The Hartford Courant reports:
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman won the endorsement of a divided Democratic state convention Friday night, but his challenger, Ned Lamont, garnered enough support to force a primary and a summerlong debate on the war in Iraq.In the midst of a midterm election against an unpopular majority, the Democrats are faced with a choice: Focus efforts on winning Congressional seats from vulnerable Republicans, or attack each other. Witness their decision.
Lieberman, 64, a three-term senator and his party's 2000 vice presidential nominee, defeated Lamont, 52, an anti-war candidate, on a 1,004 to 505 roll call ballot, the first step on what promises to be his most difficult re-election challenge.
Talk about a cliched sign of weakness.
I'll admit, there's a school of thought that says the Democratic power structure has proven inept and that maybe the best long-term solution is to pull down the existing framework and rebuild. That school of thought is naive. Politics is money, and nothing attracts money like fame. I don't care how many grass-roots idealists make PayPal donations; that sum will never outweigh the millions of dollars invested by people who want to have breakfast with a celebrity who can help them.
I understand the radicals' logic — that Senator Lieberman's votes have betrayed their values, that their primary objective should be sending a message of protest — but they're wrong. I'm a Republican, but foremost I'm an American and I care more about the good of our country than the victories of my party. The pendulum has swung too far, and we need the Democrat party to pull itself together and suit up.
The course of human civilization has turned on the quest to govern; and although we have invented more effective modes of government than democracy, we have found none more elevating. I firmly believe in adversarial politics, and I hesitate to suggest that Connecticut wouldn't benefit from a spirited campaign; but sometimes politics is war, and war requires triage. You have to pick your battles, and you have to recognize that small victories can sometimes preclude meaningful ones.