Democrats & Liberals Archives

One Defeat is Not a Purge

In Slate, Michael Tomasky makes a point I’ve been wanting to make:

At this minute, eight Democratic Senate incumbents who voted in favor of the Iraq resolution are seeking re-election: Cantwell, Hillary Clinton (N.Y.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Tom Carper (Del.), Herb Kohl (Wis.), and of course Joe Lieberman (Conn.), now as an independent. And of those eight, exactly one — Lieberman — faced or is facing a serious primary challenge because of the war.

Conservative critics have made this point too, saying that Lieberman was unfairly singled out because he is too "pro-American" or some nonsense like that. But these same people argue that there is no room for moderates in the Democratic Party anymore. You can't have it both ways. You can argue that the Democrats are fecklessly picking on one man, or you can argue that they are deranged Torquemadas driving out all of the non-believers, but you can't say both. And the latter case simply isn't supported by the facts.

If you are still convinced that there is a purge, consider that Cynthia McKinney was also defeated on Tuesday. Pretty much the opposite of Joe Lieberman in every way. Consider the moderate Democrats who are running in other races. Senate candidate Jon Tester is now tied with Conrad Burns in Montana. Montana. Do you think he is banging on a drum and singing "Give Peace a Chance"? Democrat Tony Knowles is poised to be elected Governor of Alaska. Obviously, the left-wing lynch mob hasn't got to him yet. The list goes on and on...

The fact that the MSM is going along with the inquistion/purge theory almost shows, dare I say it, conservative bias. Consider this: Rep. Ben Schwarz (R) was defeated in his primary this week largely because of his opposition to stem cell research. Now imagine that the MSM pushed the story line that the Republicans are purging politicians who support stem cell research. Republicans would be bouncing off of the ceiling with outrage at the MSM, and it would be entirely justified.

This misrepresentation of the facts, sadly, is not an academic point. About the last thing the Democratic Party needs at this point is the story line that it is becoming a party of hippie peaceniks. Yet this story is being promulgated by the allegedly liberal mainstream media. There is a danger of the media making a self-fulfilling prophecy. History may show that the Democrats blew the 2006 election cycle by carrying out an ideological purge. Which would be all the more tragic because the alleged purge didn't actually happen.

Posted by Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 7:32 AM
Comments
Comment #174770

Another op-ed making the same point. The pushback has begun.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 8:25 AM
Comment #174772

Point of clarification: I might seem to be arguing that one has to support the Iraq War to be a “moderate”. I don’t believe that this is the case.

In fact, people who supported an indefinite engagement in Iraq are finding themselves well on the pro-war side of public opinion. Which just reinforces that fact that any left-wing purge worth speaking of would be targeting all politicians who voted to go to war.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 8:46 AM
Comment #174773

Woody:

Personally, I don’t see it as a purge. That’s just political rhetoric speaking.

But I do see it as a push towards a direction for the Democratic party. They’ve done it in a reasonably safe place, considering that Connecticut will not likely fall into Republican hands. It will now either be Democratic or Independent (while caucusing with Dems). I doubt Dems would go after Ben Nelson in the same way, since their chances of holding the seat would be much lower out west.

I think that Connecticut is a signal, rather than a purge. Its a signal to Hillary that she better watch herself, and you’ll see her move more towards the anti-war side, beginning with her diatribe against Rummy. She’s tightrope walking, and she’s good at it.

One reason Conn is getting such notice is that the vote for Lamont was really a referendum on Lieberman’s support for the war. That was the single biggest issue. Lieberman supports a lot of Democratic issues, but not that one, and that’s the one that got him second place in the primary.

I think Joe will win in the general election. It will be interesting to see what people will make of that, if it happens. The spin now is that Joe’s loss shows the American people (as epitomized by the citizens of Connecticut) as against the war. If Joe wins the general election, the converse should be that the American people support those who support the war.

