Third Party & Independents Archives

Lieberman and the Referrendum

For the past few months we’ve been subjected to the details of the Democratic primary race in Connecticut. I’ve seen many who were against the war in Iraq point to this election as a validation that their position was the majority now, including pointing to polls supporting their position. But are they really right?

The primary election was much closer than many had thought, Lamont won by a few percentage points. But he did win, so what does that mean concerning the war? Well, had Lieberman not decided to run as an independant, it have most definitely pointed to that position being a majority one in a state that is arguably one of the most liberal in the country.

However, the story isn't over. With Lieberman running as an independent and there being such a large number of self-proclaimed independents in the state, new polling is now telling us that he is ahead at this point in time. Perhaps that tells us that Lieberman's position, that our fight against terrorism is a real one and must not be abandoned, in a state that is so liberal, is actually closer to the majority position in the United States than the left of the Democratic party would have us believe.

To further point to the issue, it appears now that Lamont is discussing firing his campaign staff that got him elected in the Democratic primary and hiring a new staff that will help him get the message out that he is more of a centrist than he appeared to be in the primary. And the far left of the Democratic party is outraged.

The issue relating to the war in Iraq is a divisive one indeed. But it is not a black and white one as many on the left and right of the aisle are deluded into thinking. Many agree that Saddam was a brutal dictator who waged war on his own citizens to retain power, supported international terrorism abroad, had showed continued defiance to the US and the international community for over a decade and may indeed have had left over or newly created WMDs. Coupled with the knowledge that he considered himself still in a war with the US and vowed to fight the US until he could no longer, it is not hard to understand why so many people believed that action against Iraq was necessary.

But, after blowing through the country so quickly and not securing a reasonable peace in the area, eventually getting bogged down in the 'afterwar' that is more bloody and deadly than the war that ousted Hussein was, many are thinking we shouldn't have been there that long after deposing Hussein. And that while we shouldn't 'abandon' the Iraqis as we did when they first revolted after our encouragement, that we should be scaling back our presence quickly and letting Iraq learn to stand on their own. What to do NOW is the issue many are concerned about and divided over much more than the issue of going to war in the first place, but many are trying to make the two issues one and the same.

No one should allow 'groupthink' to dictate their opinions on this topic. We should all be examining the facts and putting them in contexts with what we knew when to come to the conclusion on what we should be doing now and in the future. I am aghast with the administration for how it has completely bungled the handling of the 'afterwar'. But I am not about to let that opinion convince me that we shouldn't have ousted Hussein much like we ousted Milosovich in the 90s for much the same reasons. Don't let the partisans on either side confuse you about the issue, it is OK to believe that the war was necessary but the handling is bungled OR that the war wasn't necessary but now that we are there we should stay until we can provide appropriate security.

Those two opinions are both completely valid in this era of anti-war and stay the course politics.

Posted by Rhinehold at August 17, 2006 4:32 PM
Comment #176170

I, for one, have always maintained that this race was being overinterpreted. It is silly to use this one race as an indicator of what the entire US public thinks about the war. Anyone on the left who made that argument was wrong.

Right now, all we can really work from our polls. And I think all of the polls vindicate the idea that the public is turning against the administration on Iraq. If the Democrats take over the House, as many are predicting, then I think Iraq will have a lot to do with it.

Joe Lieberman is just one tiny piece of the puzzle.

Just an incidental comment, but I find it funny how people play up Lamont’s “small” %4 margin of victory in the primary. Bush won by 3% last time. I guess he just squeaked by, eh?

Posted by: Woody Mena at August 17, 2006 5:10 PM
Comment #176176

In a word - Yes! They are right. All evidence points to it.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 17, 2006 5:28 PM
Comment #176177

Rhinehold, he is ahead because of some Democrats and Most Republicans. Did you notice the Rep. candidate polled only 4%. That means all the rest of the Republicans polled sided with Lieberman. That is why Lieberman is going to lose. Well, that, and the fact that Most Independents in Ct. oppose the Iraqi Civil War occupation by the U.S. as well.

The gap between Liberman and Lamont will close over the next 8 weeks, and when Lamont’s campaign comes out in the last 3 weeks hammering the fact that Republicans are voting for Lieberman, Lamont will pull ahead in the polls (assuming he campaigns that way, of course.)

And don’t discount the anti-incumbent sentiment which is still growing with many more persons and organizations climbing on the bandwagon.

Posted by: David R. Remer at August 17, 2006 5:32 PM
Comment #176189

I’d like to second Remer’s remarks above - Lieberman has vastly higher name recognition than Lamont right now. I wonder how much money Lieberman has in his war chest, since name recognition is one of the things that money can definitely buy, and since I wonder how effectively Lieberman can fundraise as an independent.

I also agree with Mena that this race is being overinterpreted, and I also think this is win-win for the Democrats.

Posted by: Arr-squared at August 17, 2006 6:24 PM
Comment #176353

Whel will voters finally get tired of all this minutia, since it really all serves to prove, once again, how petty, irresponsible, and self-centered politicians are.

What will it take for voters to understand the problem and the solution?

Only after obtaining sufficient education.

And, pain and misery is a good teacher, and we are on the right path to guarantee that lesson is on the way.

Posted by: d.a.n at August 18, 2006 6:16 PM
Comment #176367

Rhinehold, I like how you articulated your view pre and post war. Execution is the issue, however, I don’t think it should define the administration as clearly as it does.

There should be nothing wrong with respecting or appreciating successes within any administration. And maintaining a balanced opinion of the good and bad. We need more of that to move the country together in the same direction.

Posted by: Edge at August 18, 2006 7:52 PM
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