Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lieberman the Independent

Joe Lieberman mentioned today in Windsor that he won't rule out running as an independent should he lose the primary. From ConnecticutBLOG:
LIEBERMAN: Will I always be a member of the Democratic party? I hope there's not a primary. I'm confident if there is one, I'll win it, but I'm not gonna rule out any other option for now because I feel so strongly that I can do better for the State of Connecticut for the next six years in the United States Senate that I want to give all the voters a chance to make that decision on Election day in November. I want to do it as a Democrat. If I didn't want to do it as a Democrat, I would choose to run in some other party, trust me. But I want to do it as a Democrat because I believe in the Democratic party, so really the choice is up to my fellow Democrats...
Really, despite the glee this causes in the Lamont camp, this is nothing new. Lieberman has declared before that he intends to be on the ballot regardless, party be damned.

So which is more important? The party, or the man? Joe Lieberman has an answer, which may not be the one he had thirty years ago. Ned Lamont and his supporters have another answer.

George Washington had an answer, too.

The reality is that Lieberman is already an independent, a member of a political party that doesn't exist. He isn't a Republican, but he's not quite a Democrat either. There are many others like him. John McCain. Joe Biden. Jodi Rell. Rob Simmons. Olympia Snowe. Lincoln Chaffee. Bob Casey. Chris Shays. Do I need to go on? Moderates have always existed, but they've never had their own party in modern American politics. Sometimes, they've dominated their respective parties, but this has not been the case since Bill Clinton left office.

If both parties' leaders continue to move away from the center, there exists the possibility that someday they will. An American Kadima could be born. It isn't likely, we like our two-party system... but it's a bracing and radical thought. American politics would be remade. The world would shift.

That, however, is the future, and an unlikely future at that.

In the here and now, however, Joe Lieberman seems to be finding it harder and harder to stay a Democrat in a party whose faithful don't seem to want him. Where will the breaking point be?

47 comments:

DeanFan84 said...

It's not glee. But I'm not going to cower in fear either. Joe has a lot of nerve threatening to wreck other Dem races.

Basically, us Dem bloggers got Joe to come out and admit he has no real commitment to the Democratic Party.

Look, I want to win in November. House races, the governorship, etc. That means I'm not happy about the potential for a damaging Lieberman indy run. But I can't control Joe, even though he just said, basically, that if Lamont gets anywhere near in the polls, he's gone, gone, gone!

That's not how our two-party system is supposed to function. And that's not how Party loyalty works. Joe just said he could care less about the will of the Democratic Party.

The move to the center should be done by CT's so-called moderate Republicans, not Joe Lieberman. (As a member of the minority, Joe should stand in opposition.) The Chris Shays of the world should be leading the charge for bi-partisanship. Why not be tougher on them?

So, Genghis, I truly hope you'll reconsider. If Dems held 55 Senate seats, I might give Joe a pass. But even R's are upset by the Iraq occupation and the Bush agenda.

P.S. Where were you today? You should have been the one breaking the news, and Enfield is like, what, two towns over from Windsor??

Genghis Conn said...

I work Sundays. It's too bad--I especially wanted to go to Derek Donnelly's announcement in Suffield as well as the Windsor thing.

If Lieberman thinks he can win running as an independent then he probably will do so. And why not? If the Democratic Party doesn't want him anymore, then why should he care whether he's helping or hurting them?

The two party system works fine, most of the time. One party is in power for a while, gets used up, and is replaced. This is the way it should work. But now it seems like neither party has anything of substance to offer. There's nothing new, at least not that I've seen.

More than anything else in this election I'd like to see change. I think a lot of Americans fo.Maybe Lamont can offer that. Maybe an independent Lieberman can. Heck, maybe Alan Schlesinger can. I don't know.

Patricia Rice said...

deanfan: no offense but people with your way of thinking will destroy the Democratic party. Republicans have done everything they can to screw up but Democrats are working over time to make certain they can throw the election to the Republicans.

