Why Panic Isn’t a Strategy OR Joe Lieberman IS His Own Worst Enemy

So it seems the esteemed Senator From Connecticut’s little announcement this week, basically saying he’s so worried now about a primary election he’s hedging bets and filing to run as so-called “independent has the whole world in a tizzy – if you read blogs, that is.
Those netroots guys are all atwitter on this one (especially since they appeared in one of his ads – how cute!). The Esteemed Senator from New York has weighed in on this race, declaring her support for “The Democrat” who wins the primary. Cooler heads have provided some provided some alternate commentary that doesn’t fit neatly into little boxes, as well.
No one, however, has commented on one thing that’s driving this, in fact, the reason why so many campaigns go off the rails – Lieberman’s decision is being driven by candidate-induced panic and reaction, nothing more. While it is unusual to have a candidate like Ned Lamont challenge an incumbent senator in the primary, in that he’s not a drooling lunatic or a drug-addled hippie running on the Three A’s Platform, I have yet to see a poll that shows him ahead.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that Democratic primary voters have a choice between a US Senator, and a well-funded, thoughtful challenger with neat ads. There’s no law that says that anyone in office is owed re-election (unless of course you live in So Called Liberal San Francisco where we re-elect all the “I’s” no matter how much we claim we don’t like City Hall’s style..) and it’d be nice to think that after 3 terms, Lieberman was secure enough in his relationship with the voter citizens of his state to take a few punches.
But his move to suggest that if he loses he’ll file as an “independent” candidate show that the Esteemed Senator is neither a secure man, nor a particularly bright one when it comes to politics. To react to a challenger coming even somewhat close by not only saying “I’ll leave the party and continue to run anyway, even if my alleged base rejects me” not only smacks of arrogance – it also says flat out that he’ll run even if the people who used to vote for him reject him. That’s just plain stupid.
Moreover, he may have ensured he loses a primary that he could still win. If he offers the “Lieberman Voter” an out by signing a petition, he’s effectively removed any reason to go vote in August. After all, if (and I do mean if – how may petitions do ya think the Lieberman machine gathers these days?) they are getting signatures, a Lieberman voter doesn’t have to vote anymore in the Democratic Primary to support Their Guy.
In other words, if Senator Bushlite wanted to really stay in office. he’d ride it out in the Democratic primary he sang the praises of up until a few days ago, and force the issue. Most likely he’d win. But then again, maybe he might not. That’d take guts, it’d take a true maverick, and it’d mean ol’ Joe would have to roll a hard six to win.
Now, all those thinking Senator Jojo has the mojo to pull a stunt like this off and campaign without a safety net, say “aye”
The silence is deafening. But let’s thank him for keeping up that keeping up that New England Tradition of blowing elections.

Leave a Reply