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The Lessons of Little Joe Lieberman

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A reader dropped a great piece by Colin McEnroe into my inbox this morning–it’s a pretty instructive piece about the nature of the Ned Lamont campaign, and the misconceptions the media and mainstream Democrats seem unable to break from when analyzing Ned Lamont’s effort to  unseat Sean Hannity’s favorite Democrat.

McEnroe is responding to a very sympathetic piece in the New York Times today, one that features paragraphs like this:

Mr. Lieberman, who seemed slow to recognize the seriousness of Mr. Lamont’s challenge, also appears taken aback by the ferocity of the onslaught, particularly from liberal blogs. To Mr. Lieberman’s camp, the bloggers embody what his longtime friend Lanny Davis calls “the demonizing, hating, virulent, character-assassinating left of the Democratic Party.”

Davis’s criticism is the mainstream response to people in the party challenging the orthodoxy that has put the Democratic party in the dire straits it sees itself in today. The problem, according to Davis and so many like him, is not that the mild-mannered, afraid of its own shadow Democratic Party managed, in 10 years, to lose the Congress, the courts, and Presidency, but that the people who make up the party are getting excited about supporting candidates who support their values, not the values of the DLC.

At the end of the piece, McEnroe nails it–and provides not a warning, but a notice to other Democrats:

I live in Connecticut. I report here and talk to politicians here. Let me assure the New York Times that this sentiment has been building for years. What was always sad was the timidity and fatalism of more mainstream polticians who would speak quietly about the desirability of challenging Lieberman and then — like mice who want to hang a bell around the neck of the housecat — admit they could not imagine pulling off such a thing.

When an elected representative repeatedly votes against the interests of the party and people who support him, it’s leadership to stand up and run against him. Ned Lamont didn’t have to run against Joe Lieberman; Joe Lieberman just needed to stop running away from being a Democrat.

Some in Montana should heed that message as well.

About the author

Don Pogreba

Don Pogreba is a seventeen-year teacher of English, former debate coach, and loyal, if often sad, fan of the San Diego Padres and Portland Timbers. He spends far too many hours of his life working at school and on his small business, Big Sky Debate.

His work has appeared in Politico and Rewire.

In the past few years, travel has become a priority, whether it's a road trip to some little town in Montana or a museum of culture in Ísafjörður, Iceland.

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