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The NYTimes Endorses Ned Lamont


The NYTimes is blunt as to why it has changed its prior endorsements for Joe Lieberman to endorsing Ned Lamont in the Connecticut primary, to be held on August 8.  And the tinge of sadness at being forced to do this by Lieberman’s own actions and steadfast refusal to own up to his own mistakes is palpable in the NYTimes editorial:

Mr. Lieberman is not just a senator who works well with members of the other party. And there is a reason that while other Democrats supported the war, he has become the only target. In his effort to appear above the partisan fray, he has become one of the Bush administration’s most useful allies as the president tries to turn the war on terror into an excuse for radical changes in how this country operates.

Citing national security, Mr. Bush continually tries to undermine restraints on the executive branch: the system of checks and balances, international accords on the treatment of prisoners, the nation’s longtime principles of justice. His administration has depicted any questions or criticism of his policies as giving aid and comfort to the terrorists. And Mr. Lieberman has helped that effort. He once denounced Democrats who were “more focused on how President Bush took America into the war in Iraq” than on supporting the war’s progress.

At this moment, with a Republican president intent on drastically expanding his powers with the support of the Republican House and Senate, it is critical that the minority party serve as a responsible, but vigorous, watchdog. That does not require shrillness or absolutism. But this is no time for a man with Mr. Lieberman’s ability to command Republicans’ attention to become their enabler, and embrace a role as the president’s defender….

If Mr. Lieberman had once stood up and taken the lead in saying that there were some places a president had no right to take his country even during a time of war, neither he nor this page would be where we are today. But by suggesting that there is no principled space for that kind of opposition, he has forfeited his role as a conscience of his party, and has forfeited our support.

Mr. Lamont, a wealthy businessman from Greenwich, seems smart and moderate, and he showed spine in challenging the senator while other Democrats groused privately. He does not have his opponent’s grasp of policy yet. But this primary is not about Mr. Lieberman’s legislative record. Instead it has become a referendum on his warped version of bipartisanship, in which the never-ending war on terror becomes an excuse for silence and inaction. We endorse Ned Lamont in the Democratic primary for Senate in Connecticut.

If Joe Lieberman needs to blame someone for the current primary race, in which he is fighting for his political survival, he needs to look no further than his reflection in the mirror.  Read the whole of the NYTimes editorial — Lieberman comes off as a more distinguished version of a concern troll, with his constant need to prop up the Bush Administration at every turn by scolding anyone in his own party who dares to question or disagree.

What, exactly, does Joe Lieberman think is the job of an opposition party — and a Senator and Deomcratic party, who have a responsibility to uphold the Constitution and the need for accountability and oversight, even during an ongoing time of conflict?

That even Joe Klein is trying to beat some reality into the Lieberman thought process is telling, isn’t it?

You want to see why people in Connecticut – from all walks of life, all sorts of neighborhoods, all over the state — are flocking to Ned Lamont’s campaign?  Just watch this slide show of photos from the campaign trial.  Ned Lamont cares about all of Connecticut, and he listens when people are speaking to him.  It’s not hard, but it requires that you think of yourself as human instead of pontificating from some lofty moral perch.

Had Joe Lieberman bothered to listen, instead of just lecturing, then that Kiss Float wouldn’t be dogging him around the state of Connecticut, to those barely filled meet and greets.  No one likes a concern troll, least of all real people who expect their elected representatives to listen to their problems and help them find solutions together.

UPDATE:  Here, I’ll be kind and give "Short Ride" Joe an idea of what the NYTimes and all his critics mean:  I give you Joe the Concern Troll

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Christy Hardin Smith

Christy Hardin Smith

Christy is a "recovering" attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review. Christy was a partner in her own firm for several years, where she practiced in a number of areas including criminal defense, child abuse and neglect representation, domestic law, civil litigation, and she was an attorney for a small municipality, before switching hats to become a state prosecutor. Christy has extensive trial experience, and has worked for years both in and out of the court system to improve the lives of at risk children.

Email: reddhedd AT firedoglake DOT com