No matter how many times we in the blogofascisphere explain the reasoning behind our support for Ned Lamont--how it is about far deeper issues than merely the occupation, and that we are not here to conduct an ideological purge--the traditional beltway columnists still continue to produce the same old rhetoric about how we are all a bunch of extremists who have sacrificed the interests of our party in the interests of conducting an inquisition.
Today's example comes in the form of Ruth Marcus' op-ed in Monday's Washington Post.
Are [Connecticut voters] so upset about the war, and so angered by Lieberman's unflagging support for it, that they would oust a three-term senator and former vice presidential nominee in favor of an antiwar candidate whose only experience in elective office was as a Greenwich selectman during the 1980s?
Why, yes. It appears that way. It appears that they're willing to do that, as incredulous as yoare about it. And you know why that is? First of all, it's not just that he supports the war. Senators like Biden and Cantwell are generally supportive of Iraq. Let me clarify this: It's the way he supports the war. First of all, his support of it is most certainly not based in reality. Second, he doesn't just support the war; he undermines his party's attempts to hold a debate about how to move forward. You see, saying that "in matters of national security, we undermine Presidential credibility at our own peril" isn't just supporting the war--it's Republican-style attempt to stifle opposition in the name of royal infallibility.
But it's not just about the war, nimrod. Let's take a look at a subsequent paragraph of your op-ed piece:
The 2000 vice presidential debate between Lieberman and Dick Cheney was a genteel meeting of sober-minded men. This was politics as roller derby. The 64-year-old Lieberman came out swinging -- at times perhaps a bit too hard. He took some less-than-convincing shots: for example, harping on Lamont's 80 percent voting record with Republican selectmen -- as if Greenwich government is composed of Tom DeLay clones.
At least some honesty shows through about Lieberman's attacks on Lamont during the debates. But for hell's sake, you've just made our case for us! Here's a senator who had a "genteel meeting"--in your own words--with 18% approval rating Dick Cheney. You know what happened in 2004? I remember what happened in 2004. John Edwards did his absolute best to drill Dick Cheney on his ideological extremism during his time in Congress and during his first stint as (vice-)president ("he voted against Meals on Wheels!"). That option was open to Lieberman, but he chose not to take it. And instead, he keeps his powder dry to use it on his primary challenger! Yeah. Democrats shouldn't be upset about that or anything.
Nor, apparently, should we be upset about Lieberman's lipservice to Bush on Social Security. Or his support of allowing hospitals to refuse to dispense emergency contraception to rape victims because they can just drive 10 minutes to another hospital.
No, nothing to do with any of those. This is exclusively an insane anti-war purge on our part. But let's move on.
Lieberman casts the race as a test not just for himself but for the Democratic Party -- in particular for its empowered liberal blogosphere, which has been venomous in its opposition to Lieberman and is eager to display his scalp as the first solid electoral evidence of its new muscle.
DISPLAY HIS SCALP??!? Are you kidding? Maybe we're eager to defeat Lieberman. Maybe "oust" might have been a good term to use. But no. Good old Ruth has to use the term "display his scalp" to make sure that we in the netroots get to be portrayed to be--well--bloodthirsty rabid lambs. What a trashy excuse for journalism. But it gets better.
This is the disturbing aspect of the Lieberman-Lamont race. Perhaps Lieberman is wrong on the war. Perhaps he's been too eager in recent years to demonstrate his independence from the party.
But the Ahab-like zeal with which critics are pursuing him is far in excess of whatever supposed crimes he has committed. Lieberman is an experienced, serious legislator. His bipartisan instincts should be commended, not pilloried. His refusal to back away from his convictions on Iraq deserves admiration even from those who disagree.
Now this is just rich, isn't it. Apparently, Lieberman should be re-elected because he's an incumbent. I think that's Lieberman's position, given his recent formation of the "Connecticut for Lieberman" party.
And apparently, Lieberman deserves to be re-elected by a state that absolutely most precisely because he's so willing to agree with Bush on principle! That's a great example of representative democracy for you.
And as for his principle: well, Stephen Colbert said that Bush is a man who believes the same thing on Wednesday that he believed on Monday, regardless of what happened Tuesday. And apparently, Ms. Marcus thinks that that is an admirable virtue, rather than a politically extremist vice.
And let's top this off:
While Lamont and the bloggers who back him devote their energy to defeating Lieberman, Connecticut has three competitive House races where Democratic challengers have a chance of beating Republican incumbents and helping take back the House. Wouldn't those be a more productive way for Democrats unhappy about Bush and the war to channel their anger?
This gets more and more pathetic by the paragraph. Apparently, our bloggers will be to blame if we don't take back the House in November because we'll have spent so much time on Lieberman, conveniently ignoring the enthusiasm that the focus on Connecticut politics will have on Connecticut Democrats this fall. But even if this is true, I wonder why our issue groups get a pass from Ruth, despite their continued endorsement of these Republican congressmen.
Hey Ruth, I've got a suggestion for you: Why don't you go ahead and tell Laffey's supporters in Rhode Island that they're ruining the Republican Party. Given the blue color of RI, they're definitely hurting their cause more than Lamont's supporters are.
On second thought, here's a better idea: stop writing about our movement until you know what the hell you're talking about.