Posted by: joebgagodonuts at August 11, 2006 8:53 AM
Comment #174777

Speaking of Hillary, for a long time conservative bloggers were convinced that she couldn’t lose the 2008 nomination. Therefore, the argument went, the Democrats couldn’t win in the general election she is (allegedly) too liberal. Now the same group is arguing that Hillary is in trouble with the Left. So I guess that means she CAN lose the primary…

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 9:01 AM
Comment #174778

Woody,

I agree with your thesis, but I have a disagreement with a bit of your supporting data.

I agree that this is clearly not a purge, however, I don’t believe using McKinney’s defeat is relevant. Lieberman was voted out on idealogical terms. This is what the reps are using to support their arguement. McKinney was voted out because of her ridiculous behavior and race bating. That is altogether a different animal that is not relevant to this argument. As you know, this is not her first time losing her seat. For all concerned, good ridance to McKinney.

Lieberman’s defeat is not indicative of a purge given the success of the other Senators who voted for the war. Anyone claiming purge is all wet. You have a good argument, but leave McKinney out of it.

Posted by: Chi Chi at August 11, 2006 9:03 AM
Comment #174780

Ok, McKinney was probably the weakest part of the argument. My point was that if the Democrats were really ultra-left-wing someone like McKinney would probably be safe. She would be seens as someone who “speaks truth to power”.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 9:07 AM
Comment #174783

Woody,

Understood.

However, I would hope McKinney and her antics would never by safe. She and her ilk set racial tensions back decades in parts of the US. For whatever reason, I would hope either party would have the gonads to stand up to those who taunt for the sake of press coverage.

Posted by: Chi Chi at August 11, 2006 9:16 AM
Comment #174785

Lieberman’s loss says more about Conneticut than it says about Democrats. I ask those who think he will win in November why they think he can win a three person race when he was unable to win a two person race? Isn’t it possible that he will ciphon off voters who would have voted for the Republican, thus making a Lamont victory all the more likely? I keep reading that Conneticut has so many Independent voters. Independent voters tend to vote issues not parties and isn’t Lieberman’s stance on the issues closer to that of the Republicans? Isn’t that why so many of the conservative bloggers seem to support him?

Posted by: RMD at August 11, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #174786

“If you are still convinced that there is a purge, consider that Cynthia McKinney was also defeated on Tuesday.”

Yes indeed, she is the opposite of Liberman in every way but the comparison is apples and oranges. Liberman was defeated by a concentrated effort to remove a centrist from the party. Not toeing the party line was Liberman’s downfall.

McKinney was defeated for an entirely different reason. McKinney was defeated because she is a bigot and she slugged a cop while showing no real remorse. In turn, the party turned their back on her for these reasons. Character issues in essence were her downfall. McKinney’s political stand was not an issue for the new democrats.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 11, 2006 9:56 AM
Comment #174790

c-u-l,

Ok, you got me. It’s apples and oranges. But what about my other points? Why are other moderate Democrats still standing?

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 10:05 AM
Comment #174792

AP just released a poll with Bush approval at 33%.

http://www.forbes.com/home/feeds/ap/2006/08/11/ap2942820.html

True, the poll probably was taken before news about the foiled attacks got out. Still, even with a “bounce” it isn’t looking good for the Reds.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 10:16 AM
Comment #174797

Hey moderates have their place in our party.Most of these people voted for the war because we were supposed to go after bin laden then it turned into this mess.No one expected bush to lose his marbles and pull this stunt.I know we have our extreme left but I don’t believe our whole party will swing that way.

Posted by: Millwrightrice at August 11, 2006 10:29 AM
Comment #174799

IF THE WORLD CELEBRATES DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS IN IRAQ, WHY NOT CELEBRATE THEM HERE AS WELL?

My biggest issue with all of this is that our elected officials are doing their best to discredit one of the most fundamental bases of freedom, free elections. People want to invalidate Tuesday’s elections because it means one thing or another. No, it means nothing more than the people who won gained the support of the voters, while those who lost were voted to be less than qualified for the job. End of story.

People want to call into question these primaries because THEY perceive it to be supporting an “agenda” or “anti-American” sentiment. No, it represents what the voters believe.

Bush said, with regards to the Iraqi elections: “I congratulate every candidate who stood for election and those who will take office once the results are certified.” Why are they so suspect of similar elections held here? Why would anyone be aloud to degrade or ignore what the voters said with the collection of their votes?

It’s time to define people by their actions, not by their sound bites. People can either respect the American way of life with free elections, or they should be held accountable for their anti-American sentiments.

At the core of all this is Lieberman’s avoidance of the will of the voters in CT. They did not elect to have him represent them any more - but he felt he knew better than them, so he found a way to cheat the system. How much more anti-American can you get?

Posted by: tony at August 11, 2006 10:40 AM
Comment #174803

There is no purge going on in the Dem party.

McKinney was ousted because she was invisible until 2 weeks before the primary…and because noone, Dem or Rep, supports slugging a cop.

As far as McKinney being polar opposite from Lieberman, that’s not really true either. Apart from the Iraq issue, they pretty much voted the same. Lieberman was a bit more conservative, but not much.

Besides, Georgia voters got a “dyed in the wool” liberal that probably won’t be be shunned by the party. He’ll probably vote the same liberal line as McKinney did…he just won’t be slugging any cops.

It is interesting to note, however, that the only real difference between Lieberman and the rest of the Dems (by in large) is his stance on Iraq.

It is also interesting to note that elections are being decided by one isssue and one issue only. Either stem cell research or the war in Iraq or whatever…it’s one issue that seperates the winners from the losers. Watch this and see if it really is a trend or not. It will be interesting to watch.

Posted by: Jim T at August 11, 2006 10:54 AM
Comment #174804

The “purge” talking point is just another Rovian attempt at redirection. We all know :-) that the GOP has purged it’s masses of anyone even remotely RINO. Now, they have to convince the masses that the same thing is happening to the Dems. Thereby making the GOPer purge no-worse-than-them.

Posted by: Dave1 at August 11, 2006 10:57 AM
Comment #174809

Why are other moderate Democrats still standing?
Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 10:05 AM

The difference with CT is that there was a better choice. I couldn’t vote out a “moderate” Democrat if the only alternative is GOP.

Also some of the pro-war Dems are just plain ol’ champions on other important issues!

Posted by: ChristianLeft at August 11, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #174828

Woody-

Why are you surprised that the Republicans and conservatives are painting this as a Democrat move to the extreme? Had this been a pro abortion GOP candidate and the Republicans took him/her out you’d be saying all sorts of things about Theocrats and mean spirited right wingers.

Labeling and name calling, that’s just politics and it’s preferable to duels, wars, and other methods of settling disputes.

Jbod and JayJay already gave you the real answer: this race was a proxy fight for control of the party agenda. Progressives will set the direction for at least the 2006 and 2008 elections.

Posted by: George in SC at August 11, 2006 12:21 PM
Comment #174840

“But what about my other points? Why are other moderate Democrats still standing?”

Woody,

Turning the Titanic takes time. If the DNC leadership had their way, they would remove all the centrist I am convinced. You must admit that the DNC really concentrated their efforts on removing joe. Look at the last two candidates they have put up for the presidency. Look at who is running the DNC. That should be plenty of evidence.

Is this truly the direction the majority of democrats want to go? I don’t believe so but rather the DNC leadership is using the war issue to drive the party more to the left. Personally, I would like to see the party come back to their roots when I actually was a member. It may never happen.

Posted by: curmudgeon-at-large at August 11, 2006 1:01 PM
Comment #174844

tony,

At the core of all this is Lieberman’s avoidance of the will of the voters in CT. They did not elect to have him represent them any more - but he felt he knew better than them, so he found a way to cheat the system. How much more anti-American can you get?

Correction — the DEMOCRATS chose not to have Lieberman represent THEM again. The VOTERS - as a whole - have yet to be heard from. Even though the Democrats gave Lieberman his shot originally doesn’t mean that he has any obligation to follow their dictates now. It’s clear that he has support from many people outside of the Democratic party. Should he refuse to represent THOSE people, just because the Democrats don’t want him to?

