The Daily Sandwich

"We have to learn the lesson that intellectual honesty is fundamental for everything we cherish." -Sir Karl Popper

Location: Boston, Massachusetts, United States


Monday, July 10, 2006

It's official: Lieberman to run as Independent if he loses primary

Democratic U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman filed paperwork Monday that will allow him to collect signatures to petition his way onto the November ballot if he loses an August primary.

I have to admit that I was baffled to hear Ed Schultz describe Lieberman's decision as simply "doing everything he has to to win," and "that's what it's all about." Of course, that isn't what it's all about in party politics, or we'd be staring at ballots with a dozen candidates in every election. It's a weird gambit on the part of Lieberman, who's decided he's entitled to a do-over if he doesn't win the Democratic primary.

It's unfortunate that some groups have decided to poo-poo Lamont's run because of the intense involvement of the blogs, because the race is getting massive amounts of coverage in the mainstream press as well. I doubt anyone outside of rabid political junkies could name any other races which involve challengers from within an incumbents own party. But Lieberman is a high-profile guy, and the blogs didn't make him that way.

Three things: 1) Lieberman wouldn't be doing this if he was confident of a primary victory, 2) his willingness to ditch the party will hurt him in the primaries, and 3) running in a three-way election in November increases the chance that Democrats lose the seat. All of which points to one thing: for Lieberman, this race isn't about the future of Connecticut or the nation, it's about Lieberman.

I'm reminded of his complaints of how unfair it was that he was being forced to run against the independently wealthy Ned Lamont. Lamont then offered a voluntary spending cap. The Lieberman camp was silent.