Lieberman will win no matter how much it may irritate you. The question is, do you want him to win as a Democrat or not?

The Democrats are all but guranteed to lose State House and Senate seats thanks to a strong Governor at the head of the ticket. Congressional Republicans are in trouble because of Bush.

Chasing Lieberman out of the Democratic party is about the dumbest thing you can do right now. With Lieberman off the Democratic line, Shays,Simmons and Johnson walk right in. Is that what you want? I repeat, no matter what...Lieberman wins. Remember that!

Howard Dean said...

Joe isnt going to go independant...deanfan and others are mis-reading what he said...no wonder they cant ever get a high position in a campaign.

let me ask an important question....can the governors race be settle if we put lisa moody,ken daglierre and rick melita at a table and the one who eats the most cheeseburgs wins, and their "patron" takes over as governor?

DeanFan84 said...

Genghis-
Please ban "Howard Dean" and "Joe Lieberman". That which he/she is doing is taboo.

And again, your target should be Shays, Simmons and Johnson. With so much of CT against the Bush agenda, what have they done to stop it?

Patricia Rice--
If primarying Lieberman for his support of Bush and this nutso war is "chasing him out of the Party", so be it. Are you Republicans going to take him?

The only way Lieberman wins is if he cuts a deal with Rell, and Shays, (who has already endorsed him). With anti-Bush, anti-elective war sentiment running so high, this could also be a kiss of death for all the incumbents. What makes you so sure a majority of CT voters will vote in support of the status quo and this unpopular war?

Keep saying that Lieberman wins. It works well with the Bush's 51% "mandate".

Also, win or lose, I'm not irritated. The frowns belong to the Lieberman staffers. CT is beginning to hold our politicos accountable. Frankly, we should all be proud of that!

DeanFan84 said...

Genghis--
Please don't compare these people, "John McCain, Joe Biden, Jodi Rell, Rob Simmons, Olympia Snowe, Lincoln Chaffee, Bob Casey, Chris Shays" to Joe Lieberman. All of them might lean the other way at times, but none of them have ever threatened to bolt their parties.

I mean Chaffee deserves a medal. As does Shays. Switch parties and they would never, ever lose. But they don't. And they won't. Unlike Joe.

middlesexist said...

This isn't what moderates do --- Joe Biden (who I'm not sure qualifies as a "moderate") would never turn his back on his Democratic constituents, nor would Chris Shays abandon his Republican supporters. Arlen Spectre was challenged by the far-right Pat Toomey in '04 and never even hinted he'd consider running as anything other than a Republican.

Lieberman's remarks are scary for Democrats and inexusable, and yet are all too typical from a man who, by all reports, has pulled away from friends both political and personal, into a weird, pseudo-paranoid bubble. Joe feels everybody's out to get him, a feeling I can only assume comes from the reception received by his rather self-indulgent Presidential fiasco.

I could share some scary personal anecdotes that emphasize this if anybody's interested.

DeanFan84 said...

middlesex!

Please do. Share the personal anecdotes. It's often frightening how off-base the media can be. Thank god for blogs!

And yeah, Matt Lieberman left CT with a lot of bitterness about our lack of support for Joe's presidential run. What's wrong with us that we didn't want to underwrite Joe's fringe candidacy?

But Matt is right. His dad would have been more palatable to R's and Indy's than Kerry. But he forgets some basics. E.G. in CT you can be respected as either a Yankees or Red Sox fan,-- but lord help you if you try to be both!

Does Lieberman have any core convictions? Maybe his utopian Neo-Con dreams come first? Most of us are equally concerned about the minimum wage, public schools, and abortion rights. The Party is most imporant. Will someone try to talk to Joe?

middlesexist said...