Lieberman isn’t “cheating the system”. The party primaries, for all of their pomp and fluff, have absolutely NO Constitutional basis. The “system” involves an election, on election day, to choose the man or woman who will hold the office. Lieberman has chose to run in that election. How is that “cheating the system”?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 11, 2006 1:20 PM
Comment #174846

curmudgeon-at-large,

If the DNC leadership had their way, they would remove all the centrist I am convinced.

The Democrats and Republicans both! Neither party really wants to back a centrist. They’ll both accept them when they have no other option, but neither will embrace them. Just look at the last two presidential elections — both parties went about as polar as they could get.

It’s sad. The best men and women we have in Washington — the best representatives of America — are sidelined by their own parties. That’s why I hate primaries. They take the best candidates out of the running.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 11, 2006 1:32 PM
Comment #174847
You must admit that the DNC really concentrated their efforts on removing joe.

c-a-l,

I can’t admit that because it isn’t even remotely true. Bill Clinton campaigned for him in Connecticut. So did Barbara Boxer. So did Christopher Dodd. I know you guys all believe that Democratic establishment was cheering for Lamont, but that idea is a complete fantasy with no factual basis.

Now, of course, endorsements are coming in for Lamont, but that’s because he won. You can’t hold a primary and then pretend it didn’t happen.

George in SC,

It’s not just conservatives. It’s the MSM. Your scenario of the right-wingers taking out a moderate Republican incumbent has already happened, and hardly anyone noticed.

Rob,

Lieberman isn’t cheating. On the other hand, the “system” isn’t just what’s in the Constitution. Imagine what Republicans would have said in 2000 McCain had decided to run as an independent. Beliece you me, Bush’s primary victory would be invested with great significance.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 1:38 PM
Comment #174849

Woody Mena,

Lieberman isn’t cheating. On the other hand, the “system” isn’t just what’s in the Constitution.

You’re absolutely right. Unfortunately, the parties have established a “system” of their own, that the rest of the American people didn’t want, and didn’t ask for. And now the rest of us have to suffer through it.

It’s unfortunate that most of the best politicians in this country refuse to run unless they can first get the endorsement of one of two groups of far-wing jackasses.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 11, 2006 1:52 PM
Comment #174850

I got these second hand from a blog, but these are purportedly the results of a post-primary poll by Rasmussen Reports.

Lieberman 46%
Lamont 41%
Schlessinger 6%

I can’t check directly with RR because you have to be a subscriber.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 1:53 PM
Comment #174854

Woody,

Lieberman is ahead now but the understanding I get from my CT friends is that he really pissed off people during his very negative campaign against Lamont and his approval ratings as a Senator are on the way down too. If he goes negative again he will probably fail miserably. Also, he will be raked over the coals for his pro-Bush positions, without a real chance at defending himself other than “Yes, I am”.
My guess is he should be prepping for retirement.

Posted by: Dave1 at August 11, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #174855

When the media calls it a bellwether, it becomes a bellwether.

It seems like this primary has been blown way out of proportion to me. Isn’t this a matter decided by the people of Connecticut and their own state politics?

CNN Int’l. made such a big deal about it that it’s actually been printed in XinHua News. I’ve had to teach my Chinese friends what a primary is (b/c they’ve never heard of one before this).

The war is a national issue but the primary is an issue of local politics. There it stands. It should be understood as such.

Posted by: beijing rob at August 11, 2006 2:09 PM
Comment #174859

br,

Interesting. I had heard that Japanese media were covering the race because it was seen as indicator of how Americans view the Iraq War. Which is of course a pretty silly interpretation. I mean, yes, public opinion is turning against the war but that is a lousy way to measure it. I’m sure they would be amused if we used a tiny province to represent Japan.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 2:22 PM
Comment #174861

“Lieberman isn’t “cheating the system”. The party primaries, for all of their pomp and fluff, have absolutely NO Constitutional basis. The “system” involves an election, on election day, to choose the man or woman who will hold the office. Lieberman has chose to run in that election. How is that “cheating the system”?”

