Posted by FleshPresser at 12:01 AM /
The Professor posted at 8:47 AM
I have been pondering this whole thing over the weekend, and I think the Dems are at risk of walking away with the wrong message from this PRIMARY election.
As it stands now, Lieberman leads in a race for the general election. That means that Lieberman is the best candidate to represent the state of Connecticut. His views, overall, seem to match more closely those of the general populace of the state.
Why should he not run as an independent?
It also is no surprise that Lamont acknowledged that he would accept the outcome if he were to lose the primary? Why? Because sitting as he is out in the left, he did not appeal to a large enough base to mount a successful campaign as an independent.
I hate giving advice to the Dems, and I hope they ignore me, but to learn from this that an anti-war campaign is the way to win elections beyond a primary is going to result in failure.
FleshPresser posted at 6:57 PM
Glad to see you haven't run away from PTF... :)
So, you ask why Lieberman shouldn't run as an Independent?
Well, here's why... he LOST. He ran, as a DEMOCRAT, in a DEMOCRATIC Primary election, and a majority of DEMOCRATS voted against him.
If he knew that he was the "right candidate" and that he would win as an Independent, then I would have had more respect for him if he simply disavowed himself from the Democratic party, dropped out of the race, and went in as an Independent candidate.
But Lieberman has ALWAYS been a man more in love with himself than his Party. He has always hedged his bets.
When John Edwards was asked to join John Kerry as the VP on the 2004 Democratic ticket, Edwards relinquished his seat in the Senate to focus on the race.
When Lieberman was asked to join the Gore ticket in 2000, he continued to campaign for both the Presidential ticket, as well as his Senate seat.
Combine this with his continued failed campaigns running his own Presidential election, and you come up with a man who simply adores power... not the ideals of the Party.
If you think Lamont won on a single issue, then you're simply buying into what the media feeds you.
The war issue was a big one, and the Democratic party needs more and more voices who will vocally oppose the Bush Administration's status quo approach - which happens to mirror a LARGE majority of Americans across the nation, by the way. Democrats will take confidence with this primary election that a candidate can speak out against President Bush's arrogant and misguided policy of the status quo in Iraq and know that the time has COME where this is now the MAJORITY opinion, and they will not be labeled as "treasonous" or somehow "unpatriotic" for voicing the opinion of finding solutions to bring our troops home and resolve our involvement in Iraq once and for all.
But if Republicans think that it's as black and white as a vote on the "anti-war" movement, they are naive and will be packing their bags.
This was a referendum on George Bush and the Administration - and by and large, those Republicans who are up for re-election have realized this and are running as far away from the President as they can.
Those who do not will suffer similar losses to Lieberman in the primary, except this time, it'll be the GENERAL election.
Trust me, these seats are viewed on a case-by-case basis - at least by me.
Lieberman votes 90% of the time with Democrats, and on issues which I support. If I can support a candidate who will give me a better voting record than that, AND won't provide political cover for the Bush Administration and Republicans, then I'm going with the other candidate, as I have for Lamont.
That, however, doesn't mean that ultimately it's a win-win for the Democrats. Schlesinger, the Republican candidate, is superfluous in this race in CT, and what is truly amusing is to see so many Republicans supporting Lieberman in the general election, based only on his votes in support of the war, while ignoring the other 90% of his votes, in which he is a true Democrat.
Ultimately, the race goes to Lamont or Lieberman - either way, CT remains a safe seat for Democrats.
If Republicans take comfort in that... well, all I can say is I can't wait for November.
So, go ahead and move to CT... and vote for Lieberman with my personal blessing. I'll still vote for Lamont (should I decide to relocate), and either way, the seat will be occupied by a Democrat.
The Professor posted at 8:54 PM
Move to Connecticut? Nope... moving to PA, and working for Santorum. Who knows, I might even try to write myself in as a party committee member, next time that option comes up. (Congrats on that btw, and it was a GREAT story...)
I am not saying that Republicans should support Lieberman. I am noting though that in CT they will. It's a blue state where most Republicans in the state are also smurfs. (And I can't believe now even I talk/write as if these colors mean something!)
What I was saying is the Dems run the risk of walking away with the wrong message. If the message was what you wrote "finding solutions to bring our troops home and resolve our involvement in Iraq once and for all." then even *I* would be on-board. But as I wrote about in my blog when I wrote A "time line" or an "Event line"?, that's not the message. Lamont, and many others, want to set a very specific date and not a specific outcome, that would result in the extrication of our military forces. And as much as the left rails against the phrase, it ends up being "cut and run" if we say in a simplistic way "welp, I had hoped to have fixed things up here, but times up. See ya later, suckers!"
