Sen. Joe Lieberman is planning an independent run for the Senate if the former vice presidential candidate is defeated by anti-war activist Ned Lamont in the Connecticut Democratic primary next month-and Hillary Clinton's announcement that she will not support an independent Lieberman candidacy tells us many things.
It tells us that Clinton is fundamentally unserious about the war. Lamont is running on a policy of retreat; Lieberman is a committed proponent of victory. To abandon Lieberman is to put politics ahead of victory.
It also tells us that Clinton is very afraid of her party's new "netroots," the hard left activists gathered around blogs such as The Daily Kos, which launched and power Lamont's anti-war candidacy. These folks at the fringe of the Democratic Party are pushing the purge of Lieberman. The refusal of people like Clinton to stand against them signals that the party of FDR, Truman, and JFK is passing away.
Joe Lieberman is an honorable man, one of the most far-seeing of the Democrats. He was enormously popular as part of the Gore ticket in 2000. That he could not attract much support in his presidential campaign in 2004 showed us the leftward drift of his party.
That he drew an anti-war opponent in his primary showed us that the radical wing of his party is not content to take on Republicans, but wants ideological purity as well. And that he is not receiving unconditional support from his colleagues-led by Clinton-signals that the party's headlong march hard left is accelerating.