Saturday, August 12, 2006

To Lieberman, from one of your former campaign donors: drop the towel already and get behind Lamont

I donated to Lieberman's presidential campaign in 2004. I had been mostly a Republican voter prior to the Bush administration taking office and turned the GOP into a party of opposition to fundamental American principles. Without going through the specifics, I thought Lieberman represented the best ideas without regard to partisan affiliation.

That is no longer the case, for reasons best laid out in this editorial by the New York Times - and the background for which is best laid out in this memorandum by then General Counsel of the U.S. Navy, Alberto Mora. As the Times put it:

In his effort to appear above the partisan fray, he has become one of the Bush administration’s most useful allies as the president tries to turn the war on terror into an excuse for radical changes in how this country operates. Citing national security, Mr. Bush continually tries to undermine restraints on the executive branch: the system of checks and balances, international accords on the treatment of prisoners, the nation’s longtime principles of justice. His administration has depicted any questions or criticism of his policies as giving aid and comfort to the terrorists. And Mr. Lieberman has helped that effort.

Anyone who actually tries to paint Ned Lamont's stance on the war as far-left-wing, or the rejection of Lieberman as an enforcement of narrow Democratic Party dogma, is shockingly out of touch with the American people, around two-thirds of whom are against the continuing presence in Iraq and against the Bush administration, as the polls make clear. This includes not just Democrats, whether far-left-wing or not, but an overwhelming number of independents, including former Republicans driven into exile from the hostile takeover of their party, such as myself, and people like John Dean and Cenk Uygur.

It is continuing support for the status quo of our occupation of Iraq, with its disastrous mismanagement, inadequate troops, and disregard for human rights or distinguishing the innocent, that is a radical extremist position. And it is the broad bipartisan opposition to that status quo among the American people that Lamont laid claim to. Lieberman needs to recognize this, and bow out of his increasingly embarrassing independent run.

The Lamont victory in the Connecticut primary can be viewed in part as a victory for the influence of blogs - and none moreso than firedoglake, which has been promoting Lamont since his name recognition in his own state was within statistical noise of zero. Now firedoglake is promoting Dave Mejias for New York's third district, on Long Island, opposite Peter King. And what do you know, but the Cook Political Report has added NY-3 to its list of competitive House races, bringing the total of vulnerable GOP House members in all categories up to 55 (compare the previous month). The Cook doesn't do that lightly - it declined to recategorize the Minnesota Senator race from "toss-up" even after several polls have shown Amy Klobuchar with a double-digit lead (hooray!). Take a look at Mejias.


George Matkovits said...

Senator Lieberman was Vice-Presidential Candidate back in 2000 and not in 2004 like you state above. A small mistake from an ex-Republican!

bryan @ shotgunfreude said...

No, I was refering to his actual bid in the presidential primaries in 2004 - which it's not surprising for someone to forget, given how few people seem to have been aware of it at the time. Remember "Joementum"? Or at least remember Jon Stewart mocking "Joementum"? And Lieberman "bragging" that he had tied for third place in New Hampshire, when he was in a three-way sort-of-tie but technically came in fifth?

Even by then, it seems he had lost the entire Democratic cohort; his share of the primary votes could easily be accounted for entirely by disillusioned former Republicans like myself.

But at some point in there, when it seemed like he was going strong and before the embarrassment of the actual primary votes, I was in fact a donor to his campaign.