Thursday, December 15, 2005There is a movement afoot to challenge Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary next year, or even to support an independent (and the man Lieberman beat in 1988), Lowell Weicker. This idea only needs one word to describe it - ludicrous. Idiotic. Moronic. Ridiculous. Bone-headed. Okay, maybe it takes a bunch of words, but they are all synonyms. You get the point.
I will pretend, however, to treat this notion as a serious one. First, while Lieberman's defection on high-profile votes is annoying, he is scarcely a DINO (Democrat In Name Only). According to the National Journal, his 2004 ratings show him to be 62% liberal on economics, 55% liberal on foreign policy, and 82% liberal on social issues. He's certainly no Ted Kennedy, but he is hardly a Rick Santorum. Challenging him is just gratuitous. It applies a liberal litmus test to Democratic candidates - a great way to remain a minority. Lieberman is what we call a "moderate." Now the last time I checked, we need people of this sort to win a majority. Remember, the object is to win control of the Congress next year. Challenging sitting members of our own party is a pretty deranged way to do that.
It's a silly notion not just because Lieberman doesn't deserve this treatment, but because it's simply counterproductive. Challenging him is just as likely to drive him away from liberal positions as pull him toward them. And the contest will waste precious resources we will need to win back the Congress next year. There are several vulnerable Republican House members in Connecticut - how about we focus on them instead? Or as Dr. Brazen Hussy has said, "I'm fine with 'us vs. them' politics as long as we don't forget who 'them' is. "
Challenging Lieberman is pointless anyway, because he has a 60%-70% approval rating. You are just not going to knock off an incumbent Senator with ratings like that. And what would the opposing campaign's message be? He's not sufficiently liberal? Not exactly a persuasive attack.
Let's be honest. This is really all about Iraq. Joe Lieberman is a hawk on the war and it pisses off a lot of dovish Dems. But if we're going to kick every Democratic who voted for the war out of the party, we'd better get ready for 100,000 years of Republican rule.
So let's stop wasting time on this nonsense and get back to more important matters, like eating christmas ... er... festivus cookies.