Politics Lamont & Lessons for Cantwell
In my opinion, any analysis piece on the Lamont victory that does not mention this quotation…
“It’s time for Democrats who distrust President Bush to acknowledge that he will be the commander in chief for three more critical years,” Lieberman said, “and that in matters of war, we undermine presidential credibility at our nation’s peril.” The implication that there is something wrong with criticizing George W. Bush is unacceptable to most Democrats, who believe that Bush himself has done the most to undermine his own credibility. [This take from E.J. Dionne’s column last week.]
… is missing the real issue here. The primary victory for Lamont was not a referendum on the war. It was a referendum on an incumbent arrogant enough to try to curtail his constituents’ freedom of speech.
I didn’t support the war. I think Cantwell’s vote was way off the mark (even more unforgivable, from my point of view, were her votes for the PATRIOT Act). But reasonable people have a right to disagree on this point, especially since we’re already in Iraq and neither party has a good exit strategy. (Sorry, peaceniks, but “Troops out now” isn’t going to cut it.) What’s absolutely not okay, however, is the insinuation that anyone is unpatriotic for saying Bush isn’t credible. DUH: Bush misled the country on WMDs—therefore, he’s no longer credible. The above quote was everywhere last week and over the weekend. And voters don’t like to be treated like sheep.
That’s where the Cantwell analogy fails to hold. She’s never said anything so ridiculous and politically suicidal.