Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority. - William Jennings Bryan

Friday, July 07, 2006

Lieberman v. Lamont, My Pick.

I watched the debate on MSNBC between Senator Joe Lieberman and Ned Lamont, in its entirety, earlier tonight.

I hadn't really formed an opinion before this debate (although I was leaning Lamont), but after seeing this, I can say one thing with certainty:

It is in the best interest of our party if Joe Lieberman wins this primary.

Granted, I don't agree with his positions on Iraq or free trade, but I do agree with his positions in a lot of other places.

1-I agree with his support of embryonic stem cell research.
2-I agree with his December, 2005 vote not to reauthorize the Patriot Act.
3-I agree with his support of a raise to the minimum wage to make it more fair.
4-I agree with his support for the repeal of the Bush tax cut on the wealthiest 2%.
5-I agree with his support for educating teenage girls about contraceptives to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

I believe Ned Lamont would make a good Senator, but I believe he'll have to face more issues in a six year term than the Iraq War, and I doubt he'll be able to make much progress on other things, since he seems fairly unwilling to work with the other side (and before you say, "Well, all Republicans are against us," look at Orrin Hatch's and Arlen Specter's work [as well as the late Strom Thurmond] in support of stem cell research).

I believe that Joe Lieberman is a great Senator, and deserves six more years.

If we are to remain the "big tent party" we talk about being, I believe we must support moderates on their merits, not drive them all out of the party on one or two divisive wedge issues.



Greg Bouchillon said...

Amen brother. Good job.

Maura said...

I'm afraid you've bought into the right-wing frame (or the Lieberman frame) on this issue.

We're a big tent party. Lieberman is welcome in the party. That doesn't mean he's the best person to represent the people of Connecticut.

Lieberman is WAY out of the Connecticut mainstream on energy policy, federal judges, reproductive freedom, separation of church and state, school vouchers, and fundamentally and most importantly, on the war.

He LED OFF the Republican opposition to Democratic proposals on ending the occupation of Iraq last week.

Let me repeat that. He LED OFF REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION to Democratic proposals.

Ben Nelson is far more conservative, but Ben Nelson does NOT go out of his way to publicly undercut the party's positions on core issues. Plus, Ben Nelson is not from Connecticut!

I'd be delighted to have Lieberman in the Senate from Virginia instead of either Warner or Allen. But we're talking Connecticut here.

I don't know if you were old enough to watch Lieberman vs. Cheney back in 2000, but what was most striking about this debate was how much more aggressive, angry, and attacking Lieberman was against a fellow Democrat. If he had been as tough against Cheney, we might have seen a different result back in 2000.

But as usual, Lieberman showed that he is at his most passionate and committed when he opposes fellow Democrats, which is exactly why we need a change in CT.

Besides, how can you be okay with a Democrat who has pre-emptively said he will ignore the results of the Democratic primary and run as an "independent Democrat" even if he loses? How would you have felt if Byrne, Deeds, Webb, Miller, or other VA Democrats had said that publicly before the primary?

Neal said...

Well, first, I did watch the Cheney-Lieberman debate in 2000, but, at 12, I was on the other side of the issue.

And I said I'm supporting Lieberman in the primary. Just like if Miller had won here in VA, I will support Lamont if he wins the primary.

But I want Lieberman to win. If he doesn't, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

tj said...

Difference between Sen Ben Nelson of Nebraska and Sen Lieberman? Ben Nelson doesn't undercut Democrats at every single turn nor does he badmouth the party.

Ahhh, but Lieberman stomps his foot on the party like its an honor. No wonder he's the favorite "democrat" of Hannity, Coulter, Limbaugh, Bush, and the rest of the rightwing.

Ben Nelson in the reddest of reddest states still stands by Democrats and doesn't spite the party.

Neal said...

But we need to remember that, even if you don't agree with Lieberman, he, like Ben Nelson, will still be two votes for Harry Reid for Majority Leader.

That, and he is progressive on a lot of important issues.

tj said...

Lamont if elected would also vote for Harry Reid as Majority leader and he is also very progressive.

Lieberman is not as progressive as you think. He voted for the bankruptcy bill which most Americans opposed, he was the last Dem senator to give up on privatization of Social Security, has opposed emergency contraceptives for rape victims. I tell you, if Lieberman wasn't in a blue state, you would see him voting more and more against progressive bills. Call it political pressure.

On Iraq, Lieberman has made Dems look weak by openly attacking them via an Op-ed he wrote in the Wall Street Journal. This was the last straw for me. You never see Dems in red states pulling such back-stabbing moves like Lieberman.