It’s cheating the system because Lieberman ran in good faith to represent the DEM party. He caused the state to spend quite a lot of money to hold a primary that he ultimately ignored. If he wanted to run in November, regardless of party, then he shoud’ve chosen to run as an IND from the start, and saved people a huge amount of resources.

Again - people continually want to run this country based of technicalities: Is what he did illegal? Is what she did cheating the system? No, that is the WRONG focus. It’s not about doing what’s “legal” - it’s about doing what’s RIGHT!

Look at what Lieberman did and his intent. He was told to retire after 18 years by the people who voted - and he ignored those voters because his own personal wish for power. That is “cheating” whether or not if fits within the written rules. His actions speak volumes on what kind of motivation he has for being in Washington - whom he is interested in serving… his own self interests.

Posted by: tony at August 11, 2006 2:33 PM
Comment #174864

tony,

What Lieberman did was simply attempt to get the endorsement of a special interest group (the Democratic Party) before running for office. He failed to get that endorsement. That doesn’t mean that he shouldn’t run anyway.

Why are you so opposed to Lieberman’s Independent and Republican supporters having the chance to cast THEIR votes? Why should only the Democrats decide whether he’s fit for office?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 11, 2006 2:43 PM
Comment #174868

Here’s some big news for the VOID crowd. According to Rasmussen (the free part), there’s YET ANOTHER INCUMBENT who could lose his primary: Daniel Akaka (D, Hawaii). They should him tied 47-45 with Ed Case . I don’t know much about him, but Time called him one of America’s worst senators.

No hope here for the R’s though. The Republican candidate is way behind and isn’t even campaigning.

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 11, 2006 2:50 PM
Comment #174872

“Why are you so opposed to Lieberman’s Independent and Republican supporters having the chance to cast THEIR votes? Why should only the Democrats decide whether he’s fit for office?”

Why? Because he agreed to expected guidelines when running in the Primary. He lost, and so he just ignored voters. Why can you not see the blantant disregard for the voters in his actions? It’s not about doing what you can get away with - at some point it has to be about doing what has honor. If our elected officials are so ready to ignore us, even when our votes are cast, what sort of democracy do we really have?

Posted by: tony at August 11, 2006 3:13 PM
Comment #174884

tony,

I read your post a couple times and it did not make sense…Politicians who run on party line agendas only are a joke. Lieberman ran on his own principles, not on someone else’s. He is running on what he believes. He thought he represented all of Connecticut. He still thinks that way. I happen to appreciate anyone who stands for what they believe and sticks to it, regardless of the political wind.

He tried it in the dem primary and lost by only 10,000 votes. He believes he can win and seeks to represent all of Connecticut as their Senator.

The vote that matters comes in November. I don’t think that Joe will continue running for senator if he loses that race.

Posted by: Cliff at August 11, 2006 4:20 PM
Comment #174885

Cliff -

Sticks to what he beleives? Seriously? The guy ran on the platform that “he really was a Democrat and that anyone who thought he was not was crazy. So, when the Democrats don’t want him, he ditches them for anyone else who might elect him.

He’s playing the voters trying to stay in power. It’s sad, and it’s desparate….

Posted by: tony at August 11, 2006 4:23 PM
Comment #174889

tony,

Other than party affiliation, name one issue where Lieberman has changed his stance in order to get elected. Can you?

Heck, he didn’t even chance stance on the party issue. He told everyone before the primary that he was running for the Senate whether the Democrats endorsed him or not. And he’s doing just that. I don’t see anything “sad” or “desperate” in his actions. The only thing that’s “sad” in my mind is that there are so many people who think you shouldn’t run without a major party endorsement.

The voters, as a whole, haven’t spoken yet. The only voters who HAVE spoken are the ones in the Democratic party. They told Lieberman that they don’t want him representing them in the November election, and so he’s not. But they have no right to tell him he can’t run for office without their endorsement.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 11, 2006 4:37 PM
Comment #174894

I love the idea that people will run without a major party endorsment… but that’s not the approach Joe took. He ran in the primary because he felt he was the best candidate for the Dems… when they told him what they thought - he just left for his own ambitions.

