August 4, 2006

Memo to Hillary: Democrats Eat Their Own Too

Last week, this column posited, “What’s wrong with the Republican Party?” and provided a case study on the difficulty of getting a conservative Senate candidate into the general election, especially when a more liberal primary contender has accumulated a personal fortune of a few hundred million bucks, some of which he dumps into his own campaign.

As it turns out, the Democrats are having the same problem.

Case in point: Three-term incumbent Joe Lieberman and Edward “Ned” Lamont will vie for the title of Connecticut’s Democrat Senatorial Candidate in that state’s primary next Tuesday.

The integrity of Senator Joe Lieberman was so admired by Democrats across the nation back in 2000 that he was nominated to run on the bottom of Albert Arnold Gore’s presidential ticket. Lieberman had proved his mettle two years earlier, when he scolded then-prevaricator-in-chief Bill Clinton for having debauched a 21-year-old intern – and for having perjured himself during the cover-up.

Clearly, Lieberman’s presence on Gore’s ticket added something that it lacked – namely, integrity. However, as The Patriot Post noted back then, Lieberman dealt his integrity a fatal blow by lending his name to Gore. Indeed, shortly after hopping aboard the ill-fated Gore ticket, he flip-flopped on key issues such as school choice, social-security reform and affirmative action.

Since 2000, Lieberman has voted mostly along party lines in matters of domestic policy and spending (with the notable exception of faith-based initiatives) but has been a large thorn in the side of his caucus when it comes to national security – especially his outspoken support for President George Bush’s Doctrine of Pre-emption in the West’s war against Jihadistan.

From the onset of hostilities in Afghanistan and Iraq, many of Joe Lieberman’s Senate colleagues have been vociferously anti-American – in fact, their actions have been nothing short of traitorous. However, Lieberman refused to trade his integrity for party loyalty, which separated him from the pack of Northeastern liberals like uber-Leftist Jean-Francois Kerry. Said Lieberman earlier this year: “It’s time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge [that he is our] commander-in-chief. We undermine the President’s credibility at our nation’s peril.”

Unfortunately for Lieberman, placing integrity above party loyalty is anathema to the Left, and breaking ranks on national security has made him vulnerable.

Enter anti-war Leftist darling Ned Lamont – the poster child for the league of inheritance-welfare liberals, card-carrying members of the ignoble ranks of “useful idiots.”, Western apologists for socialist political and economic agendas. Lamont is the great-grandson of Thomas W. Lamont, a senior partner with J. P. Morgan and Co., and he’s using that inheritance to rally his cadre of “Nedheads” (read: neo-McGovernites) to defeat Lieberman for supporting the President’s national-security policies and faith-based initiatives. Lamont is, essentially, a highbrow Greenwich version of DNC chief Howlin’ Howard Dean, but his gofers are of the lowest breed, even circulating a photo of Lieberman in black face on the Internet this week.

What makes the Democrat Senate primary in Connecticut so interesting is not that the Left is pulling out all the stops to defeat one of its own, but that a Democrat senator in an adjoining deep-blue state has also supported the President’s policy in Iraq, albeit purely as a political calculation to appear as a moderate. And this senator, Hillary Clinton, is the current front-runner for the Demo presidential nomination in ‘08. Where Joe’s campaign goes, might Hillary’s campaign follow?

Despite Lieberman’s criticism of Bill Clinton’s debauchery and deceitfulness a few years ago, old wounds heal quickly when political futures are at stake. In a move to protect his wife’s '08 prospects, Bill Clinton went on the offensive for Lieberman this week, calling the effort by Lamont and his anti-war “Netroots” minions to defeat him “the nuttiest strategy I ever heard in my life.” Clinton went on to tell Lieberman supporters, “I think the Democrats are making a mistake to go after each other, [and must not] allow our differences over what to do now in Iraq … divide us instead of focusing on replacing Republicans. He is a good senator, with the right position on most key Democratic issues. [We Democrats] don’t agree on everything. We don’t agree on Iraq … I know that on the issues that I believe are critical to our future, Joe Lieberman’s past is good evidence of his future. He is a good man, a good Democrat, and he’ll do you proud.”

Former Clinton White House chief of staff Leon Panetta was also campaigning for Lieberman, noting, “The late Congressman Mo Udall used to say that when Democrats form a firing squad, they tend to form it in a circle and end up shooting each other.”

Notably absent from this week’s pre-primary frontal assault on Lamont and his lemmings was Hillary Clinton – who apparently hopes to have her cake and eat it, too.

For his part, Senator Lieberman faces the hard reality that the Democrats’ kumbaya motto, “Together America Can Do Better,” is meant only for those who follow in lock step with the ideology of the ultra-Left. In the likely event that he is defeated by Lamont in Tuesday’s primary, Joe Lieberman will run as an independent in the general election. There, he’ll certainly retain most of his Democrat support, and with enough Republican crossover votes he still has a shot at retaining his Senate seat.

The implications for Hillary Clinton in ‘08, however, are ominous.

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