---deanfan84

Of course you're right. It isn't just that Joe Lieberman is George Bush's favorite Democrat (which he is, with the possible and thoroughly unremarkable exceptions of John Breaux and Norm Mineta), it's that Joe Lieberman has seemingly zero interest in the Democratic Party, however you frame it. He does not cooperate with Senate Democrats on caucus matters, he's basically told the national party apparatus (DNC/DSCC/DCCC) to go to hell, and despite his primary challenge he has less than no commitment to the Democratic party infrastructure of Connecticut. His one aspiration seems to be to replace Don Rumsfeld as Defense Secretary.

And no, I do not work for Ned Lamont.

middlesexist said...

--Deanfan,

I have a friend who is a member of Lieberman's Georgetown congregation (Kesher Israel). For years he and his wife were good, personal friends of the Liebermans. But about a year ago, Lieberman stopped returning his calls, stopped even acknowledging his presence in the synagogue. Others in the same circle report the same thing.

Apparently, you disagree with Lieberman ever so slightly on Iraq or the War on Terror, and regardless of how close to him you've been, he stops talking to you and pretends you don't exist. He was never like this before. I'm not a psychologist, but this is mighty strange behavior from a US Senator who has presumably had to deal with differing views all his life. Why is he cutting away from everybody?

Beat Shays said...

We need Joe to win as a Dem, or we are going to lose everything.

middlesexist said...

Given that Lieberman polls stronger among Republicans than he does among Democrats, what makes you think that voters who turn out for Lieberman will help Democrats down-ticket?

On the contrary, a strong pro-Lieberman turnout may be exactly what Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson and Rob Simmons need -- because they'll get large numbers of their moderate-Republican base delivered to the polls.

Moreover, if Lieberman's on the ticket it will likely depress turnout among liberal Democrats, and the three Congressional candidates will need every liberal vote they can get their hands on.

Don Pesci said...

GK

Interesting. Why do we not have a third party by now? The parties have been disestablished for many years, partially the result of apathy and partially the result of reforms. Unaffiliated are simply breakaway Democrats and Republicans. Why has it not been possible to organize the disaffected into a third party? Part of the answer is to be found in a comment made by Beat Shays: “We need Joe to win as a Dem, or we are going to lose everything.”

Lieberman is a party; so is Dodd; so are most incumbents. They have their own permanent staff, their own financing mechanisms, and their own principles (such as they are). What moderates do not have is an ideology -- a coherent body of political ideas. What we are witnessing in the Lieberman/Lamont race is a clash of old time politics with the “new thing.” The new thing is candidate centered politics. The truth is that political parties – especially in states, like Connecticut, that are moderate – exist only as elaborate Potemkin Villages – formidable on the outside, with nothing inside.

MikeCT said...

I have no problem with anyone running as an independent or whatever party best matches their philosophy. I do have a problem with Lieberman cynically gaming the system and being dishonest.

He:
1. Alienates both Democrats and independents with his advocacy of occupation and other issues.
2. Tells his alienated Democratic base that he's a real Democrat and wants the Democratic endorsement.
3. In the same breath, effectively says he plans to run against the Democrats if they don't choose him.

Lieberman's arrogance, self-absorption, and political stupidity is breathtaking. Since he can't wait until the primary election to decide to run as an independent, he will apparently bolt the Democrats if his showing is not as strong as he would like at the Democratic convention. Alternately, he will have to gather signatures for an independent bid, even as he runs for the Democratic nomination.

This guy is politically and ethically bankrupt. It's all about his career preservation, at any cost. He also may be handing the nomination to Lamont with this bizarre behavior.

turfgrrl said...

It seems like once again people forget that not only does Lieberman caucus with the democrats in the senate, but that he and Dodd share the same voting record. So he gives a politician's answer to a hypothetical question, big deal. What it seems the anti-Lieberman kool-aid drinkers want is some sort of supplication to the crazed anti-war rhetoric. What a waste of energy! The weekend news cycle delivered the bombshell that Bush authorized the release of classified information in a vendetta to a critic of the Nigerian yellow cake story, and people here are more upset that Lieberman said that he really, really wants to be a senator for the next 6 years. Glad to see the everyone has the right priorities.

