An open letter to Ned Lamont supporters

Not being a resident of Conn., the outcome of the Lieberman/Lamont race would not interest me under normal circumstances.

But these are not normal circumstances.

Though I certainly can’t give Lieberman a pass for his choices of late, I also can’t cast my lot with a movement whose goal isn’t to improve the Democratic party, but to burn it down and remake it into their image.

I realize most Lamont supporters are sincere. But then there is that the rest of them who are seeking not only to oust Lieberman, but also Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Evan Bayh, Maria Cantwell, and others who do not fit into their narrow definition of what a “real Democrat” is.  In Cantwell’s case, she could very well lose her Senate seat to a Republican because anti-war left candidates will split the vote in the November election.

Make no mistake, these movements to defeat sitting moderate Democrats aren’t of the grassroots variety.  They are well funded from outside of each state in question.  In Lieberman’s case, over 70% of the $800,000 plus raised by Ned Lamont has come from outside Conn.

This, of course, is not an endorsement by me of the Iraq war, a war that I oppose and the one issue that has raised the hackles of the left.  However, in the coming years, this war will be over and a memory and I would prefer not to have Democrats-come-lately who are weak on foreign policy occupying the chambers of Congress.  I don’t want to trade the ideological heirs to Truman and JFK that we currently have for the ideological heirs to Henry Wallace and George McGovern who are battling to control the Democratic party.

The last time a war divided the Democratic party, we got George McGovern as the nominee and lost in an electoral and popular vote landslide, an election that put the Democrats on a downward spiral that we’re still witnessing today.

Finally, it has not escaped my attention that Lieberman is prepared to run as an independent should he lose the August primary to Lamont.  I don’t believe he should.  However, similar circumstances haven’t prevented “progressive” candidates from doing, or considering, similar things.

Rep. Bernie Sanders, a confirmed socialist and lifelong Independent, has always refused to run as a Democrat and is only now agreeing to appear on the primary ballot as a Democrat for Jim Jefford’s seat.  However, Sanders WILL NOT RUN AS A DEMOCRAT if he gets the party’s nomination.  For this, the left has remained silent.

Was there any outrage from the left when Cynthia McKinney was considering running as a Green after she lost her seat in 2002?  No.  In fact, the left encouraged it.

See, I don’t really believe you’re angry that Lieberman might leave the Democratic party to run as an independent.  You’re angry that in doing so, he’ll win a three-way race and, thus, foil your attempts to dispose of him.

For these reasons, for the preservation of the Democratic party as a national and mainstream political force, for the short sightedness of the so-called “progressive grassroots” movement, I cannot support Ned Lamont or any organization that does.

I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting him yet, but I’m sure Ned Lamont is a good and sincere man.  A part of me wishes he was the incumbent and running against a Republican.  But a victory for him will only send a message that the big tent of the Democratic party is being taken down, and anyone who won’t tow a 100% ideologically pure line with the left could be a target.  THAT is not the Democratic party I want to belong to.


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