Saturday, December 10, 2005

The Left v Lieberman or Why DailyKos is wrong

There is a movement afoot to unofficially expel Senator Joe Lieberman from the Democratic Party. It started with general hatred for the "ideologically impure" Lieberman by folks over at DailyKos. They have never liked Lieberman's hawkishness and his willingness to straddle that all important center of American politics. Then Democracy for America has started a "Let Joe Know" campaign to tell Senator Lieberman that his views on Iraq War are wrong and he should shut up.

This got picked up by Chris Cillizza's The Fix and has since made into ABCNews - "Lieberman's Pro-War Views Concern Dems"- and The Washington Post - "Lieberman Wins Republican Friends, Democratic Enemies With Support for War." There is even discussion of running an anti-war candidate against Lieberman in 2006.

This is stupid in every way. Anyone who follows politics and/or watches The West Wing knows that the Democratic Party has The Mommy Problem. The Democratic Party is who you run to when you skin your knee or need something to eat, but when you need someone to defend you, run to the Republicans. Democrats are seen as weak on national security and public safety. Lieberman flies in the face of the Mommy Problem. He is the face that can change public opinion. The World is a scary place. If Democrats ever want to live in the White House again, they need to project an image of safety and security. Rather than saying let's get out of Iraq, we need to harshly critique the Bush administration for being so incompetent and propose how we'd make America stronger. Advocating withdrawal from Iraq so it can plunge into a civil war, requiring us to go back in a few years is not an encouraging alternative.

Let Lieberman speak. Encourage him take the Secretary of Defense job, as the rumor mill says in going to happen after the New Year. Wear Lieberman as a badge of honor. Say "Democratic Secretary of Defense" every time you use his name. The Democrats have a strong tradition of being strong on national security going back to JFK and FDR. Letting idealistic peaceniks run the ideological purity test for the Democratic Party will doom America to Republican incompetence and corruption for a generation to come.