Am I happy we are over in Iraq? Nope. Do I like the fact that my friends, and former students, colleagues and comrades in arms are being sent over there and separated from family and friends for a year at a time? Of course not. Do I believe that, noce we are there, we have to have the national resolve to see this to a reasonable and rational conclusion? Yes, I do. (Do I like writing like Rumsfeld speaks? No, but I find it a convenient vehicle)
Lamont's message may not have been that simplistic, but it is how he is portrayed in the media I listened to over the weekend. If he is calling for what I have described as an "event line" for egress then that is worth a look. If he has called for removal by a date-certain then his view is perhaps overly simplistic.
FleshPresser posted at 1:09 AM
Truth be told, I don't think I'd have much desire to move to Connecticut myself (not that there's anything wrong with it, for all of you tireless Lamont supporters out there, and my Connecticut readers, in general)
Be careful when you go to work for Santorum - he may shuffle you off to volunteer for the Santorum-and-GOP-financed Green Party candidate, instead. Beware - I don't think you'd be completely fulfilled in that role. :)
Like I said before, I support Lamont, because he offers more "value for the candidate," if that makes any sense. His voting record will be every bit as Democratic as Lieberman's, and he gives me the added benefit of being a vote and a voice against the war.
Should Liberman happen to win the primary, it's not going to be the end of the world... and while you may not support him, you DO realize that the Bush Administration is, right? White House confirmed a call between Rove and Lieberman just last night, as a matter of fact.
This is what I think is hysterical - as lousy a Democrat as I think Lieberman is - he's still a Democrat, and his 90% voting with the Democrats just seems to escape most of the Republicans who are calling him their new best Democratic friend.
I say GO FORTH Republicans in CT... vote for Lieberman... have at it and knock yourselves out. If it peels votes away from Schlesinger, so be it.
As for the war in Iraq, Lamont DOES support a timetable, as do I. I was just having this conversation with ane of my closest friends, who also happens to be a raging conservative Republican, no matter how I try to cure him of it. :)
He did understand this reasoning, though, and so maybe you will, also.
Let's illuminate a point here - the insurgency and terrorism in the Middle East is not on a timetable. We are not going to destroy and eradicate terrorism in the Middle East through military efforts - not in a day, a year, or a decade. Not gonna' happen.
So, is the answer to continue to pour the lives of our military down the Iraqi drain while they fight in a civil war? Let alone continue to shovel billions and billions of dollars at the problem, at the expense of all the other places that money could be spent here at home, or even elsewhere in the world?
Do we leave tomorrow? Absolutely not, and Democrats who recommend that are idealistic and naive. We broke it, and now we have to fix it.
That being said, it is CRITICAL for a timetable for our departure to be established. I've got news for you - the insurgents are fighting a civil war. We are acting as nothing more than a convenient target.
We said we would give 'em democratic elections - check. They officially have purple fingers.
We said we'd give them a new government - check.
We said we'd help train the new Iraqi military - check.
As we continue to remain there without a timetable, several things take place...
First, who's in a rush to get the Iraqi army up and running, so long as the Americans are here to do the dirty work for us?
Second - the Arab world continues to spread the misconception that we're there to "take over the Middle East." Guess what? Until we leave, it looks like we ARE.
Third - we continue to lose the battle for the hearts and minds of the Arab population, which will be the TRUE turning point of the war on terror.
You CANNOT militarily fight a war on terror. The Bush Administration has applied conventional military principles to a non-conventional battle, which has resulted in our current circumstances.
You'd think Israel would look at this and learn from our mistakes, but they haven't... granted, their situation is different because Israeli citizens are dying. BUt look at what happened when Israel fought endlessly against the PLO... poof... heeeeeeeeere's HAMAS!
Regardless, every time a terrorist or insurgent or civilian dies in Iraq or elsewhere, there are ten new ones created, who sympathize and demand revenge against the "evil empire."
Meanwhile, our dedicated soldiers are left in an untenable situation, needlessly being put in harm's way.
Coming full circle to the initial topic, Lamont not only understands this and supports the notion, but has shown other Democrats that is indeed possible to win elections using this message.
It's not about being soft on terror or national security - it's about winning the REAL war... the one that is being clouded by our current military actions.