the party’s nomination process. He could have left the party and ran as an indy when the state party held its vote and cast 30 % of their votes with Lamont forcing a primary.

    He could have made a principled pitch at that point citing disappointment with Dems for forcing a primary and his ability to reach out to moderates and conservatives and declared as an indy right then. He probably would have cruised to victory in Nov. and avoided the ugliness. But he didn’t…..he chose to run for his party’s nomination and was rejected by the voters.

    Now he wants a do-over. Yes he has the right to run, but its unpricipled and its classless and to pretend otherwise is disingenuous. And his decision deserves all the scorn and derision it gets — and hopefully he gets stripped of his committe positions and leadership positions within the Democratic party.

    A lunatic fringe should not be able to deprive people of the Senator they want.

    Lamont got 115,106 votes.
    Lieberman got 104,753 votes.

    In a Dem primary in august — where record numbers of independant voters switched their affiliation to Dem just to vote in this primary.

    I don’t think lunatic fringe means what you think it is. Unless you mean that being a Dem in CT inherently makes you part of the lunatic fringe, in which case your comments are just shrill partisan nonsense.

    Lamont and his supporters are in the fucking mainstream of American public opinion about the war, yet asshats like John try to paint them as fringe. Fringe are the Bush is God crowd — you know the remainging 35% of Americans that approve of the job he is doing.

    If it wasn’t a lunatic fringe who elected Lamont, then Lamont will win the general election anyway and what is the harm?

    Well if Schlesinger wins because Lieberman/Lamont split the vote — that would be harmful. Maybe not in your eyes, John since you are a rabid partisan.

    I am always sratching my head. If lieberman is such a liberal and such a better choice for Dems, why is it always republicans who are the ones talking him up and supporting him?

  59. In perfect world, Lamont, Lieberman, and Schlesinger would be in a three-way tie for Not Even Close to Winning. Lieberman is a creep, Lamont appeals to (yes, lots of them are) the loonies in his party, and Schlesinger seems like a nice country club-type Republican (whatever happened to them?), and he’s a UPenn grad, so good on him (although he also seems to have had a gambling problem in the past). Was there even a Libertarian primary or caucus to send out a candidate?

  60. John,

    No one expected Ross Perot to demonstrate loyalty to the Democratic Party and respect for its voters.

    Joe Lieberman, on the other hand, has spent the last six months proclaiming what a wonderful, loyal Democrat he is.

    ChicagoTom,

    Another way of asking that is, if Republicans are so certain that a Lamont victory would be a disaster for the Democratic Party, then why were there no Republicans talking him up? Why no repeat of the “Green Republicans” scam from Pennsylvania?

  61. Well, I’m dubious about how much hay the Republicans can make out of the Lieberman loss. Connecticut is hardly a typical state–even among states that typically lean Democratic. Lieberman was unusually outspoken in favor of the war, which made that more of an issue than it would be for most other Congressmen.

    I think it will get some play as yet another indication that the Democrats are dominated by the leftward fringe, but that’s probably no more true than the idea that the GOP is controlled by the religious fringe. Both groups get lip service from their respective parties, but neither really calls the shots as much as the opposition likes to pretend.

    joe, if Lieberman says he’ll remain true to the Democrats in the Senate if he prevails, does running as an independent alone make him disloyal to the party? He may think Lamont is the anti-Christ, er, anti-Messiah, who needs to be forestalled by any legitimate means. He may also think that there’s nothing inconsistent about holding his various positions and being a Democrat. In that, I rather agree–both parties really contain quite a bit of variance in views within their tents.

  62. David: Nice Pink Floyd reference!

  63. What else is interesting about Lamont’s victory is that it might spell doom for the net neutrality side. And not just because Lamont is a cable exec who’s so far managed to keep quiet on the issue, but also because it could send Dems over the edge.

  64. Pro Lib,

    “joe, if Lieberman says he’ll remain true to the Democrats in the Senate if he prevails, does running as an independent alone make him disloyal to the party?”‘

    By running, he could well tip the race to the Republicans. Acting as a spoiler, handing what would certainly be a Democratic seat to Republicans just because the Democrat in question isn’t himself is very disloyal.

    The closest antecedent to this is the “third party” run of George Wallace in 1968. Just like Joe Lieberman, he was perfectly comfortable with handing the election, and power, to the Republican Party, because that party was a lot closer to his beliefs than the Democratic party he left.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.