Why is it Republicanly, interesting word by the way, to point out that just being pissed off doesn't cut it? How many people who post on this site actually work for a candidate or work on issues? To suggest that I am somehow a Republican for even raising this question is incredibly stupid.
Okay, so let's accept that you are right about this book, which, by the way, I don't plan to read because most books by politicians are ghost-written bs. The question then becomes what do we do about it? I don't think that either Senator Reed or Representative Emmanuel are going to now publish a book that renounces this one. I don't live in either their state or congressional district. What do you want me to do, be outraged?
I don't have the time to be outraged. Why? Because I help my wife put out a Democratic newspaper, a Democratic newsletter, and a Democratic blog. All of this I personally find more fulfilling than being outraged at things that I can't control.
Which brings me to another point. Many of the postings on this site, and others, are rantings and ravings of people who are justifiably pissed off at Republicans and turncoat Dems. Being pissed off, however, is not enough. Just ranting and raving is not enough. Being mad is not enough.
It's not enough because ultimately in a democratic society you have to translate being pissed off into political action. Political action means not just talking to those who agree with you, but talking and persauding those who don't necessarily agree with you.
Here's what I would recommend. Start a list of email addresses of people who are willing to devote eight hours to campaign work this fall. This list would be people who are not right now working for a candidate. Appoint state chairs for each state that these people can report to and have that state chair then interact with campaigns to make sure volunteers link up with campaigns. That would be a very productive use of people's time and emotion.
If Lieberman is "far right" then how do you characterize Senators like Brownback, Thune, the two Senators from Oklahoma, Santorum, and for that matter, DeWine from Ohio. All of them have records that are far more conservative than Lieberman.
I am no Lieberman fan, and also not a resident of CT., but this kind of langauge plays right into the hands of those pundits who are writing/talking about how the blogs are Democratic "crazies" who want to purge the Democratic party of anyone who disagrees with them.
I don't think they are focusing on Lieberman's race because he is being targeted by progressives, I think they are focusing on Lieberman's race because, far more than Chafee or Alaka, he is a media favorite. He appears often on Fox News, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and other talking heads show. I bet if you took a poll of the so called "Gang of 500" about who is their favorite Democratic Senator, he would come out on top.
Part of the reason why this primary challenge spooks them is that it demostrates to them how much power they don't have. Imagine being these guys and pontificating about what Dems should do and find out that people aren't listening? It freaks them out.
It freaks them out because to be a talking head, or a pundit, or an editorial board writer, you have to have the belief that your opinion matters to the whole world. It takes a lot of ego to do that and most times they aren't reminded just how little the world is actually listening to them.
When they are reminded, the results aren't pretty. They dissed Clinton in 1992 and he got elected anyway. They then mocked him out during his first term, and, oh yeah, he got re-elected. They then went after him on Lewinsky and the public sent his approval ratings into the 60% area, made his wife Senator from New York, and made him a multimillionaire.
Now its about to possibly happen again. The Democratic voters in CT are on the verge of telling the "Gang of 500" to take a hike, Once again they will respond by throwing a temper tantrum. They will say that they nomination of Lamont shows that the left of the Democratic Party is out of touch, doesn't get it, and other such cliches. What we need to do is be ready with a counternarrative. Are we?
First of all, I don't agree with your belief that Begala's comments have anything to do with separation of Church and State. That is a red herring. Begala is not calling for the establishment of a state religion nor for the recognition of a particular brand of faith in the public arena. What he is saying is that Democrats need to be tolerant of those who believe just as they are tolerant of those who either don't believe or who practice other religions.
You may agree or disagree, but the fact is that the Republican propoganda on this issue is working, as it doesn't work in other areas, for example Social Security privatization. The reason why it works is that there is an element of truth to it. Now, can I point to elected Democrats for example? No. Can I point to other Democrats for examples? Yes. As in, for instance, a party activist in Ohio who once told me that she can't stand the Church.
Look at some of the postings in this discussion. People who said that they hate religion. I have never said that I hate non-believers or that such believers are stupid, or uneducated, or bigots. All that I ask in return is the same courtesy.
The problem isn't whether he will run as an independent, the problem is whether, if he wins as an independent, he will vote to organize the Senate with the Dems or with the Republicans. This question may explain why Schumer is still pro-Lieberman. He doesn't want to see us fail in the Senate by one vote on Senate organization.
