Jonathan Chait urges Joe Lieberman to abandon his independent campaign for the Senate. He writes: “The longer. . .Lieberman’s reelection campaign. . .goes on, the harder it gets to detect any rationale for his candidacy that’s persuasive to anybody who isn’t Joe Lieberman.” Funny, I would have thought evidence that Connecticut voters prefer Lieberman to Lamont constitutes a decent rationale.
As one reads his piece, it becomes clear that Chait’s real complaint is that Lieberman is not the author’s ideal of the proper symbol for the Democratic hawk:
He has supported capital-gains tax cuts, ultra-loose financial regulations and the crucial vote on the grotesque bankruptcy bill. He has an almost pathological need to be liked by the far right. Above all, he has maddeningly failed to acknowledge just how badly the Iraq war has turned out. . . .
But it is up to the voters of Connecticut to decide whether these “sins” (and Chaitt’s pop psychological analysis) warrant Lieberman’s ouster from the Senate.
In normal circumstances, to be sure, there is a compelling reason for the loser of a primary not to run in the general election — doing so presents a risk that the candidate of the opposing party will prevail. But here there is no such risk, and therefore no reason for Lieberman not to run.
Via Real Clear Politics.
JOHN adds: This is priceless. The real reason why far-left Democrats like Chait want Lieberman to drop out of the race is, of course, that they think he is going to win. Hence the bogus “duty” to abide by the primary result. The Democrats have taken the foolish step of ousting Lieberman, not from office–that remains to be seen–but as their candidate. If Lieberman goes on to win without them, as I am confident he will, then Connecticut Democrats can either say 1) that they made a bad mistake, or 2) that they stood on an issue of principle, regardless of the consequences. Either of those positions may make sense. What makes no sense is the proposition that Lieberman owes it to Connecticut Democrats to rescue them from the consequences of their folly, or to accede to a “principle” that he does not share.