Tuesday, July 11, 2006

An Urge to Purge? I Don't Think So

A comment in response to my previous post raised the question of whether activists are purging the Democratic Party by challenging incumbent Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman.
My answer is no.
First, I've taken part in my share of Democratic primaries, challenging an incumbent and fending off challenges. I've yet to see the winner purge the Party of the losers. In every primary campaign I've played a role in, the losers invariably supported the winner.
Second, as my many loyal readers have found, I love to highlight evidence that the Democratic Party is broadening its base, including welcoming former Republicans (such as Jim Webb in Virginia and Ned Lamont in Connecticut) as candidates.
Third, the netroots (meaning Democratic bloggers) are not driving the Party to the left. Among the netroot's favorite Senate candidates in this year are Webb in Virginia and Jon Tester in Montana. The netroots have shown consistent interest in former Virginia governor Mark Warner and retired general Wes Clark.
Steve Clemons of The Washington Note has probably forgotten more about foreign policy than I will ever know. I agree with him that the Iraq mess is harming our national interest. I disagree with him that Joe Lieberman should be purged from the Party. In my experience, losing a primary is not the same as being purged from the Party. Instead, I wish that if he lost the primary, Joe Lieberman would support Ned Lamott.

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