August 17, 2006

Democratic Defenestration: the Ever Shrinking Democratic "Big Tent"

Hatched by Dafydd

In a rage that independent candidate and incrumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman (80%) is doing so well in the election against the man who defeated him in the primary, Ned Lamont, some senior Democrats now openly talk about stripping Lieberman of his rank and committee assigments, should he beat the other fellow:

If he continues to alienate his colleagues, Lieberman could be stripped of his seniority within the Democratic caucus should he defeat Democrat Ned Lamont in the general election this November, according to some senior Democratic aides.

Why all this "Dem angst," as the Hill puts it?

“I think there’s a lot of concern,” said a senior Democratic aide who has discussed the subject with colleagues. “I think the first step is if the Lieberman thing turns into a side show and hurts our message and ability to take back the Senate, and the White House and the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] manipulate him, there are going to be a lot of unhappy people in our caucus.”

Wow; Joe Lieberman is being manipulated by the White House. He's a sock puppet -- quick, somebody call Patterico!

It sounds to me as if Lieberman is being set up as the fall guy; perhaps the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, sensing that they're not really going to "take back the Senate," regardless of their breathless rhetoric, are already sowing the seeds to scapegoat Joe Lieberman when they return to face their infuriated constituents and fellow caucusers. "Don't blame us... it's all Joe's fault! If he had just accepted oblivion gracefully, we would have 60 Democratic senators today!"

And what exactly has Lieberman been saying that undermines the Democratic message and leads senior aides to suspect some dark conspiracy between their former VP candidate and Karl Rove, the "Moriarty" of the stolen Bush presidency? Ah, here we have it:

The view that Lieberman should lose his seniority is likely to become more ingrained among Democrats if Lieberman continues to align himself with Republicans, as he has in the last few days. Lieberman took a call from senior White House political strategist Karl Rove on the day of his primary election. And since losing, he has adopted rhetoric echoing Republican talking points.

“If we pick up like Ned Lamont wants us to do, get out by a date certain, it will be taken as a tremendous victory by the same people who wanted to blow up these planes in this plot hatched in England,” Lieberman said about U.S. troops in Iraq and the recently foiled terrorism scheme. “It will strengthen them, and they will strike again.”

Of course, much of the Democratic leadership of both House and Senate is on record demanding exactly what Joe Lieberman decries: a "redeployment" (that is, a bug-out) from Iraq by a date certain, so that the terrorists and the insurgents know they only have to hang on so long, and they will be rewarded with another country to despoil and use as a base for future operations against a retreating United States.

Jumping Jeffords, with such blasphemy as this on his lips, it's a wonder Lieberman doesn't spontaneously combust from the Devil's grip on him.

Here is another unnamed aide trash-talking Lieberman:

Allowing Lieberman to retain his seniority could put the senator now running as an independent in charge of the Senate’s chief investigative committee. If Democrats took control of either chamber they would likely launch investigations of the White House’s handling of the war in Iraq and homeland security. [And that's just what most Americans want: more investigations, possibly even another impeachment hearing. After all, it worked so well for the Republicans in 1998!]

“Lieberman’s tone and message has shocked a lot of people,” said a second senior Democratic aide who has discussed the issue with other Senate Democrats. “He’s way off message for us and right in line with the White House.”

“At this point Lieberman cannot expect to just keep his seniority,” said the aide. “He can’t run against a Democrat and expect to waltz back to the caucus with the same seniority as before. It would give the view that the Senate is a country club rather than representative of a political party and political movement.” [The Senate is a movement?]

The aide said that it would make no sense to keep Lieberman in a position where he might take over the Governmental Affairs Committee.

Meanwhile, the latest Rasmussen poll of likely voters shows Lieberman beating Lamont by 12% (and beating the Republican -- what the heck's his name again? -- by 49%):

The latest Quinnipiac University poll, conducted between August 10-14, shows Lieberman leads Democrat Ned Lamont, a wealthy businessman with little political experience who has played on anti-war sentiment, by 53 percent to 41 percent among likely voters in November's election. The Republican candidate Alan Schlesinger drew 4 percent, the poll shows.

It is impossible by definition for the front-runner to be a spoiler. But that doesn't faze your typical Democrat, who never stops to think that the problem may not be Joe Lieberman's apostasy: perhaps it's the Democratic Party that is out of synch with the Democratic Party.

In any event, this is turning into a very interesting race: the more the Democrats diss Lieberman and talk openly about punishing him for not changing his views and embracing Bush Derangement Syndrome, the more they push him into the waiting arms of the Republicans. It's not that he'll actually turn his coat; but he will be less restrained, more willing to vote for Republican proposals... it's Lieberman unbound and unzipped!

If this is the way Democrats fight for the heart and soul of America, I'm more confident than ever about the looming November elections.

Hatched by Dafydd on this day, August 17, 2006, at the time of 2:44 PM

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The following hissed in response by: Robert Schwartz

I remember Coach Mechling, watching the track team at the first spring practice, knowing that McCarty was his most talented and least discplined athlete, who smoked and never worked out on his own, pointing to a light pole and saying "McCarty is going to drop about there." And sure enough, when McCarty, who had been far ahead of the other boys, got to the pole, he slowed to a jog.

Fell like Coach Mechling Big Guy.

The above hissed in response by: Robert Schwartz [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 17, 2006 6:11 PM

The following hissed in response by: Terrye

If they want to lose, just promise two years of investigations and impeachment and back biting and grid lock etc. The partisans might love this stuff but the voters are sick of it.

The above hissed in response by: Terrye [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 18, 2006 3:47 AM

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