Campaigning in Connecticut, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman, who lost Tuesday's Democratic primary and is now running as an independent, said the antiwar views of primary winner Ned Lamont would be "taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England."Enough is enough. As Ron has previously pointed out, it may be unknown at this time whether or not Joe intends to go all the way with his independent run, but I believe that it's time for Harry Reid, Howard Dean, the Clintons, Chuck Schumer and a number of other influential Democrats to sit themselves down and pen a very serious, important letter to Joe Lieberman. While they don't need to endorse his plans, they still need to treat him seriously and put something on the table that he can sink his teeth into. I believe that the letter should be something very close to the following:
We, the undersigned, want you to know that we do understand how you are feeling following the CT. Democratic primary election and that it's not too late for us all to share in a viable future. Joe, you have been a solid member of the party for decades and, while your views in recent years have certainly run contrary to many members of the party, they are your own and we respect that. Democrats are not homogeneous across the nation - party members in Alabama often feel very differently and take different stances than members in Maine. And they, in turn, hold different positions than members in California.
But the one thing they have in common is that they are all Democrats, and we all need to keep in mind that our many purposes are best served when everyone works for the common goals of the party. Say what they will about their so-called "big tent", the Republicans are still the party of the rich elite, while the Democrats are still the party of the people, representing the poor and middle class working individuals who comprise the majority of this nation. The last six years of GOP dominance in Congress have brought this nation to a terrible state, with individual liberties at risk, the living conditions of regular working Americans deteriorating and, of course, the horrible state of affairs in Iraq and the wider Middle East which continue to send home the children of these families in body bags. It's time for change. It's time for common sense to prevail. And any action you take to damage our hopes for such change is not only unfair to your Democratic constituents in Connecticut, but to the people of the entire nation. You know that in order to take control of the legislative agenda during this crucial period of the nation's history we need to capture a net gain of six seats in the Senate. It's going to be a difficult struggle as it is, and taking a solidly Democratic seat in Connecticut and switching it out of the "D" column and into an independent (or even worse, Republican) seat would be disastrous.
It was a close race and you are to be congratulated for the spirited effort you put into it. But the voters have spoken, Joe, and this time they chose Ned Lamont. We ask you to remember that we backed you all the way in this battle, as true party leaders should. We pushed huge amounts of money into this race and sent our very biggest guns in to campaign for you. It made a difference. You came back from a double digit deficit, pulling to within four points of victory. But it wasn't enough. Now it's time to step back and look at the larger picture, placing the good of the party (and, in fact, the nation) ahead of any personal goals.
Nobody is saying that you need to retire or drop out of politics completely. Nor do you need to be bowing and scraping in front of Ned Lamont nor even endorsing him by name. All you really need to do is "leak" out information about a couple of private meetings between you and Ned. Then, while still saving face, you could announce that, while you and Ned still have sharp differences in certain areas, such as foreign policy, you realize that Ned does indeed support many other important positions which are vital to Democratic voters. You could gracefully exit the race throwing your support to "the elected candidate of our party."
Following such a selfless, positive action, there are many opportunities which still await you. After we get these mid-term elections out of the way, we can talk about positions for you with the national party committee, fundraising or strategy positions... very high profile stuff. And who knows? Were you to relocate to another state where our Democratic voters hold views on foreign policy closer to your own, we could even help you challenge a GOP Senate seat in an area which may hold a voter base more closely matched to your own ideology. The possibilities are there, Joe, and you can still be an important player for our team at a vital time. All you have to do is take the first step and reach out and grab them.
Then, of course, if Joe does that, once the mid-term elections are over they should throw him under a bus.