Sunday, March 30, 2008

Democrats Hijacked by Hard-Left Base, Lieberman Says

Joseph Lieberman

I watched Senator Joseph Lieberman this morning, appearing on "This Week With George Stephanopoulos," argue that today's Democratic Party has been taken over its radical netroots base. Michael Scherer at Swampland has a post up on it, with Lieberman's transcripted comments:

Well, I say that the Democratic Party changed. The Democratic Party today was not the party it was in 2000. It's not the Bill Clinton-Al Gore party, which was strong internationalists, strong on defense, pro-trade, pro-reform in our domestic government. It's been effectively taken over by a small group on the left of the party that is protectionist, isolationist and basically will - and very, very hyperpartisan. So it pains me. I'm a Democrat who came to the party in the era of President John F. Kennedy. It's a strange turn of the road when I find among the candidates running this year that the one, in my opinion, closest to the Kennedy legacy, the John F. Kennedy legacy, is John S. McCain.

Lieberman also argues that John McCain's the one candidate in the race today that best reflects the hope and vision of John F. Kennedy, and his call to "pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship," to guarantee the survival of goodness and liberty. Here's the interview, via YouTube:

It's hard to find another current political official of either party who can speak more authoritatively on the current radicalism of today's Democrats. Lieberman was the target, for example, of Daily Kos efforts to purge war-supporting Democrats from the party, and the Kos-faction backed Ned Lamont's win over Lieberman in Connecticut's senatorial primary in 2006.

But let's be precise: Note exactly what Lieberman says, that the Democrats have been "effectively taken over by a small group on the left of the party..."

I would add that Lieberman's being charitable (the Bolsheviks were also a small group). As a current member of Congress - and a friend and colleague to McCain - the Connecticut Senator's sparing in his description of how radicalized the base of the Democratic Party has become.

Of course, Lieberman's routinely demonized by the left blogosphere. For example, in one comment thread at Kos, "Sharon Jumper" argued that Lieberman, who is Jewish, should be gassed

Given a choice between my dog and Lieberman, I’d gas him without thinking twice.

by Sharon Jumper on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:42:04 PM PDT


It’s too bad when people use animal references to derogate people with. Animals are not deserving of these kinds of insults!

by Loquatrix on Mon May 14, 2007 at 02:47:36 PM PDT


Sharon , jeez

I know you didn’t mean it that way, but a reference to gassing a Jew needs to be hidden.

I hope you will join me in asking that this comment be hidden and that there will not be a pile on....

by TeresaInPa on Mon May 14, 2007 at 03:15:18 PM PDT


Lieberman's beneath animals, although at least "Teresa" tries to pull some of her Kos-colleagues back from the ignominy of their anti-Semitism.

There's more, of course. Left bloggers today are raging over Lieberman's "This Week" interview.

For example, Cliff Schecter's trembling in his hatred of Lieberman:

I can barely type, this man gets me so worked up my hands shake.

Via Memeorandum, John Amato at Crooks and Liars argues that Lieberman's made the full "Zell Miller transition," which implies that the Connecticut Senator's now finalized his betrayal of the Democratic Party, and that he's in the same league of fascist evil to which Miller has been condemned by the left.

Lieberman's description of today's Democrats provides a little more support - anecdotal as it may be - for my hypothesis that the Democrats' far-left wing "progressive" base has moved the party over to the radical fringe.

Radical netroots activists believe that electoral mobilization is the vehicle for actualizing their program of revolutionary socialism this year.

For more on this, see my "no enemies" series, "No Enemies on the Left? Progressives for Barack Obama."