Friday, July 07, 2006


I'll tell you: after last night's debate, it became real clear why we need to send Ned Lamont to the senate. The debate itself was like a greek tragedy, and the tragic hero was Lieberman himself; he even looked the part.

Granted, Lamont came in as a neophyte with little experience debating a seasoned veteran like Senator Lieberman. The first few minutes revealed Lamont's inexperience. However, the good news is that as the debate progressed Lamont was able to get leverage and pull off a strong performance, all things considered. This genuine (Lamont seemed more human and less mechanical than Lieberman) performance, in part, was made possible by Lieberman's over-reliance on GOP attack tactics and a rather pathetic fall from grace.

What was most shocking, as plenty of others have noticed, is how indignant Joe Lieberman was. His hubris, his self-entitlement, his rudeness, and his adopted GOP tacticis (smearing, distortion, diversion, etc.) became abundantly clear; revisit his debates with Cheney in 2000 to see a much more controlled and even-keeled Joe Lieberman. Quite frankly, I felt sorry for him by the end of the debate. Senator Lieberman seemed like an Oedipus figure, myopic and dangerous: unwilling to accept reality, unwilling to acknowledge that war is an awful thing--supporting it or not, and unwilling to embrace and perhaps pull in the voters on whom he once counted. Let's face it: many of us have supported Lieberman in the past. And had he seized this debate as an opportunity, maybe some of us would re-consider supporting him again. Not I. Not many. Especially after last night.

What we witnessed last night was the final stages of a fall, although it's important to point out that this fall has been in progress for quite some time. What we saw was a man driven by his own perception of power, oftentimes resembling the solipsistic figures of the Bush administration. What we encountered was a man who thinks that we don't think, that we should unquestioningly trust him because he knows better and that that should be enough (according to the senator) to dismiss Lamont. What we found was a man who doesn't understand that he is, like it or not, an elected official who is part of an opposition party that should offer an alternative to what's happening now; that's what we pay him approximately 150k a year to do. That he took issue with Mr. Lamont's wealth and income further revealed how pathetic Lieberman has become. What we hope the future will bring is change, healing among Democrats who are divided right now, and a shared understanding of why we belong to a party built upon the principles of equality and an inclusive vision of the future. Ned Lamont is unequivocally the candidate to make that happen.

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