Lieberman is doomed

News & Politics

"In a primary like this, [Bill Clinton's] legacy is on the line. Because the group that is opposing me is not, does not really believe in the same kind of politics Bill Clinton believes in, that brought us two wins in two national elections." -- Joe Lieberman in Sunday's New York Times.

The New York Times' endorsement of Ned Lamont over Joe Lieberman signals a lot of things. First and foremost, it means that the NYT believes that Ned Lamont is going to win the Democratic Senate primary in Connecticut. Editorial pages are cowardly by nature, and the NYT's is no exception. Second, this endorsement is certainly the preliminary massive shock to the entire DC political class, which has held very close around Lieberman and the issue he's out in front on, Iraq.

While a Lamont victory would appear certain to political observers online, my experience tells me that the real shock and political uncertainty will come when Lieberman loses in the race itself. The quote above from Lieberman makes it clear that his loss will hurt more than his own putrid political legacy: it will deliver a sore blow to the legacy of Bill Clinton and the presidential hopes of Hillary Clinton. While many of the "group that is opposing" Lieberman -- read Connecticut activists and online progressive -- probably don't harbor as much resentment against Clinton as Lieberman thinks, he's right that they don't truly believe in the "same kind of politics Bill Clinton believes in" -- media buys, a consultant class, political expertise, American empire, shameless opportunism, and a disdain for democratic impulses.

Watch the desperate flailing on Iraq to emerge not just from creepy Democrats like Joe Biden, but hundreds of Republicans who haven't really offered any position of Iraq other than the support of George Bush. What's so bizarre of course, is that while public sentiment is massively against the war, and that a guy like Lieberman is going down, the antiwar movement doesn't have any form whatsoever.

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