Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Why the Anger at Joe Lieberman?

Why the anger at Joe Lieberman, particularly among the netroots? It's not that he's too conservative. I have pointed out before that the netroots, Kos included, actually like some of the more centrist contenders for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Writing in the Washington Post, E. J. Dionne puts his finger on the reason why so many Democrats don't like Joe Lieberman:
The statement that did more than anything to power this primary challenge was a comment Lieberman made in December.
"It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years," Lieberman said, "and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation's peril." The implication that there is something wrong with criticizing George W. Bush is unacceptable to most Democrats, who believe that Bush himself has done the most to undermine his own credibility.
Likewise, Lieberman has done the most to undermine his own stature within the Democratic Party.
As I noted out a year ago, Democrats aren't looking for leaders who hew to the left. They want leaders who clearly describe our differences with George Bush.


Blogger Dave said...

Democrats aren't looking for leaders who hew to the left. They want leaders who clearly describe our differences with George Bush.

You agree with that? The strategy should be to highlight your differences with a guy who's history in 900 days? Say the other guy's bad but not offer a plan? Even a bad one?

That definitely not what I expected from you.

6:59 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Paul Smith Jr. said...

I agree. Bush is essentially done. You can't define your party by what it's against. The Republicans learned that lesson (and have apparently forgotten it again). Even worse is to define it by who you're against. Ideas matter; run on those.

7:47 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger libhom said...

Democrats keep pursuing a losing strategy, even when the results are an obvious disaster. The continual move farther to the right has alienated core Democratic constituencies and depressed Democratic turnout.

Lieberman and other politicians are not going to bring out large Democratic turnout by being the somewhat lesser of the evils. Democratic voters need more than fear and frustration with the Republicans. We need legitimate reasons for hope.

9:25 PM, August 01, 2006  
Blogger Tom Noyes said...

Polls consistently show that two thirds of Americans think the country is on the wrong track. That's more than a George Bush problem.

A watershed election, which this could be, come about when those in opposition clearly articulate the choice before the voters. One of James Carville's aphorisms written on the wall of Clinton headquarters in 1992 was "Change vs. more of the same."

Drawing a clear distinction with Republican controlled national government doesn't preclude any substantive discussion of the issues. I agree that ideas matter, and regular readers of this blog will find plenty of nutritious policy wonking.

I'm not arguing that the Democratic Party is turning or should turn to the right. Candidates like Jon Tester in Montana and Bob Casey in Pennsylvania are going to take Senate seats away from Republicans are more conservative on some issues than Sherrod Brown in Ohio. What they share is the ability to draw a clear difference between themselves and the GOP incumbents they will retire in November.

9:57 PM, August 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The strategy should be to highlight your differences with a guy who's history in 900 days?

Republicans are going to have to make the same choice in the mid-term elections, and again in 2008. It's going to be interesting to watch the Republican candidates deciding whether to run against the Bush policies, or to embrace them and offer more of the same. Those are, after all, their choices.

7:52 AM, August 02, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many Republican Senators are scrambling to save themselves in the coming election, mostly because they so arrogantly stood beside Bush and this war, Santorum of Pennsylvania is making an Ass out of himself in a feeble attempt to try and convince his supporters he can do better than Bob Casey jr. From the looks of things, It is a sure bet that Santorum will soon have the welcome mat pulled out from under him! Leiberman is a traitor to the Dems. His roots are why he is a Bush's war supporter. He cares not what happens to the U.S as long as Isreal is kept no. one in the Mid-East. It is as if the present Administration is secretly Anti-U.S ! We need to have our Country and its people put first again!

1:57 PM, August 30, 2006  

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