Joe Lieberman, the running mate of Al Gore in the year 2000 and currently a Democratic Senator from Connecticut, is facing a primary challenger in this year's elections. Ned Lamont is taking Lieberman on, and the reason is that our Joe has odd ideas about what the Democratic party stands for. He seems to think that George Bush is the embodiment of all Democratic values, and he and George are Best Friends Forever.
Today Lieberman held a press conference to tell all of us that if he loses the Democratic primary he will run anyway, as an independent. Or rather, as a Democratic Independent, a quite new type. As Jane Hamsher states:
Ned had a press conference today in which he made the point — and I think quite forcefully — that Lieberman wants to "have it both ways." Absolutely. He's trying to walk out the back door of the party but still be considered a Democrat. He said it over and over during the press conference today — he believes in the values of the Democratic party, and he'll run as an "independent Democrat." Hogwash. As Digby reminds us, this is what Chuck Schumer said recently:
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."
Which says to me that they've been coordinating this little hair-splitting act for quite some time. If Joe wants to run as part of the "Independent Democrat" party, he has to gather signatures to create such a party (and I'm not even sure he can). He won't. If Joe bolts the party, he will be an Independent. Period. There will be no "Democratic" about it. I'm sure his internal polling tells him that if people don't consider him a Democrat any more his numbers abjectly suck, and he certainly wants to retain all the perks his seniority in the Senate would grant him as a Democrat. But why does anyone believe he would do anything but auction himself off like a two-dollar whore to the highest bidder once elected? If we're counting on his principled commitment to the Democratic party, color me skeptical.
Or more succinctly, as Crooks&Liars report:
The Lieberman presser just ended in Hartford, and I just got off the phone with Jane. She and Paul Bass and the poodles are back in the car and driving over to a Ned Lamont presser. But she had time to relay this quote from Boltin' Joe:
"I have loyalties that are greater than those to my party."
And what might these loyalties be? Do they have anything at all to do with the fact that Joe Lieberman is Michelle Malkin's favorite Democrat? Remember Michelle put-all-dusky-hued-people-into-concentration-camps-except-me Malkin? Yes, that one. She likes Lieberman a lot.
And then there is Sean Hannity. The fire-breathing wingnut dragon of Fox News, the one who hates us liberals so much that he tends to lose coherence every few seconds or so. What does he think of our Joe? He likes Joe a lot:
Hannity:I need to know, do you want my endorsement?
Lieberman: Well, it's good that you asked me in private like this [yuck, yuck]. I appreciate your friendship and I appreciate your support.
Hannity: If you want me to do it, then I'll do it.
Lieberman than requested that Hannity endorse his primary challenger, in a joking manner.
Or how about that most moderate of all Republicans, Ann Coulter? This is what she says about Lieberman in an interview about a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq:
CAVUTO: So you would admire more at least the politician that says a timetable to get out than going back and forth?
COULTER: No. I would admire a politician, not as much as basically your run of the mill garden-variety Republican, but as far as Democrats go like Lieberman, who apparently does want to defend America and fight the war on terrorism. He is the one facing a primary fight.
CAVUTO: You know, there is talk about him maybe bolting to a third party. The seeds are there for a third party movement. Do you buy that?
COULTER: I think he should come all the way and become a Republican. He wouldn't be our best Republican but at left he'd fit in with the party that wants to defend the country.
These wingnuts sure seem to like Lieberman and his higher loyalties. And what about George Bush's views on our Joe? Check them out. Heh.