Tuesday, August 08, 2006

[Primaries 2006, Lieberman]

"Events Around Me Have Changed."

Joe hasn't changed, it's the world that's turned on him. And about time. Whether Joe wins today or not (I think his odds are a lot better than the polls indicate), the days of the DLC's politics of appeasement are done. This was a group that, in the mid-80s, was formed as a reaction to the Reagan revolution and the loss of Reagan Democrats to the GOP (Lieberman is a charter member and past chair). Somewhat reasonably, the DLC wished to abandon the hard edge of very far left (violent Maoists in the 70s, for example) and find a liberal platform a majority of Americans could embrace.

The critical flaw was that the DLC didn't chart a new course, it tried to sneak what it (and its corporate backers) thought were the choicest bits. Prepare now for your jaw to drop as I cut-and-paste the group's current mission. (cue your Duran Duran album, cause we're going back in time):
In keeping with our party's grand tradition, we reaffirm Jefferson's belief in individual liberty and capacity for self-government. We believe that the promise of America is equal opportunity for all and special privilege for none. We believe that economic growth generated in the private sector is the prerequisite for opportunity, and that government's role is to promote growth and to equip Americans with the tools they need to prosper in the New Economy. We believe that government programs should be grounded in the values most Americans share: work, family, personal responsibility, individual liberty, faith, tolerance, and inclusion.
Sounds like something you might find at the Heritage foundation, the conservative think tank that helped guide Reaganism. And in fact, it is. From their mission (and color coded for extra emphasis):
We draw solutions to contemporary problems from the ideas, principles and traditions that make America great. We are not afraid to begin our sentences with the words “We believe,” because we do believe: in individual liberty, free enterprise, limited government, a strong national defense, and traditional American values.
Joe Lieberman came to the Senate in 1988, just at the moment the DLC's message was gaining currency among Democrats. Through 2000, its views were ascendant. But then, a funny thing happened on the way to Florida: Democrats recognized that they had been supporting Republican enablers who, since 1980, had delivered but one president and steadily eroded the power of the party in Congress. Worse, Dems, compromised by their DLC leadership, stood for nothing.

Recalling the Wall Street Journal op-ed in which he praised Bush and scolded Dems, Lieberman recently admitted:
I wasn't thinking as a Democrat. I was thinking as an American senator who went to Iraq and saw some progress and wanted to report it to the American people because I feel so deeply that the way this ends will have serious consequences for the future of this country.
He damn sure wasn't thinking as a Democrat, and his derision for his party--whom he apparently thinks don't feel "that the way this ends will have serious consequences for the future of this country"--is why he's being challenged. Despite his polite demeanor and fussy modesty, Lieberman is no less arrogant than the man he supports in the White House. The cost, to the country and the party, has been catastrophic.

So good luck to the fine citizens of Connecticut in sending the arrogant, clueless Senator packing.


Chuck Butcher said...

Sure is about enough to make you feel real good about having Ron Wyden as a Senator. I'm pretty sure it takes a certain aamount of arrogance to run for Federal office, but there are levels of arrogance. (I'm pretty darn sure my campaign demonstrated a certain level of arrogance...)

Jeff Alworth said...

Well, both Roosevelts were arrogant, and their tenure turned out relatively well. I think it stands to reason that arrogance will find its way into politics. But that's why we have checks and balances--or at least, why they were designed. Joe just got a little check to his unbalanced arrogance.

Chuck Butcher said...

I think that in order to present yourself as qualified and intelligent enough to pass laws regarding the nation as a whole and representing the interests of your own varied constituency a certain arrogance is required. You need to present a strong enough nature to succeed in DC while persuading voters to part with their vote, time, energy, and money. That's a tall order.

There's all kinds of arrogance around, Blogging requires it. "My thoughts are important enough to be written down for others to peruse," has a certain arrogance.

Maybe three terms corroded Joe's thinking to the point where he really believed he was that damn special, seems to have worked that way for "the decider."