Joe Lieberman, the U.S. Senator from Connecticut now in a fight for his political life, has been one of my least favorite politicians for years. Lieberman may very well lose the democratic nomination for the seat he now holds to Ned Lamont, a successful business man opposed to the war in Iraq that Lieberman champions.
That is what former U.S. Congressman Les AuCoin is hoping will happen when the August 8 primary is held. AuCoin is urging readers of his blog to donate to Lamont.
To hear Lieberman tell the story his campaign is in trouble because liberal bloggers and other "antis" are out to get him, according to the Associated Press. But The Washington Post gets closer to the truth:
Some political observers think the seeds of Lieberman's problems with Connecticut voters were planted in 2000, when Al Gore picked him as his vice presidential running mate and as a precaution Lieberman refused to give up his bid for a third Senate term. "It's called covering your bases, rather than being a loyal party guy," said John M. Orman, a Fairfield University politics professor who briefly challenged Lieberman before Lamont entered the picture.
While laying the foundation for his own presidential bid in 2004, Lieberman criticized Gore for mishandling their 2000 campaign by sounding a populist tone instead of appealing more to centrists. He showed interest in the Republicans' plan for overhauling Social Security, he voted for a Republican energy bill that Democrats decried, he supported federal intervention in the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case, and he helped clear the path for a vote on Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s Supreme Court confirmation -- although he voted against Alito.
Lieberman is a principled man but many of us disagree with his vision of America - with the essence of his principles. Those opposed to Lieberman are not "antis" opposed to everything done by Lieberman but rather are principled people with a different vision of how the world could be.
The internet is a strange place and Lieberman is correct when he derides the tone of the campaign on blogs. I read some of the major political blogs and many of them have made vicious personal attacks against Lieberman while advocating for Lamont. Lieberman and his supporters, however, have been just as bad. That is one of the major complaints about Lieberman: he uses his stature (and his religion) to attack people for some of the same actions he himself is guilty of.
How will this all end: Lieberman has vowed to run in the fall as an independent if Lamont wins the nomination (Lamont has promised to support Lieberman if he wins the nomination). Lieberman is said to be ahead in the polls if there is a three-way race. Don't count on that. If Lieberman doesn't win the nomination he'll be seen as a loser and his support among independents and Republicans will drop. The worst outcome would be that Lieberman's independent run creates a split that helps put a Republican in office.
America would be better served with Ned Lamont as the United States Senator from Connecticut.