Why Primarying Joe Lieberman Was A Blessing, STILL
People seem to forget that the goals in primarying Joe Lieberman were met, even though Ned Lamont is not currently the junior Senator from the state of Connecticut. Lieberman is no longer able to speak for the Democratic Party, which was the biggest problem. He stands outside it now as an independent, and therefore all the trouble he caused with going on Fox News and parroting right-wing talking points and undermining the party leadership are made moot. A PERFECT case in point is his endorsement of Susan Collins today in the 2008 Maine Senate race. Before his conversion to the Connecticut for Lieberman Party, a Democrat supporting a Republican, even a so-called moderate like Collins, would have been a negative for efforts to challenge her. Now, according to Collins' likely opponent Rep. Tom Allen, it's a tremendous opportunity:
Maine Democrats say the endorsement of Republican Sen. Susan Collins by Connecticut Sen. Joseph Lieberman underscores a central argument in their challenge of the two-term senator next year: the war in Iraq. A political adviser for Democratic Rep. Tom Allen -- an unannounced but likely candidate against Collins -- said Lieberman's support for the war and Collins' support for the presidential campaign of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., tie her to the Bush administration's politically unpopular war policy. "I think the Lieberman endorsement is significant. For us, it's a gift," the Allen adviser said. "It paints a picture of Susan Collins with people like Lieberman and McCain, who support the war."
The war will be the defining issue of the 2008 campaign, sadly, and Collins is now yoked to the two most visible war defenders, both of whom are deeply disliked along with anyone else who tries to defend the indefensible occupation of Iraq. Lieberman's support is a double-edged sword in a way that it wouldn't have been if he were still a Democrat.
Allen still needs to catch up in the money race, but he's well-positioned to knock off yet another Republican incumbent. Thanks, Joementum!