VDB’s Right Foot Injured in Lieberman Ass-Kicking; Team of Podiatrists Work Through the Night; But What a Night
All we can say is this: it sure feels like we kicked a Republican’s ass last night.
Lieberman’s desperately illogical gibberish on Iraq — somehow opposing both “open-ended committment” and “a timetable for withdrawal” — did not survive the spotlight of actual scrutiny.
Like Bush, he lost popularity each and every day he was forced to defend the indefensible.
The Democratic nominee from Connecticut is now someone who supports neither Bush foreign policy in the Middle East, nor the idea that a feeding tube should have been snaked down the throat of Terri Schiavo.
Republican pundits will spin this a thousand ways, but the truth is that the Iraq war is unpopular for excellent reasons. As of this morning, a full 60% of Americans oppose it, and nearly that many insist on bringing troops home by the end of the year.
Lieberman was wrong in voting to authorize this war, and dead wrong in defending it long after its essentially whimsical nature had been made clear. Democrats in Connecticut found the courage to say so.
Which is to say, politically speaking, that as of today Democrats are not merely on the right side of this issue. We own it.
Far from a handicap or weakness that will hobble the Party in November, this passion to bring an end to the insanity in Iraq — the insanity at Guantanamo, and in unacknowledged prisons around the globe — allows Democrats to project a moral clarity Americans have ceased to associate with us.
That’s the thing that Rush and Sean Hannity and all the rest found so unsettling yesterday in the run-up to the results: the idea that their party has banked so completely and irreversibly on a failed policy that becomes less popular, and less morally powerful, each minute of each and every day.
Lieberman smugly refused to acknowledge any of these realities. And so this morning, he finds himself plotting ways to appeal to Republican voters, ways to accept overt and covert help from the State GOP, institutionalizing a flirtation that has been on display for the last several years.
Two final points, and then VDB has done with Big Joe for a while. But they are points that must be made.
1) Joe now says that the primary was only the first half of the Big Game. To wit: “As I see it, in this campaign, we’ve just finished the first half and the Lamont team is ahead — but in the second half, our team, Team Connecticut, is going to surge forward to victory in November.”
This would be an excellent analogy, if football teams like the Chicago Bears — after losing the first half — typically switched uniforms, returned to the stadium claiming now to be the Oakland Athletics, and began warming up pitchers in the bull-pen.
2) The Lamont race has been a proxy war between both the old media and the new, and the old-school Democratic consultants and the net-roots theorists who are actively seeking to displace them.
Look at the election day coverage yesterday. It was dominated, during the fat part of the voting period, by wall-to-wall coverage of a very shaky claim by the Lieberman camp — that Lamont’s internet crazies had crashed his rather feeble web pages.
Clearly, that coverage had the capacity to sway last-minute voters. Yet almost all media outlets, but particularly those on the Right, worked it throughout the afternoon, not even publishing Lamont denials until evening.
Why? Because the netroots are an upsetting phenomenon. They effectively re-apportion power, bypassing a series of credentialing systems that have been in place since time out of mind.
That last-minute meme — web crazies go too far, should be punished — was the media’s message, as well as Big Joe’s. And like Big Joe, like any zombie worth its salt, that message will not die, but rise again.