Friday, July 07, 2006
Have you been following the left blogosphere's reaction to the Lamont-Lieberman primary fight in Connecticut? The poisonous hatred directed at Lieberman has passed beyond the point of the political into the realm of the psychological. They hate him for keeping his Senate seat in 2000 rather than going down with the ship. They hate him for his modulated voice. They hate him for his attention to ethical issues. They hate him for what they themselves at any other time would have regarded as his virtues as for his political unorthodoxies.
It's a hatred reinforced by repetition and intensified by echo-chamber unanimity. It's a hatred ungrounded upon any clear foundation of reason, undirected to any political purpose. I can't remember ever seeing anything like such an angry excommunication of one Republican by others in my political lifetime - although perhaps the hatred felt by the Goldwaterites for Nelson Rockefeller comes close. But there at least the two factions were separated by real ideological disagreements. Not so in Lieberman's case. He remains one of the most liberal members of the Senate: The American Conservative Union rates him as more liberal than Debbie Stabenow, more liberal than Barbara Boxer, more liberal than Hillary Clinton, more liberal than Russell Feingold - and equally liberal as John Kerry and Barak Obama. Rating is not an exact science of course, but you get the idea.
I'm inclined to think that Lieberman will squeak through the August primary, but what do I know? But I am sure of this: the outburst against Lieberman reveals something very real, very important, and very ugly about today's Democratic party. And whether he wins or loses, it reminds us of the reasons why - and the how - that party has rendered itself unfit for and incapable of wielding political power.
07/07 09:16 AM