Gabe said...

turfgrrl - No supplication to any anti-war ideology would have been necessary to avoid this discussion; a simple, "I hope I am the Democratic nominee, but, if it is not me, I will support the Democratic nominee." would have avoided this whole topic.

While much of the angst over Lieberman is due to his unwavering support for the war, the larger issue for a number of Democrats is his seeming willingness to work against his party. This debate is indicitive of the latter, not the former.

truth squad said...

this is all quite laughable. the same people who are crying about a possible joe indy run are the same people who said long ago they would support weicker in and indy run against joe. further, these folks pretend they are putting party first when we all know that they are putting their spite for joe first. party memebrs up and down have said that having joe at the top of the ticket is better for the dems, both for the variety of voters he draws to the dem line and for the 3mil he would have poured into CT dem campaigns across the state. let's have some consistency and honesty in this debate.

tparty said...

GC wrote:

If Lieberman thinks he can win running as an independent then he probably will do so. And why not? If the Democratic Party doesn't want him anymore, then why should he care whether he's helping or hurting them?

Joe has every right to throw away his 36-year association with a party that nominated him for vice president, and cut and run like a coward from a primary election he might lose. Doesn't say much for his character that he would consider doing this. But he has every right to.

But Joe has NO RIGHT to keep on calling himself a Democrat if this is his plan.

He has NO RIGHT to ask Democrats for his vote if he doesn't plan on accepting the outcome of that vote.

That's the height of cynicism and megalomania.

turfgrrl said...

Gabe,
Lieberman said "I want to do it as a Democrat. If I didn't want to do it as a Democrat, I would choose to run in some other party, trust me. But I want to do it as a Democrat because I believe in the Democratic party, so really the choice is up to my fellow Democrats..."

I think that is pretty clear. And what part of Dodd and Lieberman have the same voting record makes Lieberman work against the Demoratic party?

The anti-Lieberman crowd can't come up with any other position that Lieberman has taken that represents this spurious claim.

Aldon Hynes said...

Don,

While our political ideologies may differ, as may some of our views about the underlying nature of the political system, I think your comment is one of the best ones I’ve read here in a long time. “Why do we not have a third party by now?” You cite apathy and reforms as two of the reasons.

I think apathy is a clear part of the problem, and I offer refer back to Robert Putnam’s Bowling Alone where he talks a lot about the decrease in civic engagement. Personally, I think that some of this apathy comes from so much of politics over the past few decades as being broadcast oriented. For too many people, politics has become a thirty second advertisement that everyone wants to skip over on their Tivo.

I think this relates to an underlying issue. Perhaps the two party system isn’t so much about left and right, or Democrat and Republican as it is about incumbent and challenger. The incumbent system uses rules and reforms to try and maintain power. Look at the rules about third party cross endorsements in Connecticut, or how third parties got treated in the campaign finance reform package.

Yet I think there is another important fundamental that isn’t being addressed. My game theorist friends argue that a simple winner take all system will naturally promote a two party system and that if we want to open up the political dialog, we need to move to preferential voting systems such as proportional representation or instant run off voting.

Of course, such a move would challenge the incumbency, so bringing about that type of reform may be particularly challenging. The question then becomes, what should a challenger do to succeed in such a system? I’m not so sure it is about ‘candidate centered politics’, or that the idea of candidate centered politics in necessarily such a new idea.

I’ve argued extensively elsewhere that interesting shift in dynamics is from broadcast style politics to a post-broadcast style politics that re-engages people in the political process. In many ways, post-broadcast politics is similar to a return to the old pre-broadcast politics where shoe leather and social networks prevailed.

I think we saw this beginning to emerge in 2004 and it will be interesting to watch whether this cycle will further a return to civic engagement.

Patricia Rice said...

Lieberman doesn't need the Democratic party as much as the Democratic party needs Lieberman. Joe gets elected with or without them. The sooner they accept that, the better off they will be.

fidelcastro said...

Dear Aldon...You are wrong about why we dont have a vibrant 3rd party.

The reason why we dont have one is because few want one.

Most folks believe ( rightly or wrongly) that both parties encapsulate their basic views and hence there is no need for a 3rd party..

CTObserver said...

Aldon:

One of the downsides of aproportional representation system is the instability risk. Look at Italy which has had almost more governments than years. The two party has certain flaws, but in a world of nukes, global warming, etc., some stability in government is a good thing, IMHO.

tparty said...

Lieberman doesn't need the Democratic party as much as the Democratic party needs Lieberman.

Congratulations, you've just boiled down Lieberman's re-election platform to its very essence.

Chris MC said...

GC -
It isn't the case that the party faithful don't want Joe. There is a small slice of fervently anti-war people who are desperate to punish Lieberman for his support of the war and Bush, and another slice that has and always will have an ax to grind with Lieberman.

By the same token, a lot of people will be supporting Joe because of the kind of party and personal loyalty that DF84 and others are demanding of Lieberman.

Kudos to the Lamontians for ginning this up to the point where the MSM has started asking Lieberman the question.

Watching Ned Lamont on Al Terzi's program was interesting. He's clearly a good man and sincere. Found myself reminded though of Dan Quayle - he kinda looks like him, but it was that deer-in-the-headlights thing that I noticed (sorry guys).

But it was pretty clever the way he tried to turn the Iraq issue around and say it was Lieberman that was talking about nothing but.

Gabe said...

turgrrl -

Respectfully, you left out some of the context of that quote. Here it is with the preceeding and subsequent bits:

Will I always be a member of the Democratic party? I hope there's not a primary. I'm confident if there is one, I'll win it, but I'm not gonna rule out any other option for now because I feel so strongly that I can do better for the State of Connecticut for the next six years in the United States Senate that I want to give all the voters a chance to make that decision on Election day in November. I want to do it as a Democrat. If I didn't want to do it as a Democrat, I would choose to run in some other party, trust me. But I want to do it as a Democrat because I believe in the Democratic party, so really the choice is up to my fellow Democrats... [my emphasis added]

Also, as to your point that the voting record between Dodd and Lieberman are the same, so Lieberman is not working against the party:

-Lieberman on Hannity attacking "hard-left" Democrats. Hannity graciously offered to host him a fundraiser.

-Lieberman stated his willingness to work with President Bush on Privitizing Social Security (sorry that this link is now behind the Times firewall)

- Lieberman says that dissent to the administration is hurting the country.

Dodd has never taken positions such as the above. Nor does he go on Hannity's show and sits by as Democrats are based (or joins in, for that matter). None of those are votes, which reveals the danger of only looking at voting records in evaluating candidates.

Here are two votes where they differed to chew on:

The cloture votes for the bankruptcy bill and for the confirmation of Justice Alito.

For the record, the bankruptcy cloture vote is where I started to have doubts about Lieberman and that was confirmed in the Alito Confirmation cloture vote.

Finally, even accepting your argument, I fail to see how any of it means that the anti-Lieberman forces required some "crazed anti-war rhetoric." It seems they required a level-headed statement that he would, as a Democrat, accept the results of the Democratic primary, win or lose.

Aldon Hynes said...

ctobserver: You are right in observing one of the issues with a proportional representation system, which is why it seems that most of the talk these days about preferential voting systems seem to lean towards an instant runoff voting solution instead of a proportional representation system.

Gabe said...

Aldon - an argument (incorporating some of what your game theory friends argue) that there is a strong structural impediment preventing a viable third party from forming. I would love to discuss at length, but I don't want to hijack the thread.

middlesexist said...

I agree with Gabe. Lieberman has voted with the party generally on the vast majority of partyline votes on which his vote doesn't matter. That's not pariticularly significant. But on close votes, especially cloture votes, he is thoroughly unreliable

cgg said...

