Ned Lamont is kicking some serious tail in the Connecticut Senate Democratic primary process and quickly overtaking the iconic Joseph Lieberman who has spent a lot of his time cultivating credentials as a hawkish, neoconservative-leaning almost-Republican.
Some speculate that Lieberman will gather the signatures in Connecticut needed to run as an Independent if he loses his primary race to Lamont. The signatures would have to be filed the day after the primary.
I feel the same way about Lieberman running as an Independent as I did about President Bush appointing John Bolton to the UN via a recess appointment. That’s ok. Lieberman has the right to do that — just as the President has the right to end run the Senate on appointments — though they can only last through a single Congressional term.
But what is irritating is that other Democrats like Chuck Schumer have the arrogance to act as if politics is a “top-down” arrangement and that those at the helm are really just a stacked deck of leadership annointed personalities.
Schumer hinted at the possibility that if Lamont succeeds in forcing Lieberman out as the carrier of Democratic aspirations in Connecticut, that the DSCC might support Lieberman as an independent.
This is outrageous. Schumer needs to be told in no uncertain terms that if he works to protect the inbred qualities of a Democratic leadership that has been inchoate and thus far unimpressive in its response to Bush-led Republicanism, then he has to go as well. Schumer is trying to stop change inside the Democratic Party, and that is what the party needs most.
Here is what Schumer recently said:
Pointing to the victories of Webb, a Reagan Democrat with a flair for non-traditional Democratic positions, and Jon Tester, who spent half as much as his primary challenger in Montana, Schumer said that party activists had turned to pragmatism and were less inclined to hold candidates to litmus tests.
Schumer said the Dem primary voters want winners and are focused one electability. He couldn’t resist adding even “in 2008,” which pricked the ears of reporters who thought he was sending a message about the relative electability of Hillary Clinton. (He wasn’t, apparently.)
Schumer said that the DSCC “fully supports” Sen. Joe Lieberman in his primary bid, and he refused to rule out continuing that support if Lieberman were to run as an independent.
There were degrees of independence, Schumer said. “You can run as an independent, you can run as an independent Democrat who pledges to vote for Harry Reid as Majority Leader.”
Schumer said he had neither sought nor recieved assurances from Lieberman that an independent bid would not ensue if Ned Lamont tightened the noose.
Again, Lieberman like Lamont both have chances to head the Democratic ticket in Connecticut. If Lieberman wants to leave the Democratic Party and run as an Independent, best of luck to him.
But Schumer has to abandon corrupting the ability of Democrats to refresh the cast of people they want carrying their views in Washington.
— Steve Clemons