Odd that conservatives are the ones sticking up strongest for Lieberman…

Posted by: tony at August 11, 2006 4:49 PM
Comment #174897

tony,

What does
“he just left for his own ambitions” mean?

That makes no sense at all…

Posted by: Cliff at August 11, 2006 4:55 PM
Comment #174913

Cliff -

I can’t explain it any better than that. Joe left because his ambitions for power are more important to him that the will of the voters.

Rather than accepting the will of the party he continually expressed support for… rather than accepting defeat, Joe found his desire for power more important. No matter how anyone wants to spin the primary, Joe lost his bid. How he handles it is up to him. Of course he has the ability to run as an IND - there is no “sore looser” law in CT. That doesn’t mean he’s not a sore looser, it simply means he won’t own up the fact that he is not wanted.

So, let’s let the CT voters make up their mind - I already have (but I don’t vote there, so who really cares.) I’m guessing that Joe will get less than 15% of the vote in Nov.

Posted by: tony at August 11, 2006 6:03 PM
Comment #174929

Lieberman lost the nomination years ago. Like many of our elected officials the seduction of power, hubris if you will is all too seducing. Lieberman hearn loud and clear his constituants calls to end the Iraqi mess now morphing into civil war. Old Joe ignored the cry of the people relying on “his” insight, his perception of right versus wrong. Our representatives are placed in office by the electorate to represent THEIR will. The moment elected officials deny that basic contract they begin fermenting their own demise. Lieberman’s true character was revealed with his latest drivel justifying his actions using the crutch of the foiled airline attack. Joe give it a rest bud…it’s over so try and save some of your dignity at least.

Posted by: Gary Hankin at August 11, 2006 6:42 PM
Comment #174989

GIVE PURGE A CHANCE! GIVE PURGE A CHANCE!

Posted by: BillS at August 11, 2006 10:31 PM
Comment #174999

tony,

So the will of the Party is more important than the will of the People? That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 11, 2006 11:00 PM
Comment #175065

“So the will of the Party is more important than the will of the People? That’s what you’re saying, isn’t it?”

No, not at all. Joe is saying that the will of the candidate is more important that the will of the voters.

(It’s not the party that voted, it was the people. If we wanted the party perspective, the Joe would’ve won.)

Posted by: tony at August 12, 2006 9:22 AM
Comment #175072

Keep this in mind with the above post -

Who asked these voters for their opinion? Joe did. To ask someone for their opinion (and spend taxpayer dollars to collect that opinion) and the publicly ignore that opinion is extremely rude at best.

This has nothing to do with election law - it has everything with respect, decency and depth of character.

(No matter how hard the washer spins, it can never change the color of the shirt.)

Posted by: tony at August 12, 2006 9:44 AM
Comment #175076

tony,

You’re right… Lieberman asked the opinion of the voters — or, more correctly, of a select SUBSET of the voters, asking if they wanted him to represent THEM. They said no. So he’s not representing THEM.

Now he’s asking the voters as a WHOLE — ALL of the voters in his state. Why does that bother you? Shouldn’t all the voters be heard from?

Why should the Democrats be able to dictate whether or not this guy goes up for a vote? He meets all the qualifications necessary to run for the office, and has actually held it for many years. Just because one special interest group refused to endorse him doesn’t mean he shouldn’t run.

You’re saying that the voters have already spoken. I’m saying that only a FRACTION of the voters (those registered as Democrats) have been heard from, and that democracy demands that ALL the voters (or at least all those willing to go to the polls) have the chance to cast their votes.

You keep going back to the fact that the state has already wasted money on one election. That’s the problem right there — that the state is paying for a subset of the people to have their own private elections. Get the state out of the business of funding primaries, and we’ll all be better off.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 12, 2006 10:11 AM
Comment #175086

I’m not saying that all of the voters should get their chance to vote - but DEMs do not get the chance to vote for the REP primary… right? That’s because the candidates have a agreed to run in the primary, and winner will represent the party, and the loosers will take their defeat like adults. It’s not a legal agreement, it’s a gentleman’s agree men - like shaking hands on it. That’s what Joe broke, and it’s not a legal thing, it’s a character thing. He agreed to enter this race for the DEM party. When he lost, he simply tries to find another way to win. he can do that, of course, but it shows the lack of depth in his character.

