Who Will Rally Behind Lieberman's Independent Bid For Senate? Perhaps All His Friends In The Conservative Media
Ned Lamont's primary victory yesterday over incumbent Joe Lieberman wasn't a huge surprise. Lamont had led in the polls for several weeks in the race to be Connecticut's Democratic Senate candidate.
And it's not a big surprise that Lieberman, upon losing, made it clear he'll run as an independent. He's been hinting for weeks.
What is surprising is the way the conservative media has rallied behind Lieberman. First comes President Bush's "kiss," and now waves of praise and friendship from just about everyone on the WABC and Fox News Channel roster?
Rush Limbaugh yesterday said on his radio show that Lamont was a "kook," was backed by the "McGovern" wing of the party, and that his victory would signify the liberals were trying to "sabotage the government." Fox News Channel's John Gibson said yesterday that the far left had been "nasty and intolerant and hateful" toward Lieberman. Sean Hannity regularly has Lieberman on his show, calls him a friend, and offered to hold a fundraiser for "Hannity Conservatives for Lieberman." Ann Coulter praised Lieberman and suggested he become a Republican.
Why the chumminess? Clearly, it comes down to the Iraq War. Lieberman has been front-and-center behind President Bush, unwilling to hold the president accountable for failing to heed the call of those who said we needed more troops in Iraq, or underestimating the Iraq insurgency.
Drink from the Bush Administration kool-aid, you get rewarded. It's the "Are You With Us, Or Are You Against Us" Mentality, and there's not much room for independent thought. No matter your conservative credentials, wavering from the administration may lead you to receive unbridled anger -- as has been the case with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).
So now Lieberman will run as an independent. In effect, this gives the conservative media a two-thirds shot at victory.
If Lieberman wins, the right can try to woo him to leave the Democratic Party altogether. And if Lieberman loses, maybe the vote will be split enough to allow the Republican candidate to win. What's his name again?