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OTHER ITA SITES:
Joe Lieberman Loses Democratic Primary; Republicans Celebrate
Poor Joe Lieberman – how fallen from grace is he and in such a sudden way. Just six years ago, the Democratic candidate for Vice President, today he finds himself unable to persuade his party to reelect him to a fourth term in the Senate.
And, as lousy luck would have it, he lost the Democratic primary just days before the disruption of the horrific terrorist plan to detonate ten passenger-packed planes flying between London and New York. Had that interruption happened before the election, it might have changed enough minds, since the electorate’s principal problem with Joe is his continuing support of the war in Iraq.
Undaunted in the face of rejection, Joe will go on as an independent candidate. As he undoubtedly consoles himself, even Lincoln had his setbacks but would not, in defeat, retreat.
While he will not, of course, have the Democratic machine behind him, but opposing him, he will have little competition for the Republican vote, which in Connecticut is even larger than the Democratic one. Add his still faithful Democratic advocates, and he may well yet emerge the winner.
Anticipating that longed-for outcome even now, he said, "I'm an independent Democrat, seeking the support of Democrats, Republicans and Independents in Connecticut. They're the ones that sent me to Washington three times before."
The oddest turn of events is that what the Democrats celebrated as victory, the Republicans, ever attuned to the slightest political haymaker, used Joe’s defeat to trumpet their election year reprise of the overdone theme, “Democrats are soft on defense.”
Even Dick Cheney displayed some carefully calculated simpatico for the denied Democrat. “It’s an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party, to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy,’’ Mr. Cheney intoned disingenuously.
Even the formerly mild-mannered Tony Snow got in his lick: “This is a defining moment in some ways for the Democratic Party. I know a lot of people have tried to make this a referendum on the president. I would flip it. I think instead it’s a defining moment for the Democratic Party, whose national leaders now have made it clear that if you disagree with the extreme left in their party they’re going to come after you.”
We ask in all of this the most urgent question. In this political maelstrom is there at least one human being who elicits our interest and, in fact, our care? You guessed the candidate for the laudation. Jumpin’ Back Joe.
Our interest is not based on whether or not he voted for the war in Iraq and continues to believe in its necessity. It’s because overall he is the kind of smart with heart person we need in Washington, and such valuable people, in the role of politicos, come along all too rarely and then only one at a time.
Oh, sure, he could have weaseled around his principals and said he recants his support of the war and the arch Republican Bush. But he demurred, saying, “I know that’s what they want me to do. But I’m not going to do it, because I don’t think it’s right.” How many of today’s politicians, or politicians from any other time, would stand on such moral high ground, despite the obvious harm to his candidacy, since the opponent who seemed to have the wider appeal of the moment had based his entire campaign on an antiwar platform.
We note that a lot of Connecticut voters still go for Joe.
“Joe’s still the man for the job,” one said. “He’s used his power to do a lot of positive things.”
Actually, while the Democratic machine, including Dean, the Clintons, and Schumer, went over to Lamont, only a handful of Lieberman supporters who were interviewed said they would switch to Mr. Lamont.
So, while Joe has received a reprimand from his party faithful, it seems he may yet be on his way back to Washington on the Metroliner on which we ourselves have seen him shuttle.
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