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Columns > Dan Greenhaus

Published: 2006/08/21
by Dan Greenhaus

Lieberman the Independent, Why Not?

As I watched Joe Lieberman lose the democratic primary in Connecticut, and subsequently announce he would undertake an independent bid for the Senate seat he currently holds, I found myself shocked at how quickly he adopted right wing talking points to both justify his independent bid and to dismiss Ned Lamonts shocking, shocking upset in the primary. And as I listened to his, and media pundits such as Sean Hannitys, reasoning, many began, perhaps for the first time, to begin to question the underlying principle of the entire Neocon, Middle Eastern experiment; Middle Eastern democracies are going to make America safer. Obviously, those who participated in the primary were thinking similar thoughts.
As Joe stood up there, giving his concession speech, one couldnt help but feel bad for the man. But what has happened to him is the embodiment of democracy. The democrats in Connecticut who showed up for the primary voted instead for Ned Lamont, but really it was a vote against Joe Lieberman. While few would argue with his democratic credentials, he unfortunately has taken an unpopular stance on the war, and he has paid the price for it. His loss, perhaps, sends a message to other Democrats but its not what you might think. Dont lose touch with your voters.
Some pundits, typically those on the right, are arguing that Joes loss does not bode well for the democrats, in that it shows not that Joe ha lost touch with the voters, but it is the voters who have lost touch with Joe. Of course, anyone with half a brain sees the flaw in this argument. Voters do not send people to Congress just because or for name recognition. They are there to represent the interests, beliefs and desires of the people, the real gasoline in the engine of democracy. And as a result, Joe has lost his right to represent the Democratic Party as the Senator from Connecticut.
Which brings us to the next question: why is everyone freaking out that Joe is running as an independent?
People like Chuck Shumer and John Kerry, who have thrown their support behind Lamont are asking Joe to drop out and honor the will of Democrats in Connecticut. But thats really a pretty lame argument if you ask me. The Democrats who voted said they dont necessarily want Joe to represent them anymore, and that must be respected. But why shouldnt Joe run as an independent? For years people have been clamoring for more three party races, and now theyve got one. In our democracy, if you CAN run, you SHOULD run. Often that takes money, other times signatures and in every case, it takes a shot to win.
Joe has all three. Why shouldnt he run?

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