Finally. A Republican with the stones to tell Joe Lieberman to get off his damn lawn.
Lieberman thought he was going to look "bipartisan" standing in between Ned Lamont and Alan Schlessinger during the debate today but he just looked like a man without a country, crying because everyone was trying to steal his candy. While Joe was praising every Republican in sight (Jodi Rell, John McCain, Susan Collins — funny, no Democrats) Alan Schlessinger reminded him of all the boasting about what a "great liberal" the Lieberman4Lieberman candidate had done during the primary when his job security depended on trying to woo Democrats. When Lieberman tried to nail down the critical senior vote by lying about the fact that he had supported social security privatization, Lamont set the record straight. All Joe could do was whine that Ned was being mean to him, and when he thought he was scoring a master stroke by keeping score of how many times his thin skin got bruised, the audience openly booed him.
I've written about this before, but the debate today underscores the point — why has the GOP been allowed by those who call themselves "true conservatives" to abandon the candidate who supposedly represents their values? And why has the media so slavishly accepted all the narratives coming out of the Lieberman4Lieberman campaign, to the complete exclusion of the guy who legitimately won the GOP nomination?
There is a price to be paid for this journalistic negligence. As Paul Bass says:
"We can remain in the ostrich club" the way Lieberman has for 18 years, Schlesinger said. "You'd never get away with this at Enron, by the way…" Schlesinger's voice rose as the crowd laughed. "Joe, this is why I ran against you. I got to be honest with you. In 2000 you got up there with Al Gore. You stood up and said we ought to put social security in a lockbox…
You're gonna put an IOU from Joe Lieberman in a lock box? I don't want an IOU for Joe Lieberman, even if he's a nice guy! I'd rather have cash." Proposed investing social security trust fund in mortgages for Americans…."
Schlesinger's emergence would work in Lamont's favor. If he can rise to 15 percent of the vote from his current 4 percent standing in the polls, he'd probably swing the election to Lamont.
Alan Schlessinger kicked Lieberman's ass for the GOP vote he so critically needs to win, and Lamont gave him no quarter on the Democratic side (and looked very senatorial in the process). While there are many good things to say about both Lamont and Schlessinger in the debate today, the loser was clearly — Joe Loserman.