Saturday, July 29, 2006

losing joementum

If Mr. Lieberman had once stood up and taken the lead in saying that there were some places a president had no right to take his country even during a time of war, neither he nor this page would be where we are today. But by suggesting that there is no principled space for that kind of opposition, he has forfeited his role as a conscience of his party, and has forfeited our support.
If Ned makes it first past the post on primary day, every incumbent will shudder in horror at this sudden outbreak of politics in the electoral system. After all, most campaign finance regulations (like the so-called 'anti-millionaire amendment') are designed expressly to prevent strong primary challenges and discourage amateurs from being involved in politics. More than just a hefty cash on hand, candidates will need to run a smart campaign like Lamont, who is fighting back against Slick Willie trying to lend Lieberman the reputation he was all too willing to besmirch for Beltway bona fides by convincing voters to vote for him and not just against Boltin' Joe.

Soon it will be the people who were against the war who will be blamed for Iraq descending into chaos. If this election is a choice between 'a new direction' and 'stay the course', it is hard to see how the incumbent pro-war social conservative Senator represents a new direction. And it has been Lieberman giving cover to this nascent wave of revionism with his anti-libertarian comments about not criticizing Bush. The fact that it is painful for him to say he is a Democrat and only now he is picking up the incompetency dodge to obliquely attack Bush shows how clueless his whole campisgn has been. Here's the true crime of 'bipartisan' pretensions:
In his effort to appear above the partisan fray, he has become one of the Bush administration’s most useful allies as the president tries to turn the war on terror into an excuse for radical changes in how this country operates.
As a great counterpoint to Lieberman's bumbling, Blue Dog Democrat Jane Harman has staved off a primary challenge in California based on her pro-war votes. Rep. Harman could have been in Joe's position but she made a bold countermove, creating a Kos diary and not shying away from the oft-acrimonious debate. If she had imperiously whined about the indignity of it all and the need not to question the commander-in-chief in a time of war, she could be witnessing the House version of the Connecticut Senate race, but now her race will be a stroll. But maybe the pit to be dug out of was bigger to begin with. For instance, I now respect Jane Harman enough not to see her seconding AG Gonzales' assertion that the Geneva Convention is 'quaint' or defending Abu Ghraib with a 9/11 reference or claim thatthings are just peachy between the Tigris and Euphrates.

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