I've often thought that a three party system would work better for our country. There really is a need for a Centrist party, and as Aldon pointed out, some system of preferential voting to go along with that. I used to think it would come from a left wing fed up with Democrats, but now I wonder if it might develop from the middle. Candidates could run on platforms that more closely align with their personal views, and voters would have more choice in the issues.

turfgrrl said...

Gabe,

Who really cares what Lieberman says on a talk show? That's the best you can do? Let's take a look at your issues:

The cloture votes for the bankruptcy bill Dodd voted nay but that liberal stalwart Joe Biden voted Yea.

and for the confirmation of Justice Alito. Your link shows that Dodd voted nay as well.

I fail to see how any of it means that the anti-Lieberman forces required some "crazed anti-war rhetoric."

Of course the anti-Lieberman crowd is crazed. Where was the anti-Lieberman people in any of the past 6 years? Or longer? It's not like there isn't a long record of Lieberman's positions or votes that anyone could have issue with. But instead we get outrage over comments he makes on the faux news talk circuit!

It seems they required a level-headed statement that he would, as a Democrat, accept the results of the Democratic primary, win or lose.


And why does Lieberman have to know what he'll do if he loses a primary right now? He has yet to run that campaign, and so many things can happen both in the campaign and politically. He gave a politician's answer covering all bases and ruling nothing out. He said he wants to run as a Democrat. why isn't that good enough?

fidelcastro said...

turrfgrrl..i couldnt agree with you more.

I want Joe gone also..but im not gonna misread what he says like deanfan just so the chatting crowd in here has fodder...

DeanFan84 said...

Dodd and Lieberman don't share the same voting record. Dodd didn't vote for the confirmation of Atty General Alberto Gonzalez, (you know the guy that wrote the briefs making torture okay, and the Geneva conventions optional.) Joe was a member of the Salazar Six, and the other five all represented red-states.

Lieberman also differed with Dodd on his vote for the Bush energy bill. Both RI Senators voted against it, Both MA Senators, Both VT Senators, Both NH Senators.

I'd be interested to hear from Joe why he departed from the rest of New England on the Energy Bill.

DeanFan84 said...

Fidel??

Misread? It reads perfectly clear. Joe Lieberman says he doesn't see the Democratic Primary, or his affiliation with the Party, as binding on him.

He's not ruling out an Independent run, because his plan is simple. If Lamont gets anywhere close to him in Joe's internal polling, Joe retreats until November.

Gabe said...

turfgrrl - scroll down on the link to the Alito confirmation vote to the cloture section (I apologize for the clunkiness of that website, but I couldn't find it anywhere else for some reason). Dodd voted against cloture, Lieberman voted for it.

Also, while the description of Joe Biden as a "liberal stalwart" may be debatable on some issues, it is catagorically false on issues related to credit card companies and banking. The good Senator from MBNA votes with his campaign contributions.

Who really cares what Lieberman says on a talk show?

Voters in a Democratic primary (i.e. Democrats) care if a Democratic Senator badmouths Democrats on national t.v. and gives bad Republican legislation "bipartisan" cover by being the only Democrat who supports it.

He said he wants to run as a Democrat. why isn't that good enough?

Because he is running for the Democratic nomination and he implied that if he loses (or fears a loss) he will sever his ties with the Democratic party and run as an independant. Do you not believe that whether the nominee plans to remain in the party might be important to primary voters?

disgruntled_republican said...

Because I have nothing better to do...

Lieberman voted with Dodd 94% of the time in this, the 109th Congress.

At the same time Lieberman voted with the opinion of the democrat leadership of the Senate at a rate of 92.7% and Dodd at a rate of 89.4%.
(Keep in mind Dodd missed a few weeks worth of votes after surgery)

And it's worth noting that while Lieberman voted for GOnzales he in fact voted against John Ashcroft.

Just thought I would share this info with everyone. I was just curious to see how it panned out...must say I was surprised.

turfgrrl said...

