Sunday, July 16, 2006

Leiberman and Lamont ... and Boxer?

Like many Democrats out there, I have been watching Ned Lamont's challenge to Joseph Leiberman with great interest. And like many California Democrats, I was very surprised to hear that one of my state's senators, Barbara Boxer, was not only endorsing Leiberman, but planning to campaign for him. Boxer is a leading critic of the war (even though she voted for it -- we must never forget or forgive this,) while Leiberman is probably the biggest Democratic supporter of the war.

It's an interesting story on many fronts. On one hand, I totally favor Lamot for being so anti-war, and I resent Leiberman. It seems like the essence of democracy that Lamont defeat Leiberman because the people of Connecticut are against the war and Leiberman is for it. As my friend Terry pointed out in a quote from Harold Meyerson "His [Leiberman] problem is Connecticut."

However, I can understand some of the frustrations of Democrats out there. It would help the overall strategy of "beat Republicans" if Leiberman won the Connecticut primary. Plus, I can understand those that feel it is unfair for Leiberman to lose because he "failed a litmus test." It's like the now classic Republican tactics of using divisive issues.

So in some kind of Machiavellian /uber-strategy / median voter theorem way, I see the tragedy in the Leiberman vs. Lamont saga. But who cares? What matters is not that there are more Democrats in Congress, what matter is that there are people in Congress who are going to vote for freedom. You cannot favor the war in Iraq and favor freedom at the same time. You cannot favor things like the Patriot Act and favor freedom at the same time.

As for Boxer, she is just one of many establishment Democrats who is standing with Leiberman. That just shows the weakness in the Democratic Party. It's members care more about power (winning it from the Republicans) than they do about principals.

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