Mr. Lieberman’s supporters have tried to depict Mr. Lamont and his backers as wild-eyed radicals who want to punish the senator for working with Republicans and to force the Democratic Party into a disastrous turn toward extremism. It’s hard to imagine Connecticut, which likes to be called the Land of Steady Habits, as an encampment of left-wing isolationists, and it’s hard to imagine Mr. Lamont, who worked happily with the Republicans in Greenwich politics, leading that kind of revolution.Joe Lieberman had a number of problems. Perhaps foremost was his own hubris which he war like a badge during the primary campaign and even more in his concession speech where he conceded nothing. His other problem wasn't the war but his enabling of a dangerously incompetent administration. A majority of the Democrats now see the writing on the wall and are running from Joe. On the other hand Joe's real friends, the neocon wingnuts are running to defend and help him.
The rebellion against Mr. Lieberman was actually an uprising by that rare phenomenon, irate moderates. They are the voters who have been unnerved over the last few years as the country has seemed to be galloping in a deeply unmoderate direction. A war that began at the president’s choosing has degenerated into a desperate, bloody mess that has turned much of the world against the United States. The administration’s contempt for international agreements, Congressional prerogatives and the authority of the courts has undermined the rule of law abroad and at home.
Yet while all this has been happening, the political discussion in Washington has become a captive of the Bush agenda. Traditional beliefs like every person’s right to a day in court, or the conviction that America should not start wars it does not know how to win, wind up being portrayed as extreme. The middle becomes a place where senators struggle to get the president to volunteer to obey the law when the mood strikes him. Attempting to regain the real center becomes a radical alternative.
The New Republic, the Wall Street Journal and the right wing blogs are on the surface jumping for joy and predicting the death of the Democratic Party. When the DLC's Marshall Wittmann returns from R and R I'm sure he will join them. But one has to wonder if deep down inside they too don't see the writing on the wall and are simply trying to cheer themselves up.