Lieberman's core problem was not even his support for the Iraq war. It was his eagerness to challenge the legitimacy of fellow Democrats who have called attention to the administration's mistakes. Lieberman, confident of Democratic support, seemed to crave the affection of Republicans most of all.But then he blew it at the end.
A Lieberman loss next week could also create distracting problems for Democrats. Lieberman has said he would run as an independent if he lost the primary. This would divert national attention from the Democrats' central goal of making this fall's elections a referendum on Bush and the Republican Congress.Dionne said that much of Lieberman's problem was his pandering to Bush and the Republicans and then said that opposition to Lieberman would distract from the goal of making the mid-term elections about Bush. No D.J., a vote against Lieberman is a vote against Bush.
While Jonathan Alter indicated that he still didn't get it on Monday by Thursday CNN's Jeff Greenfield did.
As the world of the neocons continued to collapse into chaos E.J. Dionne wrote that the conservative movement was indeed collapsing but he thought it was because they had lost momentum but does not really mention the fact that the ideology has been a total failure. Steve Soto did an excellent job of clarifying the issue.
More likely, a Lieberman loss will force the media to acknowledge that the war is not just an issue for the crazies, but for a large part of the country as well. More than half of the country now wants our troops out of Iraq in 12 months. More than half of the country thinks that Bush has no clear Iraq policy, definition of victory, or idea of how to get out. And the polls have shown for months that a majority is now against the war, thinks the war has done little to make us safer, and is not worth the losses we have suffered. But now that a member of the Beltway elite like Lieberman is staring down the prospect of being bounced from office over the war, the media or punditocracy suddenly no longer ascribes his opposition to crazy leftists but rather to a more broadbased and growing opposition to this war.
Similarly, if Lieberman loses next Tuesday, watch the Beltway Democrats change their tune as well. There will be more challenges of Bush over foreign policy and Iraq, and the messaging will be a little bolder. Democrats may actually crawl out from under their rocks and regain their spines, all at Joe's expense. And if that happens, then we can thank Joe for something after all.
On Friday Joe Lieberman said that Rumsfeld should go and indicated he had been saying that for some time although there is no evidence of that. Also on Friday Lieberman's neocon DLC buddy, Marshall Wittmann, all but threw in the towel.
So where does this situation leave the Moose? He is an economic progressive, cultural tradionalist and a hawk - a mammal without a party who continues to graze in the political center.Also on Friday long time Iraq war cheerleader, Thomas Friedman threw in the towel on the debacle in the desert.
Note - The Moose will be recharging his antlers and will return to this space in a couple of weeks.
It is now obvious that we are not midwifing democracy in Iraq. We are baby-sitting a civil war and it’s time to “disengage".
On Saturday, in an effort to salvage the failed neocon ideology, Bill Kristol continued the it's all Rumsfled's fault meme. In the process he endorsed Joe Lieberman, not for the Senate race but for Secretary of Defense and then Republican VP.
That brings us to Sunday and Dan Baltz's piece in the Washington Post, Conn. Race Could Be Democratic Watershed.
Should Lieberman lose, the full ramifications are far from certain. One may be to signal immediate problems for Bush and the Republicans in November, but another could be to push Democrats into a more partisan, antiwar posture, a prospect that is already adding powerful new fuel to a four-year-long intraparty debate over Iraq.And yes Hillary already got the message.
Strategists say the Connecticut race has rattled the Democratic establishment, which is virtually united behind the three-term incumbent's candidacy, and will force an uneasy accommodation with the newest, volatile power center within the party.
"This sends a message to all Democratic officeholders," said Robert L. Borosage of the liberal Campaign for America's Future. "You're going to have a much tougher Democratic Party."
That could be felt most acutely by Clinton, who polls show is the early front-runner for the 2008 nomination and who has drawn criticism from what are known as net-roots activists for opposing a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Clinton appears to have gotten the message, as she demonstrated with sharp questioning of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld at a Senate hearing on Thursday.