More Liberman and Dodd vote the same

1. Voted against William H. Pryor, Jr., Priscilla Owen, and Janice Rogers Brown to the federal Courts of Appeal.

2. Voted for an amendment on te consumer bankruptcy bill, that would have expanded the protections for workers’ wages and benefits when corporations file for bankruptcy

3. Voted for amendements to the consumer bankruptcy bill. The bill that passed makes it more difficult for working families who are experiencing financial difficulties to get relief through the bankruptcy process. like those people who have lost their jobs or incurred heavy medical expenses. Both Dodd and Lieberman voted against the bill that passed.

Does anyone else find it ironic that the anti-Lieberman people focus more on what happens on Hannity's show than on a 30 year political record? No wonder Foxnews is getting such higher ratings!

disgruntled_republican said...

turfgrrl-

I think you and are on the exact same page with this one.

turfgrrl said...

disgruntled_republican,
It would seem so. I'm just concerned that all this anti-Lieberman noise will diminish the already fragile attention span of CT voters and create an easier path of re-election for Shays, Johnson and Simmons. Farrell, Murphy and Courtney deserve pixel time.

DeanFan84 said...

Gabe--
Lieberman shuns Michael Moore, but embraces Sean Hannity. 'nough said?

DeanFan84 said...

and turfgrrl--
It's anti-Bush, anti-stupid wars noise. That it's coming out against Lieberman should be expected. Why on earth doesn't he change his views, admit he is wrong, and get in line with the vast majority of CT voters? Hubris my dear, which comes before the fall.

If DeStefano, Malloy, Farrell, Courtney and Murphy would wake up, we'd jettison the Bush-kisser and run full tilt against the Republican record in November. With Joe in the way, it's almost impossible to get any traction.

Gabe said...

Turfgrrl - As I stated above, the vote that made me think about voting against a sitting Democratic Senator in a primary was the vote against cloture for the bankruptcy bill.

Don Pesci said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Don Pesci said...

“Perhaps the two party system isn’t so much about left and right, or Democrat and Republican as it is about incumbent and challenger.” – Aldon Hynes

Give that man a cigar. Apathy and the kind of changes in have in mind concerning political parties are a chicken and the egg phenomenon: impossible to say which comes first. Are people apathetic because they know the system’s books are cooked; or does apathy produce an incumbentocracy that is self directed and therefore anti-democratic in a profound sense? Is it the lack of ideas in the parties that produce self directed – and appanently impregnable – politicians; or does the stranglehold incumbents have on elections produce barren political parties? In any case, they feed off each other. My answer to sclerotic parties is term limits – but nobody wants that, certainly not incumbents.

Most of the arguments throughout this whole thread can be reduced to two points: 1) Lieberman does not represent the interests of his party and must go; 2) If Lieberman goes, the Democratic Party will have lost a draw on its ticket, thus giving an advantage to the Republican Party. Point 1) envisions an idea centered party; point 2) envisions a candidate centered politics. Both 1 and 2 play out at the same time. However, you cannot have parties without ideas; but you can have incumbents without ideas. And you can have incumbents without parties. Pratically every strong incumbent in the state has parted with his party sometime or other – not just Lieberman. Here in Connecticut, we call it moderation.

turfgrrl said...

DeanFan84,

The vast majority of CT voters voted Lieberman to the senate in 2000, 64% of the vote I think. While Dodd pulled in 66% of the vote in 2004, Kerry only managed 54%. CT voters have voted a republican governor in for the last how many years? Clearly you don't have a grasp on what constitutes the vast majority of voters.

DeanFan84 said...

Orchulli polled 12% less than Bush? Wow, that's breaking news.

It's a matter of alternatives. The non-politician Lamont provides a great alternative to you Party hacks.

The majority of voters hate politicians. Ned isn't one. And that he isn't insane on foreign policy issues can only help.

MVD said...

For more on this issue see this