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The bigger they get, the harder they'll fall

For those of us who live in New Hampshire, the presidential primaries are a bit more interesting than in some other states. We tend to get a close look at the candidates before they get too big and end up stage-managed and controlled by their campaign's machinery. In fact, there's an apocryphal story of one New Hampshire voter being asked her opinion of one candidate: "I don't know; I've only met him three times."

Back in 2000, I recall being remarkably underwhelmed by the candidates seeking my vote. I was a registered independent at the time, and with New Hampshire's open primary structure, I could walk in to the polling station, ask for either ballot, cast it, and then re-declare my independence. (I forgot to do so, meaning I spent the next five years as a registered Democrat, but that's another story.)

As the primary drew nearer, I started paying a bit more attention to the race. My intention was to see which party had the more competitive race, then vote for the candidate that I found the most appealing. And as Bill Clinton couldn't run again, it was pretty much open on both sides.

The Republican race quickly boiled down to George W. Bush and John McCain. I wasn't that impressed with Bush -- he seemed to have no real plans or ideas, and I got the impression he was running just because that's what his father had done, and it was his family obligation. McCain struck me as decent and honorable, so I favored him.

The Democratic race was far more interesting, however. Gore was Clinton's heir apparent, and I'd almost liked him when he ran in 1988. But I felt he'd "sold out" to the Clinton smarminess and corruption, tossing aside the things I'd respected. I ended up voting for Bill Bradley, but even as I did so I knew it was a wasted vote -- Gore had it in the bag.

Then, when the actual election came about, I remember looking at the two candidates and shaking my head. My choices were between two candidates I had weighed months ago -- and found wanting.

Ironically, though, both men had picked vice presidents that I respected considerably more than themselves. Dick Cheney and Joe Lieberman, to me, brought a certain maturity, integrity, and competence to the tickets. I found myself wishing we could just dump both Bush and Gore, and let Cheney and Lieberman run the country.

That was November, 2000. After the election that eventually put Bush in the Oval Office, I still wasn't impressed. He seemed to be a "caretaker" president, with no real agenda or plan or vision, just a general notion to "restore dignity" to the Oval Office (which desperately needed it, after eight years of Bill Clinton treating the White House as his private bordello). I shrugged, figured he'd at least not do too much damage until the next election.

Then September 11, 2001 arrived, and the world changed.

In the years since, my opinions of the four men who were on my ballot in 2000 has evolved. Bush found the purpose and cause of his administration, and rose to the challenge admirably. Cheney has proven to be an able and capable vice-president. And Lieberman has shown the integrity and character I discerned back then.

Al Gore, unfortunately, has grown into a full-blown moonbat.

And it is that moonbat element -- the ones that used to be tagged as "the lunatic fringe" -- that is fighting -- and winning -- for control of the Democratic party. After a string of defeats, they've finally won one, going after Joe Lieberman and defeating him in his quest for a fourth term in the Senate.

Joe Lieberman is now planning to run as an independent to keep his seat, having been rejected by the Democrats. I'm glad he is. As much as I disagree with most of his positions (he is definitely and unabashedly a classical liberal), he strikes me as a man of principle and honesty, a rare commodity in national politics.

Further, while Connecticut is a very Democratic state and the chances of the Republicans taking that seat are absolutely negligible, it must be remembered that the Senator will represent all the people of Connecticut, not just the Democrats. The good people of the Nutmeg State (I'm tired of typing "Connecticut") have chosen Joe Lieberman to represent them on three occasions before, and polls indicate that he would likely win a general election.

If Lieberman does run and does win, there is little doubt that he will continue to vote with the Democrats the vast majority of the time. The question is whether the Democrats will welcome his support, or treat him as a pariah. That will likely depend on how successful the moonbats are in November.

Ned Lamont's success in defeating Lieberman while running a one-issue campaign reminds me of the classic quote from Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus. He had defeated the Romans in battle, but at a ruinous cost. His statement on that -- "another such victory over the Romans and I am undone" -- gave us the concept of the pyrrhic victory.

I sincerely believe that the lunatic fringe will eventually self-destruct. The only question is when. In the meantime, every single victory they achieve simply means that the eventual fall will be that much more spectacular.

And increase the damage they will cause in the process.


