Thursday, August 17, 2006


I know you all hate it when I talk like this, so maybe you should just skip this post. Let me vent, and then we can get back to the stuff we actually agree on.

As I see it, we're dealing with a building collapse -- massive numbers of injuries, a desperate need to treat large numbers of wounded. That building collapse is GOP control of Congress. It's an emergency. It's a crisis. We need all the trauma teams we can possibly muster at the scene.

The problem is, some of our best medical personnel are preoccupied giving Connecticut a boob job.

I'll put the metaphor out of its misery after this, but what's going on in Connecticut was not medically necessary. Joe Lieberman is a Democrat, despite what I said in the last post -- or he would have been, if barely, had this Lamont thing never happened. If he hadn't received a challenge, here's what his reelection campaign would have consisted of: "Hi, I'm Joe Lieberman, and I'm running for reelection." But with Lamont in the race, it's become a crusade. A Republican crusade.

Yes, he'd have been an evil Judas "Fox News Democrat" if he'd been reelected without a challenge. He'd have regularly undermined the party. But while the Republicans have nobody who's both as disloyal and as prominent as Lieberman, they have once-in-a-while gadflies -- Specter, McCain, Hagel, Graham, Grassley, Voinovich, plus the nearly invisible back-bencher Chafee and the polite moderates from Maine -- who collectively do about as much damage to GOP party unity as Lieberman does on his own to the Democrats. And yet the GOP still manages to control the Senate, plus the rest of the federal government.

In other words, we could have decided to endure another Lieberman term while concentrating on picking off Republicans elsewhere. He would have remained technically one of our senators -- ideally, one of our 51-plus senators.

But now we've opened the door for Rove + Co. to deliver a new message: that Lieberman is the co-leader (with Bush) of their party, the Reasonable Party. They're running on his coattails, leveraging his reputation as a moderate.

By attacking Lieberman, we've helped rejuvenate Liebermanism. I just hope we haven't rejuvenated the Republican Party in the process.

No comments: