Nancy Pelosi, the powerful Speaker of the US House of Representatives, was a fashionably 15 minutes late, the result, no doubt, of the antique twin engine plane that carries the Speaker hither and yon.
Dodd gave a well-received speech, though the feasters present at the Jefferson, Jackson, Bailey Dinner were anxious to dive into their meals during the last few flagging minutes of the speech.
Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Dodd protégé from the gerrymandered 3rd District, which has gone Democrat in all but 12 of the last 74 years, gave a rousing speech introducing Speaker Pelosi and congratulated her on being a woman.
Independent Democrat Sen. Joe Lieberman was not in attendance; religious obligations impended.
After the event, there was much cogitation in stories and commentaries speculating on how Lieberman, who defeated preferred Democrat nominee Ned Lamont, might have fared if he had attended the event. Dodd said Lieberman would have been politely received, even though the ID took issue with Lamont’s – and now Dodd’s – position on the “war in Iraq.” New protocols in the Democrat controlled US Congress prevent references to “the war against terror.” How nifty that the US Congress has the power to abolish “the war against terror” with a mere stroke of the pen.
For those who may not know, the festive dinner is named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson, both presidents, and John Bailey.
Jackson, the hero of the battle of New Orleans, is thought to be the architect of the modern Democrat Party, while Jefferson, who rid the world of the Barbary Pirates, a scourge on shipping controlled by Islamic pashas in North Africa, is a representative of the ancient Democrat regime. John Bailey, who supported President John F. Kennedy’s venture into politics, was the last party boss in Connecticut. Lieberman wrote the best book on Bailey, which served as his springboard into Connecticut politics as a state senator. He served as Connecticut Attorney General, a US Senator, a Vice Presidential nominee of his party, and finally as a scorned supporter of the war on terror or, as the US Congress now prefers, “the Iraq War.”
Somehow, one cannot help but wonder what old Andy Jackson and Tom Jefferson would have thought of Lieberman’s downward spiral within the party of Franklin Roosevelt, a depression-era war president, and John F. Kennedy and Harry Truman, also war presidents.
The big night, it was generally agreed, belonged to presidential aspirant Dodd.
“Friday was the night,” one blogger attendee wrote, “when Connecticut’s Democrats showed their loyalty to a man who had given extraordinary service to the party and the state for decades and, at least outwardly, to show their support for his presidential bid.” But for the concluding sentence, “… he got a big round of applause for declaring that the Iraq War must be brought to an end, and was warmly applauded at the end of his eight minute remarks,” the blogger might have been talking about Lieberman, the prodigal son of the anti-war party.
Unlike Sen. Hillary Clinton, who is also running for president, Dodd has more or less apologized for having given his congressional support to the war in Iraq. Many Democrats have followed suit by rescinding from their memories, if not from history, everything they knew, or thought they knew, at the time they cast their votes in support of the war.
Across the nation, Democrats have used the unpopular war as a lever to pry Republicans from congressional seats. They were unsuccessful in ousting both Lieberman and Rep. Chris Shays, the two politicians in Connecticut most closely associated with President Bush’s unsuccessful prosecution of the war, and their effort to force the president to retreat from Iraq by attaching conditions to funding – when they could end the war immediately and constitutionally by voting to defund it – is both political opportunism and a course of action that is heedless of consequences, a predictable response for a party that never stops thinking about tomorrow and rarely thinks about the day after tomorrow.