August 9, 2006
If you're a partisan first and foremost, whether on the left or on the right, you should be delighted at the primary election defeat of Senator Joe Lieberman by the wealthy newcomer Ned Lamont. The margin of defeat was only about four percent, less than the polls had predicted, so that is some consolation. Unfortunately, enough Connecticut voters were apparently persuaded by the "progressive" (i.e., defeatist, America-hating) rhetoric of the Daily Kos to give their incumbent senator the boot. For anyone who puts a priority on national unity, however, Lieberman's loss is a real shame, because he was one of the last few truly independent, conscientious voices in the Democrat Party. We need a strong moderate element in Congress to get things done via sensible compromise, and to avoid getting carried away by rash sentiments. Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity tried to spin Lieberman's defeat as good news for the Republicans, but I'm not sure. Lieberman filed papers for running as an independent today, and there is a real danger that a Republican running for that seat would take away enough votes from Lieberman to give the election to Lamont. At a moment of national peril, as we face multiple deadly threats to our national security -- from Lebanon to Iran to Iraq to North Korea to Venezuela, and now perhaps even Mexico -- we simply cannot afford to let partisan extremists undermine our strength from within.
Austin Bay calls for a McCain-Lieberman ticket in 2008. He thinks they are both committed to waging a protracted political war against the Islamo-fascists, and would be uniquely qualified to lead the nation in that endeavor:
A McCain-Lieberman presidential ticket would be the closest thing a national unity government the American system can produce. It would make an international political statement of enormous significance. The McCain-Lieberman statement: "We're fighting, we'll continue to fight, and we will finish it."
It's a compelling argument, but I'm not so sure. McCain is just too unreliable to be my first choice, but then Bush was not one of my favorites in the 2000 primaries, so who knows? Wouldn't that be something: both of those potential candidates were defeated by George W. Bush in 2000!