Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Joe, the Best Democrat

The Moose argues that the Joe Lieberman is invaluable to the donkey as a Democrat or independent.

Much of the left's animus toward Joe Lieberman is driven by the view that his partisan credentials are suspect. However, if anyone has paid his progressive dues it has been Joe Lieberman.

Back before many of his left wing critics were born, Joe Lieberman was in Mississippi defying the racists and registering African-American voters. He was the consumers' friend as Connecticut's Attorney General. He has a Congressional voting record that reflects his centrist-progressive perspective. He is pro-choice, pro-civil rights, pro-union and pro-environment. He was the party's Vice-Presidential standard bearer as the first Jew on a national ticket.

Indeed, the characteristics that irritates the left about Lieberman are the attributes that could make Democrats a majority party. He is not a defeatist on Iraq and is tough on national security. He understands that values matter most. And he stands for something more than mere loathing of Republicans.

Yes, the left also indicts Joe for being too chummy with Bush. Well, Lieberman possesses the quaint notion that politics stops at the waters edge during wartime. Clearly, a felonious and punishable offense in the modern Democratic Party.

If the nutroots are so inflamed with those who collaborate with the GOP enemy, what do they make of the distinguished senior Senator from Massachusetts? He might not have received a peck on the cheek from W, but he helped seal the deal on the two major legislative achievements of this presidency.

The truth is that Joe is not just a good Democrat. He is the best Democrat in the tradition of Truman and JFK. There is no doubt that those two historical figures would be more comfortable in the Party of Lieberman than the Party of Kos.

Here's some straight talk from the Moose to the donkey. If a narrow slice of the Democratic primary electorate propelled by a coordinated leftist campaign shows Joe the door, it will haunt the Democratic Party for a generation. The Moose might have miscalculated the donkey. He thought that, after Clinton, the Democrats had found their vital center. Maybe, the Moose was grievously wrong - we will see.

Republicans will exploit a Lieberman loss as a symbol that the Democrats do not welcome centrists or hawks. Republicans have enjoyed some degree of success among Jews particularly in the Orthodox community. Expect the GOP to accelerate their efforts in the wake of a Lieberman defeat. And count on a major Orthodox backlash.

No group has been more loyal to the Democratic Party than America's Jewish community. However, it is common on comment sections on left-wing blogs to see charges of dual loyalty leveled against Joe. Indeed, many of these bloggers and their "community" are merely Pat Buchanan lite who share the paleo-conservative animus toward America's special relationship with the Jewish state. And, just contemplate the specter of the first Jew on a national ticket defeated in a primary by a narrow slice of the electorate.

At a moment when Democrats should be picking out the drapes to hang in the Congressional leadership offices, a small slice of the party's left is organizing a purge of its most visible centrist.

Unfortunately, the leadership of the party either does not see the import of the moment or is actively collaborating with the lefty takeover.

By running as a Democrat and/or an independent- Democrat, Joe offers Connecticut a genuine choice. Joe Lieberman is attempting to keep alive the proud Democratic tradition of Truman and Kennedy.

And that makes Joe Lieberman the best Democrat, even if he has an "I" by his name on the ballot.
-- Posted at 6:05 AM | Link to this post | Email this post