Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

I don't understand this argument

Here it's from Digby, but I've seen it many times elsewhere, including Daily Kos.

This is getting stupid. The NY Times is creating a false impression about the netroots support for Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman as an expression of anti-war fervor. I think that is missing the greater point.

There are quite a few Democrats who voted for the war. They certainly have some work to do to convince many of us that they have seen the light. But the reason the netroots are taking on Joe Lieberman is because he enables Republicans on a host of issues and consistently shows disloyalty to the party in a hyper-partisan era.

Here's what I don't understand: While it may (or may not) be true that many people dislike Joe Lieberman because of the stupid way he does politics (going on Fox News to tear down other Democrats, etc.), isn't it better to have the Times covering Lamont's candidacy as an expression of antiwar sentiment? I mean, there's no principle behind partisanship per se, just a strategic calculation that partisanship is necessary in the current political environment. Yet at the same time I read everywhere that Democrats don't stand for anything convincingly. Shouldn't we be glad when the mainstream media cover the Lamont candidacy as an expression of principle rather than tactical politics? Doesn't this demonstrate that grassroots Democrats DO stand for something, even if it's only a single issue in this case (i.e., the Iraq War is bad)?

Tags: politics, Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont


  • At 3:00 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    I'm guessing that Digby et al want to avoid being framed as soft on the war on terror... Even though everybody hates the war in Iraq and it has nothing to do with 9/11.

    That's just a guess, though.

  • At 10:04 AM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    I don't think so. Paul Krugman argues the same way (illegally reproduced here.) I think the lefty grassroots narrative really is about Joe Lieberman as propagator of right-wing ideas, and I don't think that message is going to resonate with many people.

    Joe Lieberman the oily self-promoter might. The fact is, he really does lack principle. This is a man that voted against cloture on the bankruptcy bill (as many Dem Senators did)--but then voted against the bill itself and put a press release on his Senate Web site about how it's odious and hurts people.

    But most resonant of all would be principled opposition to Lieberman, not opposition born of partisan loyalty and a distaste for his personal flexibility. See, I think it's highly, highly unlikely that Lamont will win the Senate seat. If he has to, Lieberman will bolt the Democratic Party, run as an independent, and almost certainly win. That could actually be very good for Democrats in the long run, but only if it helps define Democratic positions more clearly: Democrats stand for X, Y, and Z, Joe Lieberman doesn't, and that's why he had to go. That would begin to fix Dems' "don't stand for anything" problem. If it's just about Lieberman personally, the Lamont candidacy is a feel-good waste of time.


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