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(Oliphant cartoon via MFWblog.)

Let's take a few minutes and discuss loyalty, shall we?  The Journal Inquirer has some interesting thoughts on the Connecticut Senate race that are well worth a read.

…It was a remarkable performance for two reasons. First, it showed, again, that Lieberman is possessed of great political skills. During the primary campaign, the senator seemed to have lost those skills. But now he has been freed to be who he really is. He's comfortable and effective again. Second, the person Lieberman really is, is a Bush Republican.

His speech to an enthusiastic crowd of more than 600 left no doubt on either point.

Lieberman will fight hard to keep his seat and he knows how to fight hard.

Second, he will do so as the de-facto Republican candidate in this election – with the support of Republican voters, and, it's a good guess, financial help from GOP donors and organizational help from GOP strategists, from Karl Rove on down.

Lieberman has the right to do all of this, as an independent, petitioning candidate. After all, the Democrats rejected him. But it is important for Democratic voters to know where Good Old Joe really stands this year and who his friends are. And it is important to recall that Lieberman still says he is a Democrat, and that he sought the Democratic nomination.

Usually, when a member of the Democratic Party seeks its nomination and does not get it, he supports the person who did get it….

Last week Lieberman told a Washington, D.C., newspaper that:

- He would also never forget the Democrats, like Chris Dodd, who moved to support Ned Lamont after he won the Democratic Senate nomination.

- If re-elected, Lieberman expects to retain his seniority. Otherwise, he said, he would have to consider not caucusing with the Democrats.

Well, there is only one other group to caucus with – the Senate Republicans.

Connecticut Republicans know what's going on in this election. Their nominal candidate, Alan Schlesinger, has between 3 and 5 percent in the polls. The Republican national chairman has declined to endorse him and Gov. Jodi Rell said he should withdraw from the contest. Republicans know that Joe is their horse in this race.

Democrats who think Lieberman is still one of them need to wake up and smell the coffee.  (emphasis mine)

That sound you hear just may be Dan Gerstein's head exploding because a Connecticut journalist dared to say in print what everyone else has been thinking.

The Democratic party leadership and party elders had better wake up to reality and quickly, because de facto Republican Joe isn't just sneaking out behind their backs for a cloture quickie any longer.

The flirtation with Karl Rove and his Republican fundraising machine is out in the open for all to see.  For heaven's sakes, Joe Lieberman is now supported by the big money behind the Swift Boat Veterans.  And if you think that this is just a meaningless little fling, you can think again — Karl plays for keeps, and the Democratic party "bigwigs" had better be willing to wake up and do the same. 

Or they might as well forget about getting the nice washroom keys for the next session of Congress, because Joe and Dick and Karl and George are way too cozy for Lieberman to be siding with the wimpy folks.  If ever there were a moment to find your spine for the good of the party and the nation, this is it.

The Senate is looking very, very close — perhaps a 50-50 split — so take a moment and think about this:  Is Joe Lieberman the vote on which you want to depend to save a women's right to choose? 

To prevent further erosion of the Constitution? 

To force some accountability and oversight of George Bush and his Administration on the critical issues of military planning?   Torture?  War profiteering?  Homeland security?  

To keep the interests of elderly citizens on medicare ahead of those of pharmaceutical lobbyists?

I mean, honestly, is Joe Lieberman the person you think you can count on, time and time again, to stay steadfast and true – or are you more apt to consider him the Brutus, waiting in the wings to stab the Democratic party in the back to improve his own political fortunes and that of the self-styled wannabe Caesar in shrubby clothing.

As demonstrated by the flagrant turning of his back on the Democratic voters after the primary, and the blatant courting of GOP smear and smarm money during the primary and beyond, Joe Lieberman is loyal to one thing, and one thing only:  keeping his butt on the public dole in a political office that allows him to continue his self-important, ego-driven lifestyle.  And if Harry Reid and Chuck Schumer and Bill Clinton and all the other Democratic party bigwigs cannot see that then they truly do deserve what they get with Senator Churl and Whine.

But the rest of us here in America deserve a lot better than Turncoat Joe. 

A big thank you to Sen. Chris Dodd for campaigning with Ned Lamont this evening.  If you are anywhere near Connecticut, please volunteer to help the Lamont campaign this weekend or any time between now and November 7.  If you aren't near Connecticut, please volunteer for a Democratic candidate of your choice in your area — because getting out the vote is critical for the next four weeks.

Your nation is depending on you.