Sunday, March 19, 2006

Endorse the Democratic Process

By endorsing Joe Lieberman, Diane Farrell has bought into the rhetoric of the Democratic Party leadership. Last week, Farrell said in an interview that it’s "difficult in a party to see primaries take place." Well, I beg to differ. Most of us view primaries as an essential part of the democratic process - especially in a two party system. Most jobs involve a performance review at least once a year. How can anyone argue that after 18 years an evaluation of Joe Lieberman’s performance by his employers (the citizens of Connecticut) is out of order?

Unfortunately, endorsements for Lieberman by folks like Diane Farrell are about money and favors, not the issues on which campaigns should be based. Joe is a cash cow and Diane wants her share of the milk. We know that she disagrees with Joe on Iraq, I assume she’s not happy about Alito, and I would imagine she cringes when Joe appears on TV hugging President W or paling around with his buddy Sean Hannity. On the issues, Diane Farrell has much more in common with Ned Lamont than she does with Joe Lieberman. But, politics is politics and after coming so close in the last election, Diane’s going to grab at every straw she can.

I would love to see a long list of visible Dems endorse Lamont. I'm also realistic enough to know that most will not take what they perceive as a political risk. So, to those who are caught in the ethical struggle between endorsing a candidate that will support real Democratic values and stand up to the right-wing administration(Ned Lamont) and the guy they think will dump some cash behind their campaigns (Joe Lieberman) I offer a suggestion: Instead of endorsing a candidate, throw your support behind the democratic process. Stand up and say:

"There is great disagreement within our party over many important issues, including the war in Iraq, universal healthcare, women’s rights, and the selection of Supreme Court Justices. The people of Connecticut have made it clear that they want to be heard on these issues. On August 8th we will have a statewide forum where the people can make their views clear. It’s called an election. I believe that this primary is in the best interest of Connecticut's Democrats and the party as a whole."

Perhaps we can start a movement called “Endorse the Democratic Process.” For, if someone believes that primaries are somehow bad, we can assume they are against the democratic process that the rest of us hold so dear.

Finally, I will make this (not so bold) prediction. When Ned Lamont wins the primary in August, his phone will start ringing off the hook. On the other end will be people like Diane Farrell who have suddenly seen the light, asking Ned for his support.


Blogger Neal said...

Note: Since writing this I've been told that several people, possibly including Diane Farrell, were sort of "tricked" into endorsing Lieberman. Several Democrats were invited to what they though was Lieberman's birthday party. It turned out to be a campaign fundraiser, and it was assumed that those who attended were endorsing Lieberman. Regardless, Farrell did make the comment quoted about primaries.

12:34 PM  

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