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Comments (19)

Democrats are incredibly po... (Below threshold)
jpm100:

Democrats are incredibly politically nepotistic. You can see countless organization be usurped from their original purpose and turned into liberal propaganda shrills. I sight the AARP as one such example.

When the fringe started to take control of the Democratic Party, the moderates failed to stand up and block the insanity. I think the Clintons for example expected Hillary to look centrist with a fringe Democratic Leadership in the background. That may backfire since now Hillary might be 'targetted'.

This leaves moderates (or liberal but not insane) no choice but to leave the Party because the fringe will never let it go.

But this presumes, Jay, tha... (Below threshold)
cmd:

But this presumes, Jay, that Lieberman even makes it to the general election. Shrillary has already tossed him under the bus, and the DNC is running away from him faster than if he'd been caught waving an American flag in public.

There is going to be immense pressure on JL to step aside "for the good of the party," with dire warnings of what might happen were he to split the vote among himself, the Freshmaker and the nonentity running as the GOP candidate. And frankly, I don't see Lieberman having the stones to go through with it. Remember, this is the man who was perfectly happy to condemn the Syphilitic Hillbilly for his moral failings, but when it was time to stand up and be counted, Joe got on his knees and swallowed the Clinton discharge like all the rest.

I think JL will bask in the glow of "independent man standing up for his country" as long as he can, then he will, at some point, step aside for the moonbat. He is a Democrat, after all - just look at his loony voting record apart from the war - and a desperate appeal to party loyalty might still touch him.

In fact, Jay, I've got twenty bucks in my pocket says JL won't make it to the election. Care to bet?

He's a politician thru and ... (Below threshold)

He's a politician thru and thru, as you just described cmd...I think he'll stick and I'll tell you why...

If he lost on spending issues, morality, likability, the space program, education...I might agree with you. He's a D enough to play nice with the party. But no, he lost on the one thing that he's been sincere about all along...not judges, not Hollywood...the one thing he's pretty much stuck to his guns on was the war with the jihadists. Maybe it's the Jew in him that will drive him as Israel currently faces off with the latest rising jihadists that will keep him in the game, but he lost on one issue only: retreat from or face the jihad. He has consistently said 'face it'. I think that's the one issue he won't concede to those he otherwise is in lockstep with. I don't think he can go home and make global warming movies and watch the reports from Israel as rockets slam into civilian population centers...launched from civilian population centers...and watch a guy with no agenda except retreat from the jihad take his seat. I don't think he can do that. He caved on Hollywood, on campaigning on the sabbath, he's caved on everything that his party wanted him to, except the jihad.

"Classical liberal" is a eu... (Below threshold)
Jay:

"Classical liberal" is a euphemism for "libertarian." I assume that's not what you mean, or I'd like Lieberman even better than I already do.

Classical liberal is what liberal was before it came to mean, essentially, socialist.

The fringe behind Lamont is trying to make liberal mean, essentially, communist, but with a "roll over and be dead" attitude toward defense.

If the general campaign get... (Below threshold)
millco88:

If the general campaign gets very nasty, I could almost see Lieberman turning into a latter-day Wayne Morse.

Here's a scenario for you. The Reps get wiped out on Election Day and lose all the close Senate races, costing them 6 seats. However, the DNC turns on Lieberman, treating him as an apostate in an effort to appease the netroots. Lieberman wins as an independent. Does he still caucus with the Dems?? Probably so, but it's fun to speculate.

Read the piece on Al Gore's... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

Read the piece on Al Gore's hypocrisy in his daily life in regard to living "environmentally friendly."

The non-Adults now trying to take over the party are similar. They usually are out there, frantically pushing some agenda that appeals to a fairly narrow slice of society, but not well conceived by the fanatics.

They're mainly just upset and angry, but not really sure why--in the sense that they can coherently evaluate and discuss it.

This leads to a spectacle such as Mr. Gore's pointing out the increase over the last 20 years of some sort of "greenhouse" effect, which happens to coincide with his administration's tenure. The faddish, "idea du jour" nature of the advocacy is not only hypocritical, but empty.

