Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

Not too long ago, I couldn't have written this diary. Until recently, I thought Ned Lamont's primary challenge to Joe Lieberman was silly and stupid. I argued against the idea of a netroots campaign to unseat Lieberman out of ideological conviction and strategic concerns. In my mind, getting involved in a Democratic primary was bad strategy. And, if nothing else, the netroots is supposed to be strategic. I was convinced that Kos, Stoller, Bowers, and all the others were morons.

I was wrong. Over the last several weeks, we've seen what Joe Lieberman is made of, and Democrats shouldn't stand for it. I support Ned Lamont.

I'm a pretty moderate Democrat. I usually agree with the DLC on policy, and I consider myself a centrist. Still, I've always had substantive disagreements with Lieberman. He was wrong on the war, and he's still wrong. He's always angered me by spouting off stupid Republican talking points. And it irritated me that Lieberman did not appear to be motivated by anything but pure politics.

Yet, I was not convinced that these were sufficient grounds for a grassroots challenge. Actually, I'm still not. Recently, however, it's become clear that Joe Lieberman's only loyalty is to Joe Lieberman. Lieberman refused his endorsement if Lamont won the primary, mostly because Lieberman plans on running as an independent if he doesn't get his way. This makes it abundantly clear that Lieberman feels no loyalty to the Democratic Party, the vehicle of the progressive movement.

So I've changed my mind. Because Lieberman cannot promise to support Democrats, Democrats shouldn't support him. Not in the primary, not in the general election if he runs independently. Six years ago, Democrats across the country voted to make Lieberman the Vice President. Running against the party's nominee is one hell of a "Thank You", and it pisses me off.

If Lieberman wins the primary, I'm the first one to line up in support of him (not that he'd need it). I'm committed to helping elect Democrats. But when the Democrats of Connecticut make their choice for a Senate candidate, they should choose the candidate who shares their values. They should not value a candidate who does not value them.

I like a big tent, and I think there's a place in the Democratic Party for folks like Joe Lieberman. Democrats come in all shapes and sizes, and we're not going to agree on everything. But folks, there is one litmus test that makes sense: if you don't support Democrats for election, get the hell out.

Go Ned.

Tags: Connecticut Senate, Joe Lieberman, Ned Lamont (all tags)

Comments

24 Comments

Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

"...If I've lost Walter Cronkite, I've lost Middle America..."

by Michael Bersin 2006-06-17 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

Sorry about the temporary lame rating Michael. I liked the allusion to Cronkite and the Vietnam War and meant to rate it a 3. When I came back I saw it was rated down and wondered who the idiot was who rated it a two. Turned out it was me.

by Curt Matlock 2006-06-19 04:54AM | 0 recs
Ratings

Not to worry. I've never worried about my ratings, though I do use the rating system on others.

by Michael Bersin 2006-06-19 05:27AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

Welcome the fold :)

by dayspring 2006-06-17 07:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

Could someone please send this diary to Chuck Schumer?!

by Jim in Chicago 2006-06-17 09:12PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

I wouldn't be very surprised if Lieberman announced he was leaving the party at the upcoming debate.

by Max Friedman 2006-06-18 03:50AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

I have changed my mind about him too

Seems Joe L will be pushed out of the dem party yet still win re-election.

Net effect is one less democrate in the senate woo hoo kos all your liberal money and you are just a re-incarnation of nadar.

Its time for liberals to understand that no matter what YOU think America is a DEMOCRACY.

If Joe L has enough votes as an independant and wins and you think thats a wrong thing you seriously need to re-evalutate your affiliations with the American democratic process.

You knew most democrats don't vote in primaries.  You knew those who do tend to be more liberal.  You knew Joe L. had an easy victory in the general election.

But you wanted to be Darth Nadar.........

And now we will be 1 dem down in the senate.

by donkeykong 2006-06-18 01:16PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

What a strange and disturbing take on Democracy you have.  It seem that to be a participant in the electoral process, you think I need to anticipate the actions of other voters and should not be allowed to support the person who would best represent my beliefs.  Fuck that.  

I voted for Joe Lieberman to be my senator from Connecticut 3 times.  In the last six years I have been dissatisfied by his performance (an understatement) and now I choose to support another candidate who better represents me.  Isnt that what democracy is about?  

Now, can you explain to me in simple terms that I can understand why that is not American democracy?

by Winston Smith 2006-06-18 01:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

correction.. I voted for Lieberman for Senate twice.

by Winston Smith 2006-06-18 01:36PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

Oh, I get it now.  By DEMOCRACY  you mean INCUMBENT ENTITLEMENT.

by Winston Smith 2006-06-18 01:46PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

You're not paying attention much are you?

