22 March 2006

To Do List: Give To Ned Lamont

I don't make donations to political candidates on the spur of the moment. I have a limited budget, consider where my meager funds would make the most difference this campaign season, and then write the checks. I've written only a couple in my life to out of state candidates. This year, I'll write another. The check will be to the primary campaign of Ned Lamont who is opposing Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Democratic primary.

Why? Because, as explained by a long time local supportere Joe Lieberman, a member of my own political party, as done a great deal of damage to the party (far more than on my shitlist local Senator Ken Salazar, despite Lieberman's overall more liberal career voting record).

Lieberman, who cannot countenance violent videogames, has occasionally sounded like an apologist for real-life torture.

Democrats have a right to expect better from a Democratic Senator from blue Connecticut (Kerry got 54.3% of the vote in 2004 in CT compared to 47% in CO; only the District of the Columbia and five states Northeast of it were more pro-Kerry).

There is a place for bipartisanship in Washington. Bipartisanship means looking for solutions that are not controversial on partisan grounds that can bring about positive change. For example, while gun control is hot button political issue, aggressively punishing those who use guns in crimes (at least, where the gun has a meaningful nexus with the crime) is not. Partisans focus on the former, bipartisans try to find common ground dealing with the later approach.

Joe Lieberman doesn't engage in that kind of bipartisanship. His brand of politics is closer to partisan schizophrenia, favoring one party's divisive party line in a partisan way some of the time, and the other party's divisive party line in a partisan way at other times. There is nothing wrong with occassionally taking a strong stand on a divisive issue. This is what we pay politicians to do. But, neither I, nor the Democratic party generally, has an obligation to support those who eat their own. We don't need Democrats who say things like:

It's time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years and that in matters of war we undermine the president's credibility at our nation's peril.

Save shrill, ignorant efforts to shut down legitimate criticism in the name of patriotism for members of that other party. I scarcely know Ned Lamont, but I'm confident that he won't harm the Democratic party in the way that Joe Lieberman has hurt it.

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