Saturday, April 22, 2006

Joe Lieberman's Staying In Disguise a Little Longer

Lieberman drives me nuts -- on critical things, like the war in Iraq, he'll do exactly what Bush wants, use his talking points, etc. and even when he votes the right way, most often he'll keep his position a mystery until after the outcome of the vote has been determined and his vote's not going to make a difference. It may be good for extracting contributions from lobbyists on both sides (by not making either camp angry at you for actively taking sides), but it's craven and does absolutely nothing to help the causes he's voting for.

Anyways, Joe has been trying to set the stage for ditching the Democratic Party and opposing its eventual nominee (Ned Lamont, a real Democrat) as an independent in the general election. It seems he's not happy that the party isn't simply giving him the nomination automatically. I just posted a comment about Joe's likely betrayal of his Democratic donors on My Left Nutmeg, which is exerpted below:


If Joe leaves to run independent, it will be a lot more than a slap in the face to CT Dems. He will doubtlessly portray Lamont and the Democrats who nominate him as extreme, leftwing, etc in order to position himself as the "reasonable" candidate. Joe will inflict damage on the party, not just Lamont, in his effort to win in the general.

Now, Joe's war chest is not comprised solely of Republican lobbyist contributions -- in fact, a lot of it comes from Democrats who had no idea that Joe would use their money to defeat Democrats when they gave. Frankly, even now, I'd guess few beyond political junkies know how likely Joe is to bolt the party and there are likely solid blue Democrats (little old ladies, etc) giving to Joe who still think they're doing the right thing for the party.

So, the fair, right, and honorable thing for Joe to do would be to offer his contributors the chance to get their money back. If Joe's right that people will still support him even if he's opposing Democrats, then no one will want a refund. I suspect this is not the case though.

I realize Joe's not very likely to make a pledge to offer refunds if he abondons the party. But that shouldn't stop Democrats from demanding he return their money if he does bolt. Moreover, I think identifying and encouraging disgruntled donors to make such a demand would be a great thing.

By the way, saying Joe was not a "real Democrat" before he announced that he's considering leaving the party to run against it was not something I ever said. Now, however, it's perfectly legit to call him a Democrat out of convenience, pretend Democrat, etc because no real Democrat would consider ignoring the will of his party (or even leaving the party before they have a chance to give their verdict) and run against it.


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