Is anyone here foolish enough to not understand the agreement before running in a primary? When you run in a primary, you agree to allow the voters to decide who ends up in the ballot in the main election - and to step aside if you loose.

Again, it’s not about doing what’s legal, it’s about doing what’s right. Joe knew what he was getting into, he just couldn’t handle the truth when he lost.

Posted by: tony at August 12, 2006 10:33 AM
Comment #175093

tony,

You’re missing one key point — Lieberman never agreed to your “gentleman’s agreement”. He specifically told voters BEFORE THE PRIMARY that he was running for the Senate whether he got the Democratic party’s endorsement or not. And he stuck to that promise.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 12, 2006 11:10 AM
Comment #175096

OK, so before the final vote, when he saw he might loose… he changed his mind. But that’s not where this agreement took place. The agreement took place when he agreed to run for his Senate seat as a democrat and knew he would face a primary election against Lamont. At the point he agreed to continue to run in the Primary, that’s when he agreed to play by the known rules of running in a primary.

My children love to play this game: ask mom if they can have a snack. When she says no, they come and ask me. Of course, there’s no problem with asking dad for something, that’s always OK. But when you ask me after being told no by mom - that’s a problem that means someone gets a timeout.

Posted by: tony at August 12, 2006 11:39 AM
Comment #175102

tony,

The difference is, when you ask mom, she has full authority to end it there. The Democratic Party doesn’t have that authority (thankfully), nor should they. Your analogy clearly breaks down in the important areas.

Here’s how I see this. Before any election, candidates fight for endorsements from a variety of interest groups — labor unions, religious groups, minority rights groups, etc. Just because a candidate fails to get a specific endorsement (say, the AFL-CIO), does that mean that the candidate should drop out? By seeking that endorsement, is the candidate agreeing not to run if he doesn’t get that endorsement? Of course not!

So why should seeking an endorsement from the Democratic Party be any different? Why should the Democratic Party have that power when the AFL-CIO, NAACP, Catholic Church, NOW, ACLU, ADL, and hundreds of other large organizations don’t? Why should their endorsement be a requirement to run for office?

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 12, 2006 12:05 PM
Comment #175107

Rob -

It has nothing to do with the Democratic party or any group at all, for that matter -

It has to do solely with what Lieberman agreed to, and what he did when things did not go his way. I think it’s a systemic problem in DC - that winning is more important that honoring you promises and the needs/opinions of you constituents.

It seems that you feel Lieberman has every right to do whatever it takes to win his election - I say that the simple fact that he so easily ignores the agreements he has made in the past immediately qualifies him as the exact type of politician who needs to be removed from power.

It is you own choice as to what actions you will foster by those you support - and it is mine choice as well. The voters in CT has spoken once, and they will speak again… but that will not change my opinions of Joe.

And - btw - he did agree to the “gentleman’s agreement” by signing the papers that made his candidacy for the DEM primary official.

Posted by: tony at August 12, 2006 12:20 PM
Comment #175175

tony,

It seems that you feel Lieberman has every right to do whatever it takes to win his election

No, but I do believe he has a right to RUN for election — a right that you would deny him without party support.

This has nothing to do with my personal opinion of Lieberman. I’ve been opposed to the Iraq war from before Day 1, and so disagree strongly with Lieberman on that issue. But I still recognize that he has a right to run for office, and, with the support that he has, I believe it would be unfair for him to allow a subset of the voters to decide the fate of his campaign. I’d rather have the whole population of his State defeat him than have him quit because a select group of elitists told him to.

Posted by: Rob Cottrell at August 12, 2006 7:30 PM
Comment #175420

O’ that the people of the great Empire State would smarten up and pull a Lemont on that warmonger carpetbagger named clinton. That’d be the day! That’d be the day. Throwing Clinton under the bus’d truly restore my faith in the American people again.

Posted by: Anthony Mason at August 14, 2006 10:34 AM
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