Ned Lamont's success in def... (Below threshold)
John F Not Kerry:

Ned Lamont's success in defeating Lieberman while running a one-issue campaign reminds me of the classic quote from Pyrrhus, the king of Epirus. He had defeated the Romans in battle, but at a ruinous cost. His statement on that -- "another such victory over the Romans and I am undone"

By Jay Tea

Jay, the problem with that analogy is that Pyrrhus could actually look objectively at the situation. The Lamont moonbats see this as only the beginning, an inexorable tilt of the Democrat party in their direction permanently. What they are unable to do is rationally look at the possibilty that they won't succeed, and what, other than some massive conspiracy, wpould cause such a thing.

Up until now, the Democrats have not shown any willingness to share any real plans with us. With the bats gaining more power, that will only get worse, because those who have actual plans that could work will be driven away by persecution (Lieberman) or disgust(Zell Miller).

Good comments above, and a ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Good comments above, and a good post to comment upon.

My own feeling is that Lieberman will adopt a more practical approach. If he can raise enough money, and stays ahead in the polls, he will keep his independent bid going. If he slips behind Lamont in the polls within the next 60 days or so, or can't bring in the cash to run a strong campaign, he will drop out.

There has been some speculation about a cabinet position for Lieberman if he loses. I doubt that seriously. He has been a lawyer and legislator his entire life, and has no experience running a large organization. Cabinet officers need administrative experience, and the track record of most who don't have that experience is not particularly successful.

Perhaps he might be named Attorney General if Gonzales is appointed to the Supreme Court, but I doubt even that. The only point to it would be political, and it is too important a position to award to a man who is a very liberal Democrat on most issues just to score a few political points.

For anyone to think Lieberm... (Below threshold)
Corky Boyd:

For anyone to think Lieberman will acquiesce to the blandishments of Democrats to withdraw, they are whistling Dixie. Rarely has any party tried to rid themselves of a three time incumbent and a former vice presidential nominee. Lieberman owes the Democrats nothing, except a dedicated campaign to hold his seat, which he should and probably will keep.

What will be interesting if he wins, is how the Democrats will treat him. He has promised to remain a member of the Democratic caucus which, as a man of his word, he will do. But what happens if the Democrats exclude him from certain strategy sessions, expecially dealing with issues of impeachment (assuming the improbable possibility Democrats win in both houses)?

I personally think the impeachment issue has more to do with the Democrats desire to destroy him, than the war issue. If the Democrats gain a Senate majority, they couldn't count on him for the 51st vote. He had to go.

Hopefully he won't.

Good comments, Jim. As for... (Below threshold)

Good comments, Jim. As for this:
"If he can raise enough money, and stays ahead in the polls, he will keep his independent bid going."

don't forget the intangibles, how much is his name recognition in rural Eastern CT worth? How much is the fact that I bet the Courant will continue to cover him worth? Yes, he needs money, but even if he lags Lamont in this he has intangibles that will make up for it. My gut feeling (and it could be wrong, because I get sick to my stomach when I try to think like certain people that support Lamont) is that Lamont is going to have to come up with something besides 'bring them home' to win over rural nutmeggers...he's going to need to talk about why people should vote for him instead of the guy the Courant has been fawning over for the past decade, especially in the face of more bomb threats, continued warfare around Israel, etc. and win over more people than just the elite in the NYC burbs, West Hartford, and Storrs.

Falze ~ Agreed, Lieberman d... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Falze ~ Agreed, Lieberman doesn't have to beat Lamont in campaign funds, he just needs enough to stay competitive.

His name recognition and strong reputation will help him a lot, but he has lost the party organization to get his voters to the polls. Fortunately, his voters tend to be older than Lamont's, and nothing increases the likelihood of a voter actually voting than putting a few years on him or her.

As RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman pointed out in his blogger conference call yesterday, Lamont's primary vote total equals just 7.25% of the registered voters in the state. We already know the raving moonbats are committed; it remains to be seen how many of the large independent vote in CT they can attract.

An additional possible benefit to the GOP: Lieberman's indie run will attract some funds from private donors and national party committees that might otherwise have gone to other close races. CT isn't a state they want to spend much in.

For the latest development in this race, go HERE - and to keep track of all 2006 races, keep checking with us at Wizbang! Politics.

The Lamont moonbats see ... (Below threshold)
OregonMuse:

The Lamont moonbats see this as only the beginning, an inexorable tilt of the Democrat party in their direction permanently.

