The Moose reflects on the donkey's need for Joe.
For the moment, Democrats are in ecstasy- as well they should be. Republican numbers are plummeting and control over Congress may well be within their grasp.
But, allow the Moose to offer a reality check. While the elephant is in dire straits, there is no evidence that the voting public is truly enamored with the donkey. Both parties have popularity numbers that are unusually associated with serial killers.
Moreover, Democrats have yet to seriously address their weaknesses in the areas of culture and national security. While that may not make much difference in an off-year election, in '08 those vulnerabilities may come back to haunt the donkey.
And if the Democrats drive Joe Lieberman out, he will become a national symbol of a party that has turned its back on hawkish, traditionalist voters. For the moment, the left is ascendancy in a party that is driven by raw rage. That may be enough for '06, but insufficient for '08.
What is striking about Joe is that by any standard he is a liberal. Consider his voting record,
AFL-CIO Lifetime -82%
NARAL Lifetime - 95%
League of Conservation Voters Lifetime - 88%
NAACP (2005) - 85%
Leadership Conference on Civil Right (2004) - 95%
Human Rights Campaign (Lifetime) - 90%
What is his great apostasy? He has strongly believes that we cannot afford to lose in Iraq. And he has taken a firm stand that force cannot be taken off the table when dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat.
There is a growing Iran accomodationist wing in the Democratic Party. Locked in an emerging Iraq Syndrome, this crowd thinks that all carrots and no sticks are the answer to the Iranian threat. And they tried to convince us that the only beef that they had with the use of force was that it was improperly deployed in Iraq. Whatever...
What the left is saying is that there is no room for someone with hawkish views in the Democratic Party - regardless of his long-standing liberal record. Yes, the Iraq war is unpopular. But that doesn't mean that a Party identified with retreat will fare well on national security matters in the future.
Hopefully saner voices and voters will prevail in the party. Surely, the party still welcomes a leader who completely represents the tradition of Truman, JFK and Scoop. --