A political party chief is a lot like a football coach. He has to recruit quality players…try to mold them into champions…and produce a winning record.
Otherwise, he’s likely to be benched from the political game forever.
So, you would think that a national political party chairman would do everything possible to re-elect proven winners from his party. After all, control of both houses of Congress could hinge on the outcome of races in some key states.
But, let’s face it—Howard Dean, the chairman of the Democratic National Party—is not your typical party chairman.
Dean’s quixotic quest for the Presidency led to the founding of an organization known as Democracy for America. (As if democracy in America is some sort of new concept). Well, Democracy for America isn’t about to back a proven vote-getter—even if he is a stalwart Democrat. Instead, the organization is endorsing “upstart challenger” Ned Lamont.
Democracy for America is blasting incumbent Democratic Senator Joe Lieberman for doing the unthinkable—supporting the President. The organization goes so far as to call Lieberman “George Bush’s favorite Democrat.” The group claims good old Joe has supported the President on “issue after issue.” These issues include things like supporting the nominations of Justices Roberts and Alito to the U.S. Supreme Court—a move that—shockingly!—most Americans also supported.
Lieberman also had the audacity to support the President’s war on terror. And he once issued this statement which—horrors!—borders on the patriotic: “It is time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be Commander-in-Chief for three more critical years, and that in matters of war we undermine Presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.”
In a time of war—when our nation’s security is at stake—Lieberman dared to suggest that Democrats shouldn’t say anything that might jeopardize our efforts to win a war against an amoral enemy. And for this, Democracy for America wants him punished?
And what were Lieberman’s other unforgivable transgressions? The Vice President called him “a fine U.S. Senator.” If Dick Cheney had called him a national disgrace, would that have been a good reason to back Lieberman? There are rumors that the President considered Lieberman for a post in his Cabinet. Now, we don’t know if Lieberman would have accepted such a position, but the fact that George W. Bush might have even considered him for one of the most important posts in Washington is apparently reason enough to throw Lieberman out of office.
And what will Lamont do that Lieberman won’t? Apparently, he’ll provide a knee-jerk negative reaction to every Bush policy that comes down the pike. Democracy for America suggests he’ll be criticizing Bush for threatening our moral and economic future, our civil liberties, and our nation’s security. He’ll also advocate “a new direction in Iraq.” Would that be in the direction of defeat?
There was a time when statesmen spoke of ending partisan bickering in Washington…of working past party differences in order to govern the nation in a spirit of unity and teamwork. But Democracy for America wants no part of that. The organization’s leaders want all discord—all the time. If the President says “yes,” they want Democratic members of Congress to say “no”—apparently, no matter what the issue.
And the irony here is that Democracy for America is adopting policy stands which, if put up for a democratic vote of the people, would probably lose hands-down.
This organization is clearly misnamed. It should be referred to as Liberals for America. Or make that Liberals against the American President. Democrats who veer from the radical liberal line and dare to say a kind word for a Republican President need not apply for any political post—even if they do have a winning record.