Three-term Sen. Joe Lieberman fell to anti-war challenger Ned Lamont in Connecticut's Democratic primary Tuesday, a race seen as a harbinger of sentiment over a conflict that has claimed the lives of more than 2,500 U.S. troops.
now that lieberman has lost, i'm taking bets on when exactly the terrorists will win, as gary welsh predicted. my money is on december 21, 2012.
(in his latest post, gary tells us that ned lamont is an "extremist liberal" and that by choosing him, "Connecticut voters were embracing extremism". gary is so repulsed by lamont's extremism that he links, with seeming approval, to the wall street journal's latest "scary, evil bloggers" column. it seems strange to me that a blogger would link approvingly to columns about how much bloggers suck, but doing so lets gary insinuate that lamont is down with anti-semitism, so gary's not throwing his fellow bloggers to the wolves for nothing. [atrios has a fascinating insight into the WSJ piece.])
Unbowed, Lieberman immediately announced he would enter the fall campaign as an independent. Only six years ago, Lieberman was the Democrats' choice for vice president.
joe wants to have it both ways. he wants a do-over. he had his shot, and he had the power of incumbency in his favor, but he flubbed it and he's demanding a mulligan. running as an independent is a slap in the face to the voters of connecticut, who turned out en masse.
most of all, it's bad form, and bad party politics. proper electoral etiquette is to always support the winner of the primary. after all the democratic party has done for joe lieberman (including giving him an undeserved VP nomination in 2000), joe wants to take his ball and go home. but that's not how the game is played. joe had some prominent democratic endorsements going into the primary, but those will all dry up now:
That decision was met with squeamishness among many within the party establishment who had signaled that they would not support an independent bid by Lieberman. Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh -- who, like Lieberman, has close ties to moderates within the party but is considering a 2008 presidential bid -- quickly announced he would support Lamont.
"Senator Bayh supported Senator Lieberman in the primary because of his respect for Senator Lieberman's service and their long friendship," said Bayh spokesman Dan Pfeiffer. "The Democratic voters of Connecticut have spoken, and Senator Bayh respects their choice and will support their nominee."
Expect many more announcements like Bayh's over the next day or two. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) and Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) will speak about the race tomorrow.
bayh wasted no time turning his back on lieberman, and joe's other friends in the party will stop returning his calls soon enough.
lieberman could continue to receive prominent endorsements, and even funding, from republicans, however. after all, the republican candidate for that seat, alan schlesinger, has a history of serious gambling problems, so republicans might feel better taking their chances with the socially conservative lieberman rather than endorse a gambling addict.
it promises to be an interesting race to watch.¶