Thursday, September 11, 2008
Lieberman and His Enemies
Some in the Democrat Party are continuing their efforts to show their displeasure with Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, now an independent who is never-the-less a registered Democrat.
Majority Leader of the US Senate Harry Reid, recently batted down a rumor that Lieberman was being ejected from the Democrat caucus. Reid and Lieberman some time ago agreed, largely at Lieberman’s urging, that the now independent senator would refrain from attending Democrat caucuses in which political strategy was being discussed. An ardent supporter of Republican Presidential candidate Sen. John McCain, Lieberman crossed a Rubicon of sorts when he appeared at the Republican Party convention and gave a speech in support of his preferred presidential candidate. The support itself is not surprising: Who wills the end, wills the means, and Lieberman is dissatisfied with his party’s attempts to shove a stick in the spokes of President Bush’s belatedly successful Iraq war policy.
A spokesperson for Reid has called reports in the press that Lieberman was being shown the door “completely untrue.” This is understated; the story was a complete fabrication, an item that leeched out of partisan blog sites into reputable papers, old dead news blown into life by the Lamontistas, a group of progressive sans culottes who would like nothing better than to see Lieberman’s head adorning a guillotine basket. They will never forgive Lieberman for defeating Ned Lamont, their quasi-socialist candidate for state senator.
Enter Audrey Blondin of Litchfield and Myrna Watanabe, both members of the Democrat State Central Committee, who are now circulating a resolution asking the committee to a) censure Lieberman, an independent, and b) seek his resignation as a registered Democrat.
Pointedly, the two have not asked the central committee to demand that Reid strip Lieberman of his committee assignments or boot him out of the caucus because, one supposes, such measures would create political eddies that might damage Democrat prospects in the congress.
The resolution has been endorsed by five of the committee’s 72 members, former state Democrat Party chairman George Jepsen, other anti-Lieberman tub thumpers and activists bloggers.
Chairwoman of the State Democrat Party Nancy DiNardo thinks the resolution is needlessly distracting and “…a waste of energy. We need to be focusing on getting a big win in Connecticut for Sen. Obama and Joe Biden, as well as our congressional candidates.”
Jepsen’s position on the resolution is simply incomprehensible. He supports the resolution to expel Lieberman from the party but has said “we can’t expel him.”
One of the reasons the Democrat State Central Committee can’t revoke Lieberman’s registration in the party with which he, and everyone else, is free to associate is that what state central hath not given, state central cannot take away; registration in a political party, thank God, does not depend upon the whimsy of state politicians, nor should it.
Lieberman has been a burr in Jepsen’s side ever since he challenged Ned Lamont, the party’s nominee for senator, and won in a general election. Jepsen managed Lamont’s failed bid for Lieberman's seat.
The right way for Jepsen and others to express their displeasure with Lieberman is to put pressure on Reid to deprive Lieberman of usufructs that flow from Reid. What Reid hath given Reid can take away. However, this would unnecessarily complicate the lives of other Democrats who depend upon Reid to smooth their way on their life’s journey through the congressional maze. It would also shove a stick in the bicycle wheels of Democrats who aspire to committee assignments more exalted than those presently held by Jepsen and Lamont.
The progressive’s best hope right now is to get rid of Reid and appoint in his place either Senators Chuck Schumer or Chris Dodd, both progressive suck-ups. One other name has surfaced in the grapevine, that of Sen. Hillary Clinton, punctured by Sen. Obama in a hard fought primary but pawing the ground and angling for a way to re-inflate herself for another presidential run.