Krugman on Lieberman — ouch

Sometimes the truth hurts . . .

Talk-Show Joe
Paul Krugman

Friday was a bad day for Senator Joseph Lieberman. The Connecticut Democratic Party’s nominating convention endorsed him, but that was a given for an incumbent with a lot of political chips to cash in. The real news was that Ned Lamont, an almost unknown challenger, received a third of the votes. This gave Mr. Lamont the right to run against Mr. Lieberman in a primary, and suggests that Mr. Lamont may even win.

*   *   *

Mr. Lieberman’s defenders would have you believe that his increasingly unpopular positions reflect his principles. But his Bushlike inability to face reality on Iraq looks less like a stand on principle than the behavior of a narcissist who can’t admit error. And the common theme in Mr. Lieberman’s positions seems to be this: In each case he has taken the stand that is most likely to get him on TV.

You see, the talking-head circuit loves centrists. But a centrist, as defined inside the Beltway, doesn’t mean someone whose views are actually in the center, as judged by public opinion. Instead, a Democrat is considered centrist to the extent that he does what Mr. Lieberman does: lends his support to Republican talking points, even if those talking points don’t correspond at all to what most of the public wants or believes.

To borrow from the movie Cool Hand Luke, “What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.”

I suspect that Joe Lieberman is feeling betrayed and more than a little confused by all this.  But he shouldn’t be.  The existence of a growing anger running very deep into the belly of the rank and file of the Democratic Party has been obvious for a long time.  Some Beltway Democrats, like Lieberman, seem to have tried to shield their “beautiful minds” from this by selling themselves on two things — first, that this anger is irrational and, second, that it reflects the thinking of only a small minority of hotheads within the overall party.

But this is wrong on both counts, of course.  Anger isn’t just one rational response to this Republican administration and congress; for a thinking and informed person, it’s arguably the only rational response — and it’s one that runs just as wide as it does deep within the Democratic electorate.

For whatever reasons, Joe Lieberman chose to make a deal with the devil and now, whether or not he’s ultimately defeated, there’s going to be hell to pay.

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3 Responses to “Krugman on Lieberman — ouch”

  1. Again Says:

    But his Bushlike inability to face reality on Iraq

    what to you think he thinks about the Jessie-Macbeth-Video?

  2. hizzhoner Says:

    If I am interpreting the blogs correctly, Democrats from all over the Country are jumping in to help Lamont and defeat Lieberman. The DNC had better pay attention to what the rank-and-file is doing, or, more specifically, what they’re feeling. We’re tired of being betrayed and we’re fighting back. The rank-and-file intends to make an example of Lieberman and mount his (political) head on the (virtual) pike of the internet to serve as a warning to other Democrats who betray us.


  3. alwayshope Says:

    from your lips………………

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