Do you think that Begala made this up out of whole cloth? Ask yourself this question: if a Democrat speaks openly of his/her faith are you more likely or less likely to vote against that Democrat if he/she was running for office?
The fact of the matter is that there is an element of truth in what Begala says. Look at some of the comments on this site and others and tell me that some of them don't portray Christians as right-wing reactionary kooks.
Look, here is how it works: I am Christian. I don't expect everyone to be a Christian. I don't make fun of those who aren't Christians. I don't mock them, I don't belittle them, and I don't believe that they are any less intelligent than myself. What I ask in return is the same. I don't want to be mocked for being a Christian, I don't want to be belittled, and I don't want people to tell me that they are more intelligent than I because I have faith and they don't.
Instead of just having a knee-jerk reaction to Begala's comments, why don't you ask yourself why they are being made? This is the second day you have posted on this subject. You act as if Democrats question the way some progressives talk about Christians are no better than Republicans. Frankly, what seems to be happening is that some of the progressive blogs are adopting the same attitude as the DLC: we know what is best and we are going to belittle anyone who doesn't agree.
Maybe you should just take a deep breath and relax. Not every politician is going to agree with you on every issue. That's life. If they mostly agree with you, then they are probably better than their opponent. This insistence on a certain "liberal" orthodoxy in the blogsphere is ultimating counter-productive.
Let me say that I am very undecided about Hillary as a presidential candidate. I prefer someone like Wes Clark, John Edwards, or maybe Mark Warner, because I am convinced that a Southerner has a better chance of winning the presidency than a Senator from N.Y. That being said, I find the reports of Hillary's political demise, as it relates to running for president, a bit premature. To my knowledge, no Democratic voters have yet had the opportunity to cast a vote for president in 2008. When they do, we shall see what happens. Maybe she wins, maybe she loses, or maybe she doesn't run, but in any event, until the votes start coming in, there is no way of knowing what will happen.
There was an interesting article about how Busby has been helping the independent candidate with her ads and robo-calls. The idea being that every vote that the independent candidate gets, that is one less vote for Bilbray. When I heard that it occurred to me that this whole uproar over Busby's comments is to try and make sure the conservative base stays united for Bilbray. That, of course, is the problem he has, the independent candidate is much "better" on illegal immigration, if you are a base conservative, than Bilbray. All this uproar won't necessarily translate into votes for Bilbray. It will be very interesting.
This should not be read as supporting Lieberman, who is an idiot, but if he runs as an independent, and if he wins, then expect Republicans and the beltway based media, to start reporting how the Dems, bloggers, and liberals are "out of touch." If Lieberman runs as an independent he will blast bloggers and liberals on his way out the door and the beltway media will pick up on this theme.
All of this is not to say that Lamont shouldn't be backed or that he shouldn't run. It is to say that the people backing Lamont better start thinking about how they will react if Lieberman takes that road.
The problem is that the media is not prepared for a Democratic Party that acts like an opposition party. What they want is a Democratic party that makes compromises with Republicans. They want this because (a). it fits their theme about the two parties which is that Republicans are tough and Democrats are not, and (b). they realize that if both parties become like the Republicans, then nothing will get done. Hence, the media is always pressuring Dems to compromise and rewarding them when they are like Lieberman.
The response to most of these attacks is to say very clearly that we want power and intend to get power to bring about differnent policies. Hence, we have no interest in helping Republicans make their policies look better by compromising with them. Dems like Lieberman, though, are unwilling to take that stand and the media supports them in their positions.
All of this is not to say "be careful what you wish for", but is to say that it is time to start thinking about what to do is Lieberman jumps the Dems.
PS>I don't think that he will because I think that Reid is smart enough to get that commitment from Joe as part of his supporting Joe.
No, that isn't what I said. What I said was that if you haven't done those things, then it is hard to take you seriously as a person who wants political reform. If you think this is so easy, then why don't you try it? Become a candidate, volunteer for a campaign, run a campaign, do something other than just post and bitch on a weblog.
By power I mean the ability to accomplished intended results. Under that definition "power" is neither good nor bad, that depends on the results that a person wants to accomplish. Power in the hands of Hitler is evil, power in the hands of FDR was mostly good. Political parties exist to attain power to bring about certain things. I certainly want the Democratic Party to gain power in both the nation and in my particular state. I believe that if it does, it will do things that I want accomplished.