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Talking Sense about The Lieberman Loss


Much attention – maybe too much attention – is being paid to the suddenly independent candidate status of Senator Joseph Lieberman. His defeat Tuesday at the hands of political neophyte, anti-war candidate Ned Lamont sent shock-waves rippling across the country.

At least the parties involved want us to believe that’s the case. One side laments the loss of an upstanding senator while the other cries from every rooftop that Lamont’s victory is proof of the demise of war-mongering.


To break it down for those of you who have been confused by all the smoke and mirrors (and, before yesterday, a very slow August news cycle), a liberal Democrat got beat by an even more liberal Democrat in a private election attended mostly by liberal Democrats. The outcome should have been a surprise to no one.

What’s more interesting is the way Lieberman’s newly cast Independent bid to hold on to his seat in Congress is being described. Generally conservative radio talk-show pundits and callers are calling Lieberman’s run a third-party candidacy and, in these early days, are ebullient over the possibility that an independent might stick it in the eye of the two major parties.

Don’t believe it.

Joe Lieberman is no third-party candidate. He’s a liberal Democrat addicted to the narcotic called political power. His political pedigree is that of a three-term incumbent with a consistent history of pro-left voting, and a Lieberman win in November will have zero impact on the fortunes of true independents or those who swear allegiance with actual third parties.

As a registered Libertarian, I would embrace Joe Lieberman if I thought he had any inkling of shaking things up in Washington, but whether or not Connecticut sends him back to the Hill with an “I” after his name, his future voting record will remain indistinguishable from his voting history. He’ll remain a Big Government stooge and the American taxpayer will continue to foot the bill. Meanwhile, the Democrat and Republican pundits will hail a Lieberman win as evidence that our political system works, and that independent voices can, indeed, be heard.


A Lieberman win in November will only prove that the rules favor incumbency and that, now more than ever, the two ruling parties’ iron grip on power remains secure. Whatever the result, I predict with absolute certainty that the size and cost of government will continue to grow apace, without fear of reprisals from an American citizenry that has come to believe that blind party loyalty is a fine substitute for critical thinking.

Share  Posted by Mike Spinney at 11:30 AM | Permalink

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