It’s over. We won.
I must admit last night to being bit more sanguine than I might have been throughout the results — had I known that it all came down to Hartford, home of shall we say less-than-Lamont-friendly mayor Eddie Perez, I probably would’ve been considerably more agitated. As it was, three days of no sleep and an inability to eat were reaping me a harvest of admonitions for being thin, pale and a bit cranky. Gulty as charged on all counts. I’m glad I was blissfully ignorant during those last crazy minutes.
It’s all a little unreal right now — we’ll have plenty of time to digest the results and analyze the implications going forward — but today I’m actually going to cut Lieberman a bit of slack and say it’s time for bygones to be bygones if he does the right thing and drops out of the race. Chris Dodd was tasked with the difficult job of telling Joe he had to go, which he was to commence either last night or this morning according to varying reports. I know Joe has vocal support from DLCers and so-called "centrists" who see themselves next in line if Lieberman falls. They want Joe to hold back the barbarian horde for all of them. It’s a stupid, shortsighted and solipsistic construct. The self-righteous indignation of people like Lanny Davis and Martin Peretz are buoying Lieberman into a wholesale purchase of the myth that he is a great man and a great wrong has been done to him. Here on planet earth we call it a primary challenge, an integral part of the Democratic process. It’s time for Joe to realize that in their own blindness they may be preparing him as the sacrificial lamb.
Last night key Democrats like Ted Kennedy, Chuck Schumer and John Edwards called Ned Lamont to offer their support, and Rahm Emmanuel is acting as verbal party bellweather with his comments this morning:
"This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the leader of the Democratic House Congressional campaign. "This is not about the war. It’s blind loyalty to Bush."
There is no future for Lieberman in the Democratic party if he runs as an independent. It will be a tough fight but the list of Democrats who will come to Connecticut on behalf of Lamont is certainly shaping up to be an interesting one. (Let’s remember, however, the one who got it right before this new stampede toward the victor — Maxine Waters).
Colin McEnroe and Lowell Weicker both think that if Lieberman continues in the race it will only be in league with the GOP and I agree that it is his only chance. Is Joe willing to go that far to stay in the Senate? Or will enough pressure be brought to bear on him today that it will offer him a reality check and enlighten him to the fact that his brand of politics is obsolete?
I hope Joe does the right thing and withdraws today. It must’ve been difficult to lose the race last night in such a high-profile way. Many forces are aligning behind Lamont right now that weren’t there before, and if Joe goes the indy route he will only be beaten again.
We’ve done it once. We can do it again.
(photo of Tom Swan by Matt Browner-Hamlin)