This is a good point which must be kept in mind as we see moonbats such as Kos and Michael Moore puffing out their chests and patting themselves on the back, as if they had succeeded in winning the Senate and House simultaneously. They need to get a grip. Their celebrations seem a tad disproportionate to what was actually accomplished yesterday. But if you've got Kos' 0-for-18 or I guess now 1-for-19 track record, any victory is a cause for rejoicing, no matter how small.

I think Kos' record is now ... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

I think Kos' record is now 2-21 in races he targeted, with leftist Jon Tester {on the right in the picture} winning the Montana Democratic primary to oppose the scandal-plagued Conrad Burns being the first win.

Note both his "wins" are in primaries. Kos-backed candidates have yet to win a general election.

I sincerely belie... (Below threshold)
Jumpinjoe:
I sincerely believe that the lunatic fringe will eventually self-destruct. The only question is when

Right now the American’s whose hobby isn’t paying attention to politics are just getting the echoes of what’s going to date.

We may see those moments as in the 1980 Campaign, where Jimmah, when questioned about “nuclear weapons” in a debate referred to conversations with his daughter. That noise you heard that day was a national collective “GULP”.

This time around we may see the conspiracy theorists getting airtime instead just being in the padded rooms, which are currently their blogs. Many in this lefty camp that are driving this train believe in this stuff. I hope they intend to spread the word and decide to share it more with the voting public.

Also, things that will lead to Lefty LA-LA Land self-destruction:

There is no GWOT, because this is a plot, blah, blah, blah…

We need to understand why they hate us blah, blah…DUH

And Cindy Sheehan showing up more on behalf of Democrats followed by Cindy giving speeches to national audiences about the “Jooos War”.

And finally please lefties; wear the same thing to the Democrat rallies that you wore to the war protests. Those get-ups are very creative. And I like the way you sprinkle a few commie flags in there. You know, to show off your political diversity.

That should give the rest of America another big collective “GULP”.

I sincerely believe that... (Below threshold)
astigafa:

I sincerely believe that the lunatic fringe will eventually self-destruct.

Well, we'll miss you, Jay.

So you believe you will hav... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:

So you believe you will have an afterlife, and will be concerned with those of us still left on the mortal coil, astigafa?

I wish there were more Repu... (Below threshold)
Chris:

I wish there were more Republicans who shared Lieberman's principles. In 2000, he ran for both VP and Senate, ensuring that his seat would go to the Republicans if he won the Vice Presidency. The fact that most of you weren't paying attention doesn't mean that the Democratic voters in Connecticut weren't aware of what was going on. How would you feel if you supported a candidate for Senate, knowing that he would be willing to hand his seat to the other party? Any sense of betrayal there? Although it's clear that most of you consider the voters in Connecticut to be easily led children, rather than informed voters. The Connecticut House Majority leader supported Lamont. Wonder how a member of the "lunatic fringe" ever got that job?

Now, Lieberman runs in a fairly contested primary, with the active support of virtually the entire Democratic leadership. The voters in Connecticut elected his opponent. This outrage apparently justifies Joe bolting the party and running against the Democratic nominee in November. Yeah, great principles. And now because Hilary supports her party's nominee, she's "throwing him under the bus." Candidates lose elections all of the time, even "single issue" elections (not that this race was truly a single issue race). Lieberman took his constituency for granted and demonstrated no loyalty whatsoever to his party. For the people who claim that he owes nothing to the Democratic party, I would ask what the hell the Democratic party owes him.

Chris, the "betrayal" you c... (Below threshold)

Chris, the "betrayal" you cite is hardly unique. I believe both Lyndon Johnson and Lloyd Bentsen did the same thing, and there was little talk of it being a great "betrayal" at the time.

Further, are you certain it would have automatically gone to the GOP? In most cases like this, the state's Governor appoints the outgoing Senator -- the runner-up doesn't automatically get the nod.

J.

Jay, the seat would have go... (Below threshold)

Jay, the seat would have gone to Nancy Johnson, a Republican Rep. I'm pretty sure Rowland came right out and said that she was who he'd appoint.

"The voters in Connecticut elected his opponent."
I think you meant a tiny fraction of the voters, Chris. Joe obviously believes that a significant portion of the other 90% or so of the state think he's a better choice, no matter what party he's in. Not sacrificing what you stand for in the name of purely partisan politics? yeah, that's a lack of principles at work for sure.




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