Yes, this is a democracy and part of the democratic process in the democratic party is primaries. Ned Lamont is challenging Lieberman and is looking likely to defeat him. Lieberman, not respecting the will of the democrats of Connecticut is threatening to bolt the party and become and independent. Perfectly his right if he wants to but that is one hell of a way to respect the will of the enrolled Democrats in Connecticut.

Further, the only way we will be down 1 Democratic Senator is if Holy Joe goes independent and in doing so hands the election to the Republicans... or shows his true colors after and independent win by caucusing with his good friends in the Republican party.

So are you telling me you think Joe is going to throw the election to the Republicans? Or are you telling me he is going to win and caucus with the Republicans?

And which of those scenarios should influence Democrats to vote for him?

Go Ned Lamont!

by Andrew C White 2006-06-18 01:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

It's Joe's right to run as an Independent.

But it is not his right to tell people who can run in the primary

by v2aggie2 2006-06-18 04:03PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

Damn, all the DLC trolls are backing Lamont, who woulda thunk Lieberman could fall so far.

In terms of politics, is this the DLC way of saying that Connecticut's senate race isn't a proxy race like the CA-GOV and MT-SEN races the DLC just lost?

I mean, the DLC can't win primaries in red states, they can't win primaries in blue states, are the trolls just now hopping on board because big money can always read the writing on the wall?

No matter which DLC trolls hop on the bandwagon, this is still a battle against the DLC. When Lamont wins, the DLC will lose.

by Bob Brigham 2006-06-18 04:05PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

Hey, this is Connecticut, folks. Spend an afternoon in Westport. This ain't no disco; it ain't no country club either; nor is it L.A. It's friggin Connecticut. Just don't ask.

by blues 2006-06-18 04:17PM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

Point of law regarding Lieberman running unaffiliated: can you do that in CT after filing in a primary for the same office?  In NC you can't do that.

What is the timetable here?  In NC, we've already had our primary.

If Lieberman can withdraw by a certain date and declare himself unaffiliated, what is the deadline for that?

by markortiz 2006-06-18 08:23PM | 0 recs
Lieberman: Psychological problems?

 As it stands now, Joe Lieberman is going to comfortably win the primary over Ned Lamont. Latest polls have him up ten to fifteen points.

 Joe has incumbency.

 Joe has name recognition.

 So why is Joe acting like such a whiny little brat? Why is his campaign in code-red full-panic mode? Why does he have to resort to smears, lies, and name-calling when it's 95% certain that he's going to win this primary?

 It's truly unbelievable. Has a respected, nationally-known politician ever publicly melted down like this in the face of a still-longshot threat to his comfortable sinecure? Because Joe's behavior is borderline irrational. I mean, equating his own party's voting base to jihadists and terrorists? Those are not the remarks of a rational person.

 This suggests a serious character flaw in Joe -- a complete inability to maintain his cool under pressure, even light pressure.

 Does Joe Lieberman have the temperament to be a senator? Is this the reason he rolls over for Bush so readily? I'm not sure he even has the temperament to be a bus driver.

 It's amazing to see his true nature come out like this. I only hope that enough Connecticut voters, the type who aren't political junkies, notice before the nation is stuck with him for six more years.

 

by Master Jack 2006-06-18 08:51PM | 0 recs
One suggestion why he's freaking out

He's standing still while Lamont gains on him.  He knows people have had many years to get to know him, and his ability to grow his support is limited.  Whereas Lamont has reached just a fraction of Democrats so far (as of the last polling, way over half said they hadn't heard enough about Ned Lamont), and yet Lamont's already got 40% of Dem primary voters.

by PeterB 2006-06-18 09:14PM | 0 recs
I find this diary offensive

Welcome to the fold. Why i find this diary offensive is your condescending tone when you describe the  attitudes you had prior to your turnaround. Nothing has really changed about Lieberman since Lamont has accepted the challenge. THe only thing is he is more desperate now and his supporters are showing their true colors. Now I am not going to take you to task because it took you longer to see the truth about Lieberman, but for you to have such contempt for others for merely wanting to challenge liberman? What if Lieberman didn't act so desperate this campaign - would he been acceptable to you since his policies would still have been the same?

You said you thought Stoller and others were morons for their thoughts on this race in the past. Yet you call yourself a moderate. Calling them morons and thinking of Lamont as silly and stupid for just daring to run is rather extreme for a "level headed moderate" citizen to be feeling. So anyone who doesnt think the way you do on the left is a moron, but when you belated agree with them, they are no longer morons? How would you feel if those who are still not convinced now think the same of you? You thought Lamont's challenge was not just merely unwise, but SILLY AND STUPID. Why? First of all, if you remember the way the whole campaign started, you will see many of us wanted Lamont to run but were not sure he would win. Obviously, the ideal goal even back them was for him to win, but we were not naive. Even now, many of us realize it will take a lot of hard work to unseat Lieberman even in the primary.

I have said many times, I do not consider myself to be on the left. However, I really find it offensive how the left gets denigrated with such ease in this country by self proclaimed moderates. When Gore loses, moderates blame the angry left. Yet when Dean loses, maybe we should blame the condescending angry moderates becxaue they can't stand ideas differing from their own either. RESPECT GOES BOTH WAYS. I have mostly a liberal outlook but have strong ideas some associate with conservatives and libertarians(just look at my diaries). However, I would not feel ashamed if someone called me a liberal because that is my basic outlook on life and I will support my liberal fellow americans even if they disagree with me on some topics.

by Pravin 2006-06-18 10:59PM | 0 recs
nothing wrong with Lieberman saving his options

ANother surprise. I actually think Lieberman is doing nothing really wrong if he chooses to run as an independent and take part in the primary. What i find offensive is Chuck Shumer saying he will support Lieberman even as an independent. That is a slap in teh face of all democrats. I do think Lieberman should be taken to task by the media and opponents for trying to have it both ways. That is just good politics to expose him and let him suffer the consequences of his choice.  But I do understand why a candidate would want to run as an independent if that deluded candidate truly thinks he is doing a lot of good for this world. It is our job to call him on that early enough to damage him politically.

by Pravin 2006-06-18 11:05PM | 0 recs
Sometimes you have to

It has to be done sometimes. A primary challenge is not to be taken lightly. Certainly the Repugs no this as rightist elements also have challenged their own. And I believe these challenges are what  will help to bring back 'backbone' to the Dem party. Our representatives have to know that if they will not stand for our interests we will find someone who will.

by tchoup 2006-06-19 03:56AM | 0 recs
I hear ya
Bluenc-
I totally understand where you're coming from. I'm not a DLC-Dem myself, and in fact I generally think of myself as a strong Progressive, but I wasn't too interested in challenging Joe until recently either. It's not that I actually LIKED him or anything (in fact, I've sort of hated him since he decided to make his 2004 primary campaign all about attacking Dean), but I didn't see the point in spending our finite resources and attention on defeating a Dem senator when there were so many more deserving GOP targets (look at Joe's voting record, he still votes with the Dems more than any GOPer except Chaffee, and that's just barely).
But I've recently come around to thinking that a victory by Lamont here would actually increase, not squander, Dem opportunities this fall. I say that because the media loves the horse-race, and they love reading the tea leaves of early elections to predict the national mood in a very self-fulfilling way. And a victory by an anti-Bush, anti-war Democrat over the very symbol of Democratic disunity and support of the war could be a major boost to the narrative that we really want in November: Democrats DO stand for something, and we CAN WIN big races.
That, plus it will be nice to not have to see Joe's wrinkly face on TV anymore.
by James Gatz 2006-06-19 05:36AM | 0 recs
easy recipe for Lieberman to win primary

Instead of running ads savaging Lamont and trying, like Captain Queeg with the strawberries, of recapturing the mojo of the 1988 (!) bear ad, maybe, just maybe, he ought to run a series of positive ads on why he's a good Democrat. Not "I'm good on the environment" or "I'm good on jobs" but "I'm a good Democrat and I'm proud to be one."

That's it. Just convince primary voters he's a good Democrat and this thing is in the bag for him. That he is unable, unwilling, or both to do so speaks volumes about why he's about to be on the bad end of a major embarrassment.

by KevStar 2006-06-19 09:05AM | 0 recs
Re: Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont

I think we need to take these comments straight to Schumer and the other Congressional leaders who think they've got a tap on the minds of Democratic voters. Last week Democracy for America posted a link to its petition calling for Democratic leaders to support the winner of the Connecticut primary.  I hope you all will take a second to sign it.  Even if you're not from Connecticut, we need to stand together as a party and know that our leadership is working for our interests.  And they should know that we don't want them endorsing someone if the people have already voted for their own candidate.  That doesn't fly in CT, and it shouldn't be allowed anywhere else.  

by Julia Marden 2006-06-19 11:07AM | 0 recs
Re: easy recipe for Lieberman to win primary

Such a pitch could easily pass the truthiness threshold, although I agree he isn't. But why won't he try to even make that case, other than  him presenting the obviously ridiculous notion that Lamont is a Republican. That's the question I'm getting at. Is he that out of touch and maladroit a politician? (The answer seems to be a resounding yes.)

by KevStar 2006-06-19 11:22AM | 0 recs

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