Ah!!! A Lamont-Style Purge!!
by Matt Stoller, Thu Jun 07, 2007 at 02:49:29 PM EDT
I'll just follow up on my earlier post on Chuck Hagel's right-wing primary challenge by pointing you to a bunch of quotes assembled by Ned Lamont blogger tparty on how the establishment reacted to Lieberman. Just Google 'Lieberman purge' and you'll find 201,000 entries. Googling 'Lieberman purge Stalinist' alone brings up 33,400 entries.
It is not the goal of the left to prevail, but rather to purify. That is what the Lieberman Purge Attempt is all about. Actually, this is very much an ideological movement that is driven by a neo-isolationist, MoveOn.org, Pat Buchanan-lite imperative to rid the Democratic Party of the centrist hawks.
If you want a fun little research project, do some searching and reread some of the coverage of Lamont's challenge. It's pretty easy to find quotes talking about the left's Stalinist purge of Lieberman.
The point is simple - if the establishment went crazy over the use of a democratic primary campaign against Lieberman, with us being called 'Hezbocrats', then a genuinely centrist establishment would be equally panicky about a challenge from the right against a Republican like Hagel.
But right now, the establishment is silent. Remember, it wasn't just the DLC speaking out over Lamont. Dick Cheney, George Bush, and William F. Buckley were consistent advocates of Lieberman. They helped keep the notion of liberal extremism into the pundit class.
Liberals should do the same thing, and point out that the Republicans are split on Iraq between extremists and moderates like Chuck Hagel. I mean, there's a primary going on for the soul of the Republican Party, just like there was last cycle in Connecticut in 2006.
Chris Matthews, David Broder, Chuck Schumer, and Rahm Emanuel ought to be pointing this out. That they aren't speaks volumes.