I wrote the following yesterday:
There are things my party has done that I’m not proud of, but one thing – thankfully – it hasn’t done is allowed the fringe fruitcakes to take over. The DNC has allowed that here, and I believe now they’ll find themselves in a pickle over what to do next in terms of ‘supporting’ Lamont or distancing themselves from him and his â€˜base’. If they throw their full support behind Lamont and his cut and run approach to Iraq, I hope Republicans – and Joe Lieberman – milk it for all its worth.
I also noted in that post how the DNC weren’t distancing themselves from Lamont and were, in fact, embracing him.
The RNC has indeed done as I’d hoped and have kicked things up into high gear in response to Lieberman’s loss, and it started off yesterday with comments made by the RNC’s Ken Mehlman. VP Dick Cheney, whose statement I posted here, made it very clear what he thinks of the defeat of Joe Lieberman by nut-, er, netroots candidate Ned Lamont. The TIME article referenced below confirms that the RNC is, rightly, going to use the Lieberman loss to advance the position that Democrats are too weak on issues related to national security because they effectively told a veteran Senator who advocated that we stay in Iraq until the mission was complete that he was no longer welcome. Via Mike Allen:
From Washington State to Missouri to Pennsylvania, Democratic candidates found themselves on the defensive Wednesday as the Republican Party worked ferociously at every level to try to use the primary defeat of Sen. Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut to portray the opposition as the party of weakness and isolation on national security and liberal leanings on domestic policy. Doleful Democrats bemoaned the irony: At a time when Republicans should be back on their heels because of chaos abroad and President Bush’s unpopularity, the Democrats’ rejection of a sensible, moralistic centrist has handed the GOP a weapon that could have vast ramifications for both the midterm elections of ’06 and the big dance of ’08.
At breakfast time, Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman was in Cleveland, decrying “an unfortunate embrace of isolationism, defeatism, and a blame- America-first attitude by national Democratic leaders at a time when retreating from the world is particularly dangerous.” In early afternoon, White House Press Secretary Tony Snow told reporters in Crawford, Tex.: “It’s a defining moment for the Democratic Party, whose national leaders now have made it clear that if you disagree with the extreme left in their party they’re going to come after you.” And an hour or so later, Vice President Cheney told wire-service reporters in a conference call: “It’s an unfortunate development, I think, from the standpoint of the Democratic Party to see a man like Lieberman pushed aside because of his willingness to support an aggressive posture in terms of our national security strategy.”
Love it, love it, love it. Keep hammering that point, guys. I know I sure will.
As predicted, Lamont’s win has galvanized the hardcore anti-war hate-Bush wing of the Democratic party, but it’s also galvanized regular workaday Republicans such as myself, who know that a repeat performance in November of victories like Ned Lamont’s this past Tuesday would spell disaster for this country. We must fight against that happening.
Update I: HEH!
On a more serious note, Jacob Weisberg writes about why he thinks Lamont’s victory signals defeat for the Democratic party.