Sore Loserman Rides Again (II)

The defeat of Senator Joe Lieberman in Connecticut’s Democratic party primary was the occasion for some characteristic whining from the losing candidate — a proclivity that earned him the sobriquet “Sore Loserman.” Now he’s confirming what we all knew — he’s a two-time sore loser-man. Not content to accept the verdict of his own party, he’s jumping ship and running as an “independent,” i.e. a Neocon Democrat — a very narrow constituency, and one that is getting rapidly narrower, much to Hillary Clinton’s (and Marshall Wittmann’s) chagrin.

Loserman’s defeat is a major rebuke to the War Party: his opponent, Ned Lamont, campaigned almost exclusively on the issue of opposition to the Iraq war. Loserman, on the other hand, refused to abandon his pro-war position, and defended his stance at every opportunity. If ever there was a referendum on the war, then this was it: but Loserman — who famously ascribed the verdict of the voters in 2000 to “the rule of the mob” — can’t accept the judgement of his own party. Instead, he smeared Lamont and his supporters in his non-concession speech — “Every disagreement is considered disloyal. And every opponent it is not just an opponent but is seen as evil” — and whined that he fell victim to “insults” instead of a fair debate of “ideas.”

But the election was about ideas — Lieberman’s ideas about foreign policy, which proved such a disastrous failure in Iraq and are rejected by the majority of Americans. And as for charges of disloyalty, it was Lieberman, you remember, who said that criticism of Bush during wartime “undermines presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.”

We can expect more of the same — and worse — during the general election. Get ready for charges of “extremism” directed at Lamont. This, coming from the co-chair of the extremist Committee on the Present Danger, is a charge that no one can take too seriously. But that won’t stop the Lieberman-Beinart-neocon wing of the party from trying.