The Moose denounces the swiftboating of Joe.
The Moose found one of the most despicable moments of contemporary politics was when John Kerry's heroism in battle was called into question during the 2004 campaign. It was an attempt to rewrite history to depict a war hero as an opportunist. It was vile and disgusting.
Now the left is engaged in a swiftboating of Joe Lieberman. It is an attempt to falsely portray him as right wing Bush supporter. It is a vile lie. The truth is that Joe Lieberman is in the mainstream of a Democratic Party that could become a majority party. But does that party exist anymore?
With apologies to August Bebel, anti-Liebermanism is the liberalism of fools.
As the Moose has pointed out, by any reasonable standard, Joe is a liberal Democrat in good standing. Yes, he supports the war, but it is a blatant misrepresentation to suggest that he is anything but a liberal. (The good folks at the must read Lieberdem did some marvelous research on this question - here)
Almost forty years ago, the Moose witnessed a good and decent liberal unfairly slimed by the ideological predecessors of the nutroot blogosphere. In 1968, the New Leftists didn't have the internet, but with their voices they shouted out and heckled Hubert Humphrey with the chant, "Dump the Hump." The Moose will be damned if he stands by while another progressive leader suffers the disgraceful treatment that was accorded the Happy Warrior so long ago.
Yesterday, the lefty bloggers attempted to spread the disinformation that Joe might run as a Republican despite the fact that he has made it clear that he will caucus with the Democrats even if he runs as an independent. The left knows no limit to their hatred of Lieberman. It is deep. It is irrational. And it has the potential to damage the Democratic Party for many years to come.
Truth will not deter the left wing practitioners of swiftboating. Just as their right wing brethren sought to make a coward out of a war hero, the left wingers seek to make a right winger out of a long-standing liberal.
Back in 2004, few Republicans denounced the swiftboating of Kerry. And now many Democrats who know better have been quiet about the attacks on Joe. It is a spectacle witnessing those who have both reversed their positions on Iraq and are also suddenly shy away about supporting Joe. And some wonder why the Democratic Party is suspect about standing on principle. They were with Joe, before they walked away from him.
It is fashionable among Democratic pundits and politicians to express contrition about their support for the war and beg for forgiveness from the lefties. Joe's great "sin" is that he stands by his original position and expresses optimism about America's eventual success in Iraq. However, it is far more popular and acceptable in the Democratic Party to express defeatism and doom. And this is the party that the American people will trust with their security?
And here is a message for those moderates who are refusing to vigorously support Joe - they are coming after you next. Limousine Liberal Lamont is merely a tool for the nutroots to help achieve their ultimate objective. The goal of the activists and the celebrated nutroots is to move the party to the left on critical issues such as national security and trade. And the ultimate result will be that Democrats will only be able to visit the White House on a tourist pass.
If Joe Lieberman is defeated, the Democratic Party will have little credibility in arguing it is a broad coalition welcoming centrists and independents. The party may be OK in '06 because of the collapse of the GOP. But, '08 is entirely another matter. The paradox is that the Republicans may become more heterodox while the Democrats become more orthodox.
The Connecticut race is not just about Joe, but about the long-term political health of the Democrats. And this vile swiftboating of Joe could long plague the donkey. --