Why I've Changed My Mind About Ned Lamont
by bluenc, Sat Jun 17, 2006 at 05:38:21 PM EDT
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.