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Lieberman Loses

In what was bar-none the most watched primary in the nation, three-time US Senator and former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman lost to political newbie Ned Lamont. But don't think for a minute you won't have old Joe to kick around anymore, within minutes of conceding the primary Lieberman announced he would, as rumored, run as an Independent. Perhaps he can get some tips from Katherine Harris on how to not take NO for answer.

This does cause a problem though since Lieberman will undoubtedly split the Democratic vote in Connecticut. For someone who has spent the last several weeks declaring his Democratic credentials, that sure is a shitty way to show your support for the party. But Lieberman has never put the health of the party before his own political ambition. In 2000, he refused to give up his seat while he ran for VP, putting both positions in danger.

Lieberman is only the fourth incumbent senator to lose a primary since 1980

In another Thank God moment, Bat Shit Crazy Cynthia McKinney also lost her run-off contest in Georgia. Attorney Hank Johnson, a former county commissioner, won the nomination with 59 percent of the vote, surpassing McKinney by more than 11,000 votes.



So, for the first time in a long time, the Connecticut Democrats nominated a Democratic candidate...

In the 2004 Senate race in Connecticut, Dodd (D) beat Orchulli (R), 66% to 32%. So as long as the same numbers vote, the Dems could split in half and still have 33%.

Then again, Dodd was an incumbent. And there are obviously lots of other differences. But still. I'm hoping some party heavies just lay into Lieb and convince him to drop out gracefully.


Though having both Lieberman and Lamont on the ballot could split the Democratic vote, Schlesinger is not considered a major threat. His campaign stumbled in July after it was learned that he used a fake name to gamble at a Connecticut casino and had been sued over gambling debts at two New Jersey casinos. Republican Gov. M Jodi Rell urged him to drop out of the Senate race, but Schlesinger called the gambling a "non-issue" and vowed to remain in the race.


Yeah, but this is the bet Lieberman is hedging. He is hoping that running as an independent will FURTHER fracture the vote since Independents who lean conservative won't vote for a bleeding heart like Lamont, but maybe can't stand Schlesinger either.

I think this is risky though since any votes Schlesinger did pick up would come from Lieberman's camp, not Lamont's.

Either way, Lieberman blew his cover as a "good Democrat" with this scam. And I doubt party heavies can pressure him at this point since he's basically fucked off the party now anyways.

What will be interesting to watch is how the Dems treat Joe. After all, Bush may have given him a peck, but Clinton gave him a full-on. And so how do they retreat from that? (Which is a question that Hillary will have to face at a not-too-distant point.)

I'll fess up: I'm embarrassed for democrats and the smear job they did on Lieberman. Lieberman votes against Bush on virtually everything but because he thinks (rightly) that it's a dumb- ass idea to bring the troops home now, he gets dragged through the mud by some dilletante millionaire?

Lieberman's entire point of view on the war is shared by Bill Clinton, but no one's in any hurry to kick him out of the party.

That's bullshit, Bar. And it wasn't "Dems" who "smeared" Lieberman, it was a small group of bloggers. The imprtant thing here is that his constituency (you know, the people he was hired to represent) decided he no longer represented their views. When Congress has a 98% re-election rate, I think it GOOD for democracy to throw one out from time to time. The voters don't owe him anything.

Sometimes a politician has to stake out an unpopular position. Lieberman was ousted thanks to a bunch of kids home on school break monopolizing the fambly computer. He was a thoroughly decent, principled guy, one of the good ones. And now he's dead! Dead!! DEAD!!!!

Yes, sometimes a politician does have to stake out an unpopular position...and pay the price, whatever that may be.

I won't even get into my thoughts re: Lieberman as a good or bad Senator. The fact is, the Democrats who live in his state decided it was time to move on. If you think blogs have that much pull over rank and file, regular Joe voters then you'll have to explain 2004 to me again.

Maybe to clarify: This was another election in which the democratic party platform was "Anybody but this guy." That works in primaries; it may even work in local & state (I wouldn't know). But it's no way to win a national election. Is it?

We'll find out in November. Polling has the Republicans in such a dire situation that I think the Democrats could actually run on the tag line "Had Enough?" as Newt himself suggested a couple months ago.

Now, whether that's good for democracy or policy is another matter.

But I think it's elitist to dismiss the voters' decision in this election. Whatever the reason, the voters in Conn felt like it was time for a change. Given the near impossibility of a sitting Congressman getting the boot, that's a powerful statement and bitches better start listening.

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