Thursday, July 13, 2006

Today's Holy Joe Moment

Good piece on Lieberman at The New York Observer.

The most prominent orthodox Jewish politician in American political history, Mr. Lieberman is attempting to survive a chaotic primary fight that has consequences far beyond the leafy borders of Connecticut, with opponents across the country calling him a traitor to his party and supporters returning fire with charges of liberal self-destructiveness and anti-Semitism.

Is it still viable to run as a foreign-policy hawk, a pro-environment civil libertarian, a self-declared "noodge" to immoral Hollywood and a socially moderate Zionist?

Mr. Lieberman, at least, thinks so.

What is happening to Mr. Lieberman, at the least, indicates that the political environment in Connecticut - and elsewhere - has changed drastically.

After twice being re-elected to his seat by an average margin of more than 30 percent, he is now in real danger of losing in a primary contest to Ned Lamont, an anti-war, blogger-backed millionaire who is running for major office for the first time.

"Senator Lieberman, sometimes he seems to go out of his way to undermine the Democrats and poke a stick in the eye of Democrats," Mr. Lamont said Monday evening as he sipped an iced tea and dug into a plate of potato skins in Wallingford. "It's President Bush, aided by Senator Lieberman, in many cases, that has taken this country way off its historical norm."

Similarly, the aforementioned liberal bloggers say that the anti-Semitism charge is just a feint to draw attention away from the broad and increasingly well-disciplined opposition to Mr. Lieberman among the party's grassroots.

Anti-Semitism? No. Anti-Bush-blowing phony Democrat? Yes.

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