Saturday, August 26, 2006


Captain Ed's post at The Captain's Quarters got me thinking about Senator Joe Liberman's ongoing Connecticut Senate campaign.

Lieberman is exploring the many facets of independence in American politics, and the people who forced it on him still express surprise and anger over it. The only surprise here is that they're surprised.

My thoughts on the matter are murky. Not that long ago, I believed party power-brokers would talk Senator Joe into stepping aside gracefully and then his support of the President would be rewarded with a cushy cabinet position. However, that now seems unlikely. Lieberman appears true to his word that he's staying in the race.

I'm an Independent. And I have so many problems with both parties. The thought of an independent senator should intrigue me. But this one doesn't. At least no more so than the presence of Senator Jim Jeffords (I-VT) or Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT) already does.

It's because just like Jeffords or Sanders nobody believes that Lieberman is embarking on a quest to prove there is a 3rd way in American poltics. He just wants to save his job! And this is a rare instance where he can because the Connecticut GOP is so powerless that they can't run a decent campaign even on a split-the-vote strategy. Despite having a GOP governor and a couple of congressmen, no Republican in Connecticut actually supports their own nominee for the Senate seat, Alan Schlessinger. Granted, the guy looks like a dweeb. He's even admitted to large gambling losses just months before the election. But he did win the primary. Is the Connecticut GOP a legitimate politcal organization anymore?

That's why I can't get too excited about Lieberman running or even possibly winning as an Independent. It just smells fishy. Isn't this the same guy who Republicans chided mercilessly just 6 years ago during the "Sore-Loserman" campaign? But now he's suddenly the answer to the problems in American poltics? And, on the other side, if Lieberman really believes his party has left him, then why doesn't he have the guts to leave his party? Or why doesn't his party step up to the plate and show him the boot by promising no chairmanship in a Democratic Senate?

For me, it only adds up to one conclusion -- Lieberman is another hack who likes the power of being a Senator. He realizes there is a good chance the Senate will be evenly divided after the election, or perhaps the Democrats will gain a slim majority by only one vote. If that happens, Senator Joe could give his party affiliation to the highest bidder in the same manner of the spineless Jeffords following the 2002 election. He could go Republican? He could go Democrat? Lie-berman will be looking to see who makes the best offer. Win or lose, Captain Ed, I just can't get too excited about this particular "